House hunting for second year? Here's some advice.

House searching can be stressful, from finding where you want to live to who you want to live with so here are a few tips to help ease any worries you might have.

Ethan Todd
30th November 2021
As the festive period looms, so does the inevitable nuisance that is sorting out second year accommodation. This can seem such a daunting and even scary task, given the need to deal with landlords and estate agents, as well as the scepticism of prospective housemates.

There can be a lot of complicated decisions to make, one of the first being the age-old question: Heaton, Sandyford, or Jesmond?

Typically, Jesmond seems to become the first port of call, labelled as the jewel in the crown of Newcastle student areas, given the buzzing atmosphere of Osborne Road as well as the ample bars and restaurants which offer brilliant student deals. However, this evidently impacts the renting price, as Jesmond is the most expensive student area in Newcastle for second year accommodation.

Accompanying Jesmond as a popular student area is Heaton, closely situated to Chillingham Road - the home of fantastic foody spots such as The Butterfly Cabinet or the Naked Deli - with great metro links across the area. This enables Heaton to be one of the most sought after student housing areas.

Residents of Heaton can enjoy local favourite, The Naked Deli. Image Credit: @thenakeddeli, Instagram.

Sandyford is also a fantastic area to live in during your second year of studies, with accommodation only a ten minute walk from campus and the town centre, as well as plentiful local shops, bars and other amenities.

Aside from location, possibly the most important task is deciphering who exactly you wish to stay with. Though all of the aforementioned areas are fantastic in their own right, housemates can make or break your university housing experience.

Sharing a house is a much more close, intimate space than student accommodation flats, as there are a lot more shared spaces than you perhaps become used to in first year. Therefore, do not agree to share a house with someone you do not enjoy the company of. This is imperative, as it may lead you to resent your living situation and could trigger unbearable, awkward silences in the kitchen (I’m not sure which is worse…).

If you know who you want to live with, don’t leave it too late - just ask them about their plans for second-year housing.

If anyone in your circle of uni pals has a reputation for sloppiness or bad hygiene, avoid them like the plague - unless you are happy to live in a pig-sty. It is much more of a collective effort between all housemates to maintain a clean home than in halls.

Try to share with people who share similar interests or attitudes, whether this be close friends from halls, course mates or people you've met in clubs and societies. It will ultimately lead to arguments and disagreements if there are a few quieter housemates sharing with one or two party animals.

If you know who you want to live with, don’t leave it too late - just ask them about their plans for second year housing.

Depending on the number of housemates, there will more than likely be someone who you are not as friendly with as the others. Thus, you must add up if they are tidy and respectful enough to live with, as you really do not want to be stuck with someone you hate with a burning passion for a year.

Sharing a house with close friends is meant to be one of the most enjoyable aspects of university

When dealing with landlords, it can seem as though they know everything and you are powerless to what they say. Yet, when going for house viewings, be eagle-eyed and attentive to the state of the house and surrounding area, as well as the appliances, facilities, condition and size of all rooms. Don’t let excitement overtake and push you to jump for a contract with the first house you see, but in the same breath, if you dawdle, the best accommodation will get swiped up.

Most importantly, don’t worry. Sharing a house with close friends is meant to be one of the most enjoyable aspects of university - cooking meals together, having movie nights and, surely at one point, putting the one who has enjoyed themselves too much on a night out to bed.

P.S. Don’t be the housemate who leaves dirty dishes in the sink overnight. Ever.

Feature Image Credit: @Mohamed_Hassan

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AUTHOR: Ethan Todd
Aspiring football journalist studying at Newcastle University.

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