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Image: Geograph

It’s everyone’s favourite time of year again. No, not Christmas, it’s time to frantically call every estate agent in town out of the fear of being homeless or being stuck in a damp hell-hole 40 minutes away from campus. Oh, the joy. Perhaps the most frustrating thing about house-hunting, aside from the paperwork, the fear of another flat taking the place you want before you get to view it, the viewings, and the estate agent fees, is the reminder from those outside of ‘the Exeter bubble’ that this whole process is ridiculous. To make yourselves feel better, let me take you on the treacherous journey that was my 2017 search for housing.

I was lulled into a false sense of security, thinking that finding a place for next year would be straightforward

For context, I am currently a second-year, and yet I am already having to think about third year, which is worrying enough as it is. Last year, I was admittedly far more organised and had secured my flat within two days of looking. This experience lulled me into a false sense of security, thinking that finding a place for next year would be just as straightforward. I was wrong, so very wrong. With one of my future housemates snowed under and sick, and the other out of the country, I was left to secure a property by myself. Refusing to wait until virtually every decent property was snapped up, I ran to an undisclosed Exeter-based estate agents (you know the one) to arrange as many viewings as I could physically attend.

In one morning I arranged seven viewings within two hours, with the three most promising ones being taken before I even got to the damn viewing. After viewing two disgustingly expensive (and also disgustingly presented) houses, I found one that ticked all the boxes, except for the fact that it’s £10 more per week than what I’m currently paying. Oh, and as someone who is annoyingly superstitious, a house that is number 13 and has a red door would ordinarily be a deal-breaker, but that didn’t even register to me in my intense state of desperation.

I’m still battling buyer’s remorse and googling good luck rituals in-between stressing over my assignments

But now that the ink is dry on my contract, surely I can sit back and relax knowing that I have secured a home for next year. Well, actually, I’m still battling buyer’s remorse and googling good luck rituals in-between stressing over my assignments, which is always fun. In all seriousness, it’s important not to get bogged down by house hunting as a student, because living in squalid conditions is part of the experience, right guys?

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