It goes without saying that students are often on a very tight budget. A tight budget, a competitive renters market, and the stresses of University classes can lead to an accommodation search that is very overwhelming.
Here is our advice on finding the perfect student accommodation. Trust us, having the knowledge before going into it will save you a lot of stress later on.
- As always, do your research. Before you have to really start looking for a new place to live, spend some time going through listings on Gumtree to see what types of places are available within your budget and in your preferred areas. You will want to have some idea of what you can afford before you’re ready.
- Be in the know. If you can, try to speak to some locals and other students who attend the same University as you. Getting insights from them on the best areas to set up shop and which areas to avoid (loud party streets, for one!) will be beneficial and won’t be information you can get through your Gumtree searches.
- Set your budget. When setting your budget, don’t forget about additional costs like electricity, groceries, school books, and transportation. Be sure to know how much each of these things will cost you before you sign a lease for something potentially too expensive. The little things add up!
- Finalize your roommate situation. If you have a few friends who will also be attending University with you or are simply looking to move out of their family home, it might be worth joining together to get a place to help share costs. Once you choose your roommates, make sure you have some in-depth conversations about what types of places you prefer, how many rooms you will need, whether you want to bring your pets along and more. Setting some good ground rules ahead of time will help you avoid a lot of future headaches.
- Secure your finances. Lastly, before you sign a lease, make sure you have a solid plan on how you will be paying for your rent, and how the rent will be split between you and your roommates. Will the person inhabiting the master bedroom be paying a bit more than the others? Will the person who has the best parking spot pay an extra fee? How will you split groceries and the cost of amenities?
Finding and moving into your first home on your own as a student takes a lot of preparation, but planning things in advance will pay off! So, now that you’ve got the knowledge, it’s time to find the perfect student accommodation for you! Head to gumtree.co.za or your Gumtree app (click for Apple & Android).