How to Pick Your Next Student House
Posted on November 8th, 2016
You’ve blinked and suddenly it’s November! You are well and truly settled in to halls or your new Newcastle student house. Halloween and Bonfire Night have been and gone and attention is turning to the shining beacon of the Christmas holidays glistening in the distance.
It may only seem like yesterday that you took your first steps in to student life but it might be time to think about where you want to live and who you want to live with next year. Most agents and landlords release their property lists in November so we thought we would give you some tips before you get started.
If you live with great people you will have a great time..
To be honest most people just end up sharing a house with flat mates from their first year in halls. You have probably grown close over the first couple of months and are used to each others’ peculiar living habits! Saying this though, it’s important not to settle. You’ve got another 10 months before you even move in together, never mind the full year in the house. That’s a long time to spend with the wrong people. Properties in Newcastle range from smaller 2 and 3 beds flats to 8 bed whoppers so group sizes need to be decided early on. There are of course pros of living in an 8 bed. It’s much more sociable with someone always fancying a night out or a chilled Netflix night. However, balance that against the noise of 7 other people coming in late if you are being good and have an early lecture in the morning!
If you prefer a quieter existence a smaller flat might be for you. Small houses can create much stronger bonds and require people to take a lot more responsibility for the state of the place as it soon becomes pretty obvious whose washing up is always in the sink. Also, it is so much easier to decide on a place when only 3 of you need to agree compared to trying to get 7 or 8 people to reach a decision together!
Jesmond vs Heaton vs Sandyford vs Quayside…
Newcastle is a small city and where ever you choose to live will be a maximum of 5 minute bus/metro ride in to uni or a 20 minute walk. Jesmond, to the North of the city centre, is the focus of student life in Newcastle. The legendary Osborne Road and Acorn Road provide all the shops, restaurants and bars you could wish for. The houses range from 2/3 bed flats to larger 6/7 houses across a range of budgets, but you’ll have to be quick as the bigger ones tend to be pretty popular.
To the east of the city you have Sandyford and Sheildfield. Both are really handy for Northumbria’s campus and are well served by express supermarkets and some great new cafes and cosy pubs.
A little further out along the number 1 bus route is Heaton – Chilli Road runs through the area and is a food lovers paradise packed full of takeaways and cafes. Plus there are various small supermarkets and a huge Asda at the top of the road – handy for your weekly shop!
Spital Tongues is also a really popular choice for Newcastle University Students – especially medical students as it’s so close to the hospital and the university. There’s a village feel to the area and it’s right next to the town moor, which is great if you are a runner!
Consider alternative options
For most people, when they think about moving away to uni they expect to have their first year in halls followed by 2 or 3 years living in a proper house with a proper front door on a proper street! Don’t let that idea suck you in though! Purpose built student housing blocks have sprung up in the last couple of years to give a different option to the city’s students. Most of them are closer to campus and normally offer a higher spec accommodation with en suites, study rooms, gyms and cinemas thrown in. You obviously will pay extra for all this – rents start about £115pw but you get the secure feeling that halls gives. The studio flats, although lovely, do have the potential to be isolating and don’t give you that sociable experience you get from living with friends. There are cluster flats available though within these blocks that will still give you the social interaction that house shares can but with the luxury of your own shower!