As Housing Week as recently passed, I thought I would talk about my housing experience during my second year of university.
This year I am living with three other girls from my course. Two of them are in classes at university and we looked for a 4-bed house. House sizes can go up to 12, although I feel that somebody told me about a 16-bed house but I could have just been very sleepy that day. I wanted to stay small, and luckily these girls felt the same. You may also find that you want to live with the same people you did in halls, and that’s also fine. My advice would be to get a plan together and stick to it. Otherwise, it might end a little messy.
We started looking very early, I think around November time. I wouldn’t recommend this, but if you want to get it sorted sooner rather than later than you can look around and get it sorted before Christmas. It’s doable. A slight caution to look out for is that some lettings agency can be pushy and a little pressuring on you to sign contracts. Don’t sign anything until you have read the contract, looked at the payments, seen the house and talked to someone knowledgable about the contract. Don’t be afraid to ask questions either, check over everything.
The house we are in is just lush. I’m really happy we managed to get this one and I don’t regret it. The only downside is that it’s a little too far from university for my liking. It’s not too far, a 25-minute walk -which is fine, it’s just rough when it’s cold/rainy/windy. Apart from that, the house is great.
We went through a lettings agency in Ormskirk that has student houses. We viewed a few houses but none were as good as the one we are in now. Once we were set on that we emailed to say that we would like to live there. They operate on a first-come service and we were told another group had asked before us. We waited to hear and they never turned up to sign the contracts so the house was ours if we wanted it. Hoorah.
Just don’t rush. I know in my experience, we did rush and we ended up with a nice house – but if I could do it again, I’d have liked to be closer.
As always, if you have any questions please drop them below.
I hope you are having a lovely Mother’s day. As I have written about first year accommodation before, I thought I would talk about accommodation for second and third year students. Edge Hill’s fantastic accommodation was voted best student accommodation in the UK and Ireland and best value for money (National Student Housing Awards, 2018)… and I am not surprised one bit! However, you do not have to stay on campus, it is completely up to you!
Living in Ormskirk
The perks of living in Ormskirk is that you are VERY close to the town centre, which means you are a short walk away from Morrison’s, Aldi, Maccies, Superdrug, Spoons, Alpine… the list goes on! And when I say ‘walk away’ I mean they are literally on your door step. AND the bus that travels to Edge Hill’s campus is free for all students when you show your student ID card. However, my housemates and I usually walk as it is only 10 minutes away, and a breath of fresh air is a good way to get the day of work started!
Living on Campus
If you prefer to stay on campus however, you can apply to stay in Edge Hill’s accommodation or in Woodland Court (brand new flats for third year students). You can find out everything you need to know including facilities and costs on Edge Hill’s website. Although you will have to get a bus into town, there is still plenty going on at the Student Union bar such as karaoke, quizzes and Wednesday socials! You also get to be a 2-minute walk away from Edge Hill’s new library, the Catalyst (where I have been living the past couple of weeks).
Commuting from Home
If you would rather stay at home, commuting is always an option (depending on where you live and how far you are willing to travel of course!). You can apply for a parking permit so you can park in Edge Hill’s car park which is always open and right on campus.
Let me know if you have any more questions about accommodation for second and third years!
As a first-year who ignored all advice given to me, I feel I have some important dos and don’ts when house hunting for the second year. It’s more of a ‘don’t do what I did!’ kind of situation, so here are some tips when looking for a house… and please take them on board.
Don’t rush 🙅🏽 .. well, not too much:
We were told not to rush as the housing fair would be in a couple of weeks and there, you can have a look around, ask questions and gather all the information you need to know about housing for the next year. We didn’t do this, we found one that we liked and booked an appointment. This was a mistake as I’ll explain shortly. I would say wait until the housing fair but then definitely get gathering mates and start looking at what’s available. The McCombe apartments go quite fast but if you have booked viewings and are looking at contracts before Christmas, you’re on the right track. There’s a list of off-campus housing lettings agencies on the Edge Hill website here.
Don’t be pressured into anything💪🏽:
There can be some pressure from certain letting agencies about their first-come-first-serve system but my advice is: do not be forced into signing anything without properly reading the contract, understanding the payments and knowing the contract length. We were caught out here as we rushed to get back to a lesson and we skimmed over the contract, signed it and got out of there, now we’re paying a large amount over what most people are… so be careful! Ask if you can take the contract away and read it closely.
It’s not all doom and gloom! 😁 Luckily, Edge Hill has a great support system if you are unsure of anything. You can take your contract to student services and they will look over it for you before you sign anything and they hold housing workshops that you can attend if you are still unsure of anything. Apart from that, find some cool people you want to live with and get house hunting.
There are some amazing houses around although ours is costing a little more than we’d like, it’s absolutely stunning and I’m looking forward to living there next year. Please don’t hesitate to ask questions, I’m here to answer any you may have! Thanks for reading ☺️
Hello all! Hope you’re having a great weekend so far!
One of the things that you might be thinking about is how Edge Hill help you progress into your second and third (or maybe even fourth) year. Although on campus accommodation is still open for applications from those in higher years, some students choose to find a house off campus for the experience it brings, and Edge Hill put on a housing fair to help you out with this!
The housing fair offers so much help to students. Not only do they release a housing list with phone numbers of landlords and letting agencies approved by the university so students know which are the most student-friendly, but they also offer a lot of help with all things housing. The police often have a stall to inform you of security issues you might need to be cautious of moving into your own house, and there are stalls where you can ask any questions you might have about tenancies, landlords and life in a rented house.
The best thing about this is the fact that it means you’re not alone in your search- the university knows that a lot of the experiences and opportunities University brings can be something you’ve never experienced before, and the housing fair really helps ease your mind!
It may seem far too early to be thinking out about moving back home for the summer, but I’ve found that moving out slowly but surely is one of the most efficient ways of doing so.
First things first have a good spring clean, it might sound boring but you accumulate a lot of stuff whist at uni. You’ll come across leaflets from fresher’s week that you’ve stuffed at the back of wardrobe and hundreds of water bottles that just seem to be stacking up. Once you have gotten rid of all your rubbish you’ll find that you already feel as though you have less stuff to think about taking home.
Next thing to do is think about what you haven’t used, haven’t worn or will no longer need. For me this includes things like winter shoes, scarves and books. I try to take home little bits at a time so as to not be weighed down on the journey home. If you do this frequently you will find it so much easier when it comes to the actual big move out day. You will also begin to realise how many things you’ve brought to uni that you have never used, write these things down and remember for next year as if you’ve managed for a year you probably don’t need to bring them back again. For me this included items such as
copious amounts of Tupperware
far too many decorative ornaments/picture frames
every piece of clothing I’ve ever worn ever, that I suddenly thought I would need whilst at university
By doing these things when it comes to moving out you should have a much easier time. On that day though it’s important to be just as organised. My advice would be to label and sort things into what you’ll need at home and what can stay packed until next year. This saves you the hassle of unpacking everything to find that one thing you realised you can’t manage without and also saves repacking everything again over the summer. Invest in some good storage boxes and they will hopefully see you through the three years of moving in and out.
Last but not least be prepared at home. Condensing two rooms back into one may not seem like a big deal but when you’ve got a room full of IKEA bags, storage boxes and suitcases your motivation to organise them may suddenly disappear and they will remain there until September rolls around. Try and make a space for the things that are labelled as what you will not need. I was lucky enough to have space in the garage, but even making space in your bedroom, wardrobe, shed or loft in order to keep these things out of your way. Just make sure that your possessions are tightly sealed and out of the damp as the last thing you want is to get back to uni start unpacking and realise that everything is ruined.
So overall preparation is key, and by doing little and often you are likely to avoid the stress of moving out. Be able to pack the car up with ease, and settle back in at home without being surrounded with tableware and folders.
So living away from home is a big deal when choosing which University to go to! You have to make sure you choose a University where you will enjoy the course and every other aspect of the Uni! One of the most important things is the accommodation if you have chosen to move away from home! This isn’t a decision you need to commit to for the full three years (if you live close enough to commute that is!), so don’t worry if you think you may change your mind for years 2 and 3!
So what are the pro’s of moving into halls in first year?!
Halls is sooo convenient for uni! Sometimes you don’t really value this until you move off campus- so enjoy it!
You can wake up later than you would it you decide to commute (you will be thankful on those frosty mornings!)
The cost for accommodation includes bills (something you might not get if you move into private accommodation).
This is one of the places where you’re likely to make some good friends for life!
And, is there any reason to move into a house in your second or third year? Here are the pro’s I found moving into private accommodation!
You can walk to and from uni, meaning your getting your steps in, keeping healthy when you might not be cooking (or ordering!) the ‘right’ things!
You can choose who you live with, if that’s friends from your course or halls from first year!
You might even be lucky enough to have a washing machine in your house (posh!), instead of going to the launderette!
You can still have that independent lifestyle away from home.
If you move into Ormskirk you’re near to the night life! (No more three pound taxi fares!).
Either way, whatever you choose, make sure it’s the right decision for you!
By this time next year you will be looking for a house to live in during your second year, or you may have already signed up for a house!
This does seem early but to ensure that you’re not left struggling I really can’t emphasise enough how important it is that you sort it ASAP!
Edge Hill produce a housing list at the very start of December that you can use to ring up landlords to book house viewings.
Here are a few questions to think about with your future flat mates:
How much is the deposit?
With the deposit you need to know if you can you afford it, do you get it all back at the end of the year and if so what are the conditions to ensure you do get it back!
How much is the summer retainer?
Again, how much is it. Remember you won’t get this money back as it is a fee to hold the property for the summer months when you’re not in it.
How much is it per week?
Can you all afford it? Is it more expensive than your room now? If so can you afford the extra money, as you will have less to live off!
Does the price include bills?
If it does- great! If not, can you split it ‘x’ ways without arguments of who hasn’t been in the house for so many days so should pay less or how someone else should pay more because they have had a friend over!
When are the payments due?
Can you afford the payments at the times required, as the money may need to be paid before your student finance comes!
Is the landlord or estate agency reputable (do look into their reputation!)
You do not want to enter into a contract where the other party is unreliable.
When you go to a house viewing check out the following checklist and don’t be afraid to ask questions! It is a lot of money you will be giving them, make sure its right!
So after what seemed like a very long second year it’s finally tome to say goodbye to our very first house. During my first year I stayed in accommodation based in Liverpool, which gave me the opportunity to experience city life. However, during my second year three other girls and myself decided to move into our first house in the centre of Ormskirk.
Obviously it was a massive change to go from a city life to a small town life, however we have loved every moment of the year. We managed to argue about who’s turn it was to take out the bins, washing up schedules and spillages all over the house, but it’s all part of the fun of it. It quickly became the ‘predrink house’ as it had the biggest living room and kitchen and thankfully it was only a ten minute walk from uni.
Sadly it’s not our house anymore as we’re going from four people to five, however it’ll always be our first house and we’ll miss it and the memories dearly.
With summer nearly here, it’s time to start thinking about next year. Whether you’re moving away from home or commuting, there will be some purchases that are necessary for your first year at EHU.
So, for all the commuters…
If you’re travelling by train I recommend investigating into a railcard or buying a specific ticket to keep your costs down. At first being hit with a huge amount (something I experienced in my first year- £185) can seem like a complete rip-off, but in the long run it will work out cheaper and you’ll be glad you did it.
If you’re coming by car or bus I’d check travel routes and timings to make sure you will be able to get here on time.
And, for all the new arrivals into halls (or the occasional house)…
Moving away from home is exciting, BUT there is going to be so much stuff that you’ll need. You’ll even need the stuff your parents insist you take but you turn down. My top things to take are: a five way plug, a small bin for your room, a desk lamp, a medical kit, stationary, extra bedding, tea towels, as many bin bags as you can get your hands on, key documents (passport/birth certificate, driving license), a docking station, a hot water bottle, a door wedge and pictures from home (deep, but necessary for bad days).