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Why you should be excited to leave university halls

Main Building, Cardiff University photo by Jeremy Segrott on FlickrWhen you first move away from home to start university, campus halls are the perfect stepping stone you didn't know you needed. They offer you a chance to be independent, but also act as a safety net that means you don't have to worry about things like paying the electricity bill, or even cooking for yourself, if your hall is catered.

The end of January brings with it the close of the exam period and the beginning of lectures, but it's also the time when many students around Cardiff begin choosing the place they'll be calling home for the next academic year. So, whether your experience of university halls has so far been fantastic or a little bit disappointing, moving out into a house of your own is a change that has its own range of perks that you should definitely be excited about.

You get to choose who you want to live with

Living room in a flat on Wyverne Road, CathaysLiving in halls is a lottery: yes, you could be sharing a flat with your next best friend, but you also run the risk of sharing a kitchen with the person who never washes up, or of living next door to someone who plays loud music until the early hours of the morning when you have a 9am lecture the next day. When it comes to choosing who to live with in your second and third years, however, the choice is entirely yours. Most available properties in Cardiff will accommodate a varying number of students, from 2-bed flats for those who like their privacy, up to 7- and 8-bed house shares for the student group that can’t (and won’t) be separated. Moving into private housing is the perfect chance to build on the friendships you’ve already made and create some of the best memories of your university life.

Decorative freedom

Kind of. You still need to read your rental agreement to check what you can and can’t change, but in a room of your own in an off-campus property, there’s definitely more room for scope! Whereas your university halls likely provided you with the bare minimum of furniture - we’re talking bed, desk, wardrobe, and that’s it - a rental property provides you with the opportunity to make your space your own. If you’re allowed to, you can change the curtains, bring in mirrors and your own furniture. Some landlords may even let you hang up posters, pictures or noticeboards, all of which allow you to add your own personal stamp to your room.

Sense of community

Dinner table celebrations [photo via pixabay]Living in private accommodation with a host of your closest friends is a fantastic experience, and you just can’t beat living in a house for building up a sense of camaraderie. You may have grumbled with your university hall flatmates over midnight fire alarms and early starts, but when you’re living in a house complete with living area, live television and sofas to relax on, your housemates quickly become a much bigger part of your lives and it’s difficult to imagine it any other way. You split the cost of rent and utilities, you share the experience of watching bad TV until the early hours of the morning and you try your hand at being gourmet chefs, with mixed results! Basically, you’re in this together, and learning how to muddle through things like standing orders and TV licenses is a step to adulthood that is much more enjoyable when experienced with a friend!

A huge part of the university experience is striking out and living independently, and finding your own off-campus property is just a small element of that. Here at Capital Properties, we’ve been helping students find their perfect properties since we were established in 2004. We know how to make the process as easy and as stress-free as possible, but if you need more incentive to choose us as your Cardiff lettings agent, how about we offer you a free lunch? If you sign for a property with us before the end of January 2015, we’ll give you a £10 lunch voucher to use at Svago, a local restaurant that serves authentic Italian food right in the heart of Cathays, one of Cardiff's student property hotspots. Simply get in touch with us today and we’ll have you moved in and settled into your new home in no time at all – and it’s a step that it’s definitely worth getting excited for, we promise!

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