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Finding your ideal sharehouse is no easy task. Have a look at our list below for some tips on finding a great sharehouse.
Obviously you want to find a room that is within your budget. Depending on your city and some of the other features you’re looking for, you will need to budget between $80 and $180 per week. If you are looking at rooms less than that, there may be a sinister reason why. Should potential housemates ask for more than the band mentioned above, they may be trying to take advantage of you. Don’t forget, some students will try to get a good chunk of their own rent covered by the “newby”.
Living close to your university is a great idea. A close location means that you’re not going to need to pay as much for public transport and it might mean you can ride your bike or simply walk to class. Great for exercise and also your hip pocket! A location close to nightlife and necessities in the city is another option. Don’t forget, these places are often quite loud and comparatively more expensive as there is greater demand.
The problem with a great location is that you will be paying for it. Of all the characteristics of a share house, the location is likely to be one of the largest influences on price. If it’s close to the university or near the CBD the price will head towards $200 or more.
The size of your sharehouse can vary dramatically. Many sharehouses are old, run down houses located within about 10 or 15 km from uni. Usually you can expect to have a small room, with a living area, a ‘cute’ kitchen and share a bathroom with at least two others.
You’re going to be spending lots of time at the house in all likelihood, so it’s great if the sharehouse is nice and large. But it’s not as important as some of the other qualities. Make sure you are actually protected from the weather and in a decent location before you choose a large sharehouse.
It’s unlikely you’ll be getting a high quality sharehouse with stunning features. The most common sharehouses will be old, rickety but reasonably large (to fit more students in of course)! If you’re able to find a place that has air conditioning, or a carport/parking spots then you’re doing pretty well. But they are an exception rather than the rule.
One of the most important factors when deciding on a sharehouse is the people who you will be living with. There are certainly plenty of horror stories – but there are also stories of people developing life long friendships. One story that I heard was of a room-mate who insisted on taking a plastic chair with him into the shower because he was tired and it helped him do drugs. Strange!
Your housemates don’t need to be exactly like you – and in the pursuit of a house, it can be difficult to be picky. But make sure that they have reasonable personal hygiene, and are somewhat tidy. There’s nothing worse than living with disgusting people who leave their stuff everywhere.
The interview is a great opportunity to chat to them about how they live and what their habits are like. You’ll all be sounding each other out.
Don’t choose a house that doesn’t seem to fit work for you. If you’re coming home to a cold, uninviting house with rubbish people in it, your life is going to suck. Take the time to apply for a number of houses and make sure you like the people living there, the location, price and quality of the house or apartment.