Finding a house

Finding a house

This is a brief, personal opinion on finding a house as a vet student. The advice is particularly aimed at 3rd years or any first timers but the link at the bottom should be useful and filled in by many!

Rule #1 – don’t panic! The majority of students in Cambridge don’t sort a house for the next academic year until Easter term and often not until the latter half. We don’t have a student estate agent system like a lot of universities where you can reserve a house months in advance.

#2 – estate agent fees. These are often a surprise cost to first-time renters but can be quite significant. They are basically fees that go to the estate agents for sorting out the paperwork, organising guarantors, doing house inventory etc. However they can be negotiated in a lot of cases (often estate agents try to rip students off) so don’t be afraid to try and barter. They can obviously be completely avoided if you get a house straight through the landlord, which often also have below average rent because of the landlord’s ignorance regarding the current market, so worth a hunt! Hopefully the linked spreadsheet (see below) will be able to help with this.

#3 – location. There are a lot of vets living around Histon/Victoria Road because it is both convenient (for those of you central college people that have never ventured this far there are several cycle paths eg from Storeys Way to Madingley Road opposite the vet school; between Oxford Road and Warwick Road) and reasonably priced. As you go further out often the houses tend to get cheaper or bigger so better value if you can bear the cycle!

#4 – Take one year at a time. Some house combos do work smoothly for three years but many do not for various reasons (not just fall outs!) such as an unfortunate illness, people moving into houses that have lived in college in 4th year. There are many multi-year houses that often work well. So in short don’t be put off from a house if it is probably only available for a year.

I have created an online spreadsheet with the aim to share current vet housing information to avoid estate agents where possible and avoid the many emails that get thrown about, often unanswered. The spreadsheet is hopefully self explanatory but I would like to emphasise that this is a document available to anyone so please don’t put any information on the document that you do not have permission for or are uncomfortable with. For example do not put your landlord’s details on there unless you have permission. I recommend your email as the most sensible option and then you can give out more details from there. I do not think this should be a hindrance to the idea. So here is the link…

with thanks to Hannah, CUVS President 2013-14