No problem, our guest student blogger Bobby To has your back! Check out his guide to choosing where to live in Newcastle.
One way to narrow down your options is to think about what area you would actually like to live in. Think about which university campus you will be travelling to most days - will you need to factor public transport or parking costs into your budget? If you're in a larger group of seven, eight or more people then areas like Heaton and Jesmond are your best bet, with Heaton being the best value for money but located further away from Newcastle City Centre. Shieldfield is one of the areas becoming more and more popular in Newcastle each year and offers modern, purpose built accommodation as well as the usual houses and flats.
So you have just finished your semester and left first year's student accommodation but you miss the convenience of rolling out of bed 10 minutes before lectures and seminars. City Centre offers new and modern apartments with short walking distances to both universities and city centre attractions such as shopping, dining locations and nightlife. These benefits comes at a price, city centre is likely to be the priciest option out of all areas and properties are usually limited to 1-3 bedroom(s) unless you go further away from central city centre where properties will have around 4-6 bedrooms.
Situated North of Newcastle City Centre, Jesmond is within walking distance of all the main city attractions and is beloved by students from both Universities. Jesmond is a classy suburban area with many lovely bars, cafés and restaurants dotted all over but the main commercial street is Osborne Road. If you are worried about the distance from the universities and city centre, hop on a Metro at Jesmond or West Jesmond stations which give you quick and easy access to the city centre, the coast and even the airport. Jesmond residents are not limited to just students and range from families, young adults and even Premier League footballers. Jesmond has some of the most popular properties that Seekers has to offer and they usually range from 3 to 8 bedroom houses.
Based east of City Centre (around 20 minutes on feet) and favoured by Northumbria University students due to short walking distance. Sandyford is an area that offers great value on properties usually ranging from 4-6 bedrooms. Amenities in Sandyford include some small shops, cafes and restaurants with residents benefitting from reasonable pricing and close proximity to city centre and Universities. This is area perfect for those who want something away from the hustle and bustle of the city but still remain close to the universities and city centre. Another bonus is that is only a short walk to Jesmond and Heaton. For green spaces Sandyford is ideally placed for exploring Jesmond Dene and Heaton Park.
Located east of Sandyford (around 30 minutes on feet to city centre) this area is for students who like to keep their rent as low as possible.There are many buses to city centre and lots of shops, takeaways and cafes within the area ideal for a late night drunken snack or hangover brunch. Chillingham Road metro station can also get you into the city centre in just 6 minutes, if you fancy exploring and adventuring during the weekend the metro can also take you to the coast, as far as Sunderland and even to the airport. Properties in Heaton usually vary from 3-8 bedrooms and rents can start from as low as around £50 per person per week with great furnishing and conditioning.
Located West of Newcastle City centre (around 20 minutes on feet) this area is favoured more by Newcastle University students. It is similar to Sandyford in terms of what is on offer and pricing; however it is tailored more towards Newcastle University due to close proximity to Campuses. Leazes Park is one of the great benefits of living in Spital Tongues, perfect for sports, chilling on the grass or a walk around the pond.
Just on the outskirts of the city, Shieldfield is in the ideal location for getting into uni, especially if you're based at Northumbria City Campus East! Lots of students know Shieldfield thanks to all the student halls and places like Nancy's Bordello drawing students in for drinks and food deals. From houses to purpose built student halls, you can take your pick in Shieldfield!
We advise setting a rough budget of how much you would like to spend on rent as that can help us filter properties that will be unsuitable for you, this does not have to be concrete but do try budget as realistically as possible. Remember you will also have to pay bills each month on top of the rent! Some properties offer perks such as water rates included, broadband included or even an all inclusive package deal.
So you are finally on the road house hunting. With the amount of properties you will see during the viewing it is easy to forget the ones you really like. When you or your group visit a property you really like it is worth making a note for future references. If at any point of the viewing you are uncertain on issues regarding the house, make sure you speak with our property consultants as they will try their best to provide you with information and answer.
When there are a few applicants within a group, it is important to remember each individual's needs and wants can significantly differ. Compromising and making sure everyone is satisfied will make the process much faster and smoother. Gather as a group and priorities each other's wants for the property and use that as an objective measure whether the property will be right for everyone.
Well done for making it this far, we are nearly there. A very common problem we often experience is applicants looking for the perfect property, although we try to the best of our abilities to try satisfy your lettings wants. It is nearly impossible to have the dream house which ticks everyone's boxes, if everyone is keen on a good property it is often better to play it safe, remember at certain times of the year lettings agents are very busy, so if you're happy, sign! Make the payments, sign the paperwork and conclude the process. We have witnessed numerous occasions where applicants go on another viewing and come back to find everyone's favourite property has gone, so the key message here is to sign as soon as everyone is happy!