When you’re a student, the budget is always tight, which makes apartment hunting even more difficult. There’s so much to consider on your search; the budget, the proximity of the apartment to your school, transport or petrol (if you own a car), and the furniture you will need to kit out the flat.  But difficult doesn’t mean impossible, so many students have been through the search and ultimately found their perfect accommodation. In addition to that, student accommodation is always available. This means you can also find accommodation that suits your needs. You need a simple guide to help you find the perfect student flat to make a home during the course of your student life. Below, you will find ideas on what to do to find your home. 

Do some research

Do an online search of flats for students, narrow it to the flats near your school. When you’ve narrowed down your search. Don’t just rely on the online search, speak to other students, find out if any of them live in the type of accommodation you’re looking for. Ask all of the right questions, such as, how far the accommodation is from the school and if there’s transport available. Ask them to connect you to their landlords or the agencies they have used for their search. Another way to do research is through social media, ask for information from people who live in your area. For example, if you’re looking for affordable student accommodation in the Johannesburg area, you can put up a notice at your school, write a Facebook status or post on a local community group to let them know that you’re in search of affordable bachelor flats to rent in Johannesburg

Talk about the costs

Using the example above, say now you have information on available accommodation, reach out to a property company in Johannesburg, like the Johannesburg Housing Company, for instance. Once you’ve spoken to an agent, and discussed viewing dates and times, think about your needs and find out if the property you’re interested in supports those needs. Then talk about the costs; this is an important step to take even before going to view the property. It will save you from wasting your time and from experiencing disappointments with your search. You need to know if the bachelor pad will fit within your means. Find out how much the rent is, the security deposit fee, how often maintenance and repairs are done, as well as how much those costs are on average. 

Go for viewings 

During your research, you will be able to find at least four potential accommodation places. After making the calls to check the availability of the accommodation, you will need to visit the properties to learn more about the condition they’re in, the area they are in and the costs of each. During your viewing, take some notes to make sure that you have all the right information about the place. If you can, also take some pictures which you can use to jog your memory when it’s time to choose your pad.

Bring support to your viewings

While you’re perfectly capable of going to a flat viewing on your own, it wouldn’t hurt to bring a second pair of eyes to view the place with you. It can be a family member or a friend; what matters is that they might pick up things you may not notice. Whether it’s positive or negative, they could also come up with more important questions that you might not have thought of. 

Ask about the rules

If you like or see potential in the accommodation places you’re viewing, ask about the rules of the place. Considering that you’re a student and students are notorious for causing damage and having parties, you’d want to know if there are any restrictions. For example, you might not be allowed to play music loud after a certain time or allowed to move around after 10 pm. 

Make comparisons

At this point, you’ve already seen the accommodations from your viewings. It’s time to make comparisons. Draw up a list of things you’re looking for in a bachelor pad, then draw up another list of pros and cons from all of the places you’ve viewed. Use the notes you took on the day of viewing and look back at the pictures to see if everything matches the information you were provided. Look at the costs you were given and your budget to see which property makes more sense to your affordability.  When you’re done making comparisons, you’re bound to reach a conclusion about which bachelor pad you want. Reach out to that property, have more conversations about everything, including the terms of the rental agreement, negotiate and get ready to start your new life at your new home.