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EMPTY NEST SUPPORT THREAD - PART 4

(496 Posts)
madeinkent Thu 29-Jan-15 13:15:04

DD and her friends secured their house yesterday. There are 5 of them, and a new house came on, and they dashed over to see it, and then straight on to the Letting Agents to confirm they wanted to take it. As they were filling out the forms another group came in wanting the same property, and both groups' details were sent to the Landlord who confirmed they'd let it to DD and her friends. Small matter of immediate deposit of £430 plus agent's fee of £180 (per person). She's given our names and details as guarantors, and says it will just be for her room, not for the whole house! Presume we'll get something through the post soon and will need to check it carefully. She's in Catered Halls this year, which she has really been enjoying, but this should be much cheaper even though it still seems quite expensive.

That sounds about right for what DS was doing in the summer last year, he left it until late and then just slotted in with whoever, and it has worked very well for their household. I wasn't surprised they asked him for a retainer, just that he had to do it so early. The whole thing has been interesting to watch.

Isthiscorrect Thu 29-Jan-15 13:41:17

Ds hasn't even started looking and he says nor have his friends! Most of my friends Ds/dd have already been out looking and in some cases already guaranteed. I'm not sure if it is because there is more student accommodation in London? No idea if that's the case but he doesn't seem bothered. wanders off biting finger nails

SecretSquirrels Thu 29-Jan-15 13:48:25

Brand new thread smile.
That sounds familiar.
DS went in with a mixed group of six, one of the girls is a close friend and he was content to sit back while they did everything. The house they picked was the same price as competitors but larger. They had to pay £75 each to reserve it and then £370 each deposit. In December. Unbelievable.

Delilahfandango Thu 29-Jan-15 19:33:12

Ooh new thread ! I've name changed - was medge68. DD paid a retainer before Christmas as well. I think she has now paid her deposit and outrageous agency fees as well! If I win the lottery I'm going to buy houses to let to students at a reasonable rate! I can't believe how much money and how many hoops have to be jumped through to secure accommodation!! I've only just got over doing it all for September and all of sudden it's had to be done again!!

Needmoresleep Fri 30-Jan-15 08:25:09

Isthis, I wonder whether the London property market is different as students are so spread out.

DS has not done anything, apart from perhaps going to a talk at college. He is pinning his hopes on taking over a room in a flat currently shared by second and third years. He is lucky to have a fall back of his room at home, and assume that this lies behind his lack of urgency.

His lack of interest may also stem from the fact that I am a landlord so from quite an early age he has been roped in to help clear properties and gardens. Indeed the primary school was located next to a van hire place convenient for after school trips to IKEA to pick up furniture.

I dont know much about specific student let property, but am aware that rents rise significantly in August/September as new graduates come to London to start work. (I had a three way bidding war on one property last autumn, as graduates realised that long-term sofa surfing was not conducive to impressing in your new, and highy paid, banking job. "Mummy" came to pick up the keys and was clearly appalled at the amount they were paying and was altogether sniffy about the house. She had no idea.) So sorting things out early would seem sensible.

DS has already suggested one potential issue which is that many of the overseas students within his friendship group will have huge budgets. (I let to some students who are paying well in excess of £1,000 a month plus bills to live in quite a prestigeous and secure block, and hear that this is not unusual. Apparently students have overtaken bankers as the dominant group of prospective tenants in Mayfair.) Normally this is not a problem as he seems to lack a shopping gene and really has never spent very much. However this, plus the fact that London does not have a defined student area, means that he cannot work out what the benchmark for rent is. We are suggesting that he uses his current hall fees as a maximum. These are expensive but he will probably need to pay this to find something that is better than living at home.

Littleham Fri 30-Jan-15 15:28:44

The London property scene sounds a bit scary. Just as well he has a back up option of home. You might end up with about 20 students moving in!

My daughter has viewings arranged now - hurrah!

Even more hurrahs, as she got her exam / essay marks back for the first term and all her marks are high. Heaving a big sigh of relief that she is coping with the transition.

eatyourveg Fri 30-Jan-15 20:19:03

ds1 is in London and the rents can vary hugely depending where you want to be. Around his uni, rooms in houses are roughly £120pw but its a grotty area - he was living a bit further away in a really nice area and paying 131 but it went up to 150 which was unsustainable so he's come home and is commuting for the time being.

cricketballs Sat 31-Jan-15 00:13:28

DS and his friends found a house in November - had to pay £50 retainer, £170 for 1/2 the deposit end of December and the remaining £170 today.

How they honestly expect anyone to have that amount of money spare at this time of year is astonishing; luckily DH gets a bonus at Xmas and never takes all his holidays therefore we get a bumper wage end of January or else there was no way we could have supported DS with this

Needmoresleep Sat 31-Jan-15 09:05:52

I have suggested to DS that one solution would be for him to find someone to rent his bedroom at home and use that to pay for his own accomodation...

Isthiscorrect Sat 31-Jan-15 12:24:21

Good move there NeedMore. How did DS take it? We don't have the luxury of a London home or even a UK home. We certainly don't have a huge budget like other overseas students. DS seems to think the unis have 2/3 year accommodation and that all will be well. I'm not entirely convinced but yes we have agreed to the same amount as the cost of halls (at least in the minds of DH and myself). Although we haven't thought about if that would include bills or not. Tbh we have no idea of the cost. Oh dear, that doesn't make us very smart does it?

Littleham Sat 31-Jan-15 12:46:15

I'm getting the impression that the second year accommodation is more expensive than first year halls.

Delilahfandango Sat 31-Jan-15 13:35:03

DD didn't get a place in halls tho year, so at least it's not such a shock!

Needmoresleep Sat 31-Jan-15 14:30:09

Isthis I dont think DS took it very seriously. Both DC teased me suggesting I was looking fo a substitute DS who could sit in the bedroom playing computer games and occassionally raiding the fridge.

There does seem to be a bit of a pattern, as eatyourveg suggests, of DC drifting towards living at home simply because it is the most comfortable option. London based students with French or Italian backgrounds seem to think it normal to stay at home, and in my day most Jewish students seemed to do the same. Perhaps its only the English who have this need to get away.

There is a lot of private student accomodation being built near us. I assume with the huge demand for private rental accomodation in London, and the risk that shared flats will be grotty and distant, there is an attraction in simply paying the extra and staying in hall, albeit a hall attracting students from a range of different colleges.

eatyourveg Sat 31-Jan-15 16:17:43

The private halls in London are ridiculous prices - you can pay up to £200pw Am so glad ds3 is considering going north

Kez100 Sat 31-Jan-15 17:03:13

DD is lucky getting in with her mate whose Dad has bought a house. No deposit and no agency. We only pay from September because they are using the house themselves before then and doing it up. Plus she likes those joining the house so that's the main thing.

Needmoresleep Sat 31-Jan-15 18:14:19

Kez. In London? Then she is very lucky. Especially if it is near her college.

Eatyour, I dont disagree. However I can understand if, say, you are talking about £150 + bills + fares + 52 weeks + the faff, finding the place and flatmates and commuting time, that £200 for a room in private halls is simpler. Certainly for the parents of overseas students with additonal concerns about safety etc in a country they don't know very well.

Its difficult. It would be nice to see DS be independent and find somewhere with friends, and learn something of the realities of life. Yet suspect he might end up coming to the same conclusion that your DS has. Given he does not seem to have done much it may well be that decisions are made for him.

Doilooklikeatourist Sat 31-Jan-15 18:54:11

DS is in London , but happily there is a huge student village attached to his Uni and he will be able to stay on campus next year
He is hoping to share a 4 bed 2 bath flat with 3 friends

DD will be away next year too , she wants to do Performing Arts and has auditioned twice [ one more to go ] and has been offered a conditional place in Bedford, miles away from us , again .
But we live in Wales and they both want spread their wings

Theres a meeting in school next week about student finance , I will make the effort and attend !!!

Kez100 Sat 31-Jan-15 19:49:27

No, not London! South of England. Sorry. She will be paying £375 for a big room inc of bills.

mumeeee Sat 31-Jan-15 22:49:09

To all those worrying don't there is actually still plenty of time. DD2 didn't find a house until the end of the April of her 1st year and then her group were fortunate to find a house just behind the campus. They stayed in that house until the end of uni. DD3 and her friends were very disorganised last year she in the end decided to apply to stay in halls she did that in May which was as soon as she was allowed and she got a place.

mumeeee Sun 01-Feb-15 08:03:22

At DD3's uni there are a certain number of halls kept for 2nd and 3rd years. The. rent is exactly the same as in the 1st year and of course there are no bills to pay which includes internet. In her halls which I think is the same for most halls she gets free internet.

Notsoskinnyminny Sun 01-Feb-15 11:41:11

DDs another one who stayed in her private first year halls. She did go and view a fantastic pub conversion which was sold to them as being cheaper than halls with the landlord forgetting to mention it was a 52 week lease angry They'd all paid a £1 deposit to reserve a flat in their halls but 2 had, unknowingly, signed contracts so they agreed to stay together which saved the bank of mum over £1k.

Next year she'll be in Japan, not sure where as she can't make a formal application until the January exam results are released, but she's already put her name down to return to the same halls for 16/17 and reserved a flat with a couple of girls off her course (she's already living with one of them) and another flatmate and 2 of his friends who are also on a 4 yr course.

Although she's not a party animal she's not impressed with the 11pm curfew at many Japanese halls and some turn the internet off between certain hours so the students sleep smile and if you think british halls are small ... I'm glad I won't be there when she tries to squash everything in grin

madeinkent Sun 01-Feb-15 14:25:47

DS is paying only £120 a week for his current room in a very nice house, his halls last year (Cambridge) cost £166pw so it sounds a lot like the London ones. As he wasn't able to live on what he had left from his student grant, we had to supplement him of course. I worry because the private rentals for non-students are actually more in Cambridge and I can see him wanting to stay there. We certainly can't afford to keep on paying rent for him, and I can't see him earning enough money from ANYTHING much with a music degree! So I thing he will almost certainly be coming home. I wanted to at least let him try to follow his dream, as my parents wouldn't let me.

We took him back yesterday, I do so miss him. It's much better when he only comes back for the odd weekend, we don't get back into our old ways when the visits are short. Five weeks was way too long and he is way too helpful. I need him to acquire some nasty habits so I don't miss him.

SecretSquirrels Sun 01-Feb-15 17:19:10

madeinkent What does your DS hope to do with his music degree ideally?
I found we all slipped back into the old family rhythm when DS was home for four weeks (although he has now been back for a month). I found it harder when he went back this time than I did the first time.

3rd and 4th years can apply for halls at his uni and he says intends to do that. He has yet to taste life off campus but he's not looking forward to the travelling back and forth.

madeinkent Sun 01-Feb-15 21:29:46

He wants to compose, for gaming. Ideally he would like to compose for film, but fat chance. He has sold the odd piece already - and had one stolen before he knew about copyrights! However a few hundred here and there is not going to keep body and soul together. Often games are made, then the backers back down. He went back yesterday, but already by this evening he had written a short piece to celebrate being back for another semester.

https://soundcloud.com/mooglemusic/it-begins-again

I did think it should sound a bit more mournful, as if he were missing his Mum... hmm grin

SecretSquirrels Mon 02-Feb-15 09:47:26

Wow, very atmospheric. I wish him success.
And I sure he misses his mum. grin

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