Recently, I moved to a new country- Rwanda- once again for school.
I found myself with a new experience, searching for a place to live. I had never lived alone in Kenya, let alone a foreign country. After a few failed attempts at finding my perfect little cove, I sadly gave up and resorted to staying at student assigned housing.
Here are a few lessons I learned along the way about student accommodation:
1. Always Make Note of The Deposit
Often, the deposit is so high that it does not make sense renting the house. Sometimes, you have to take time to save up to make it easier to pay upfront. It is also at this stage where you should decide on whether to get a furnished or unfurnished house. A home is furnished costs more to rent, so if you do not mind pending a little more, furnished accommodation is always a good option.
2. Always Consider Your Landlord’s Preferences
Your choice of a landlord will determine how easy or hard you will find it living in their houses. You should establish a good relationship with them. Find out more about them. Perhaps you can find out what they hate. I recently found out that landlords do not particularly like students. Do they hate pets? Do they have certain expectations of how you should maintain the house? Being in good terms with your landlord can be quite helpful in sticky situations.
3. Figure Out The Logistics
Ideally, you should live close to your school. You can also live somewhere where there is easy access to transportation to school. At this stage of house hunting, you can ask people who live in the area where you want to rent whether water and electricity supply is reliable and consistent. There is nothing as exhausting as paying rent for a house that never has water or is constantly being affected by electricity blackouts.
4. To room or not to room?
Ask yourself if you can afford the house. Add up all the estimates like rent, water, electricity, and WiFi. Does it make sense to live alone or should you consider getting a roommate to alleviate costs? This is an important stage of househunting, critical in determining how comfortable you will live.
5. How To Choose A Roommate
For people like me who are very appreciative of their personal space, living alone is always the ideal situation. However, it may not make sense to live alone and struggle to pay steep bills when you can share costs with a roommate. Are you going to share your space with a friend, or a stranger off the internet? Will your roommate pay bills on time? These questions are essential in avoiding conflict your landlord because of your roommate.
Hopefully, these tips will be of help during your house hunt!