Here is the official way to rate your Newcastle student house
Obvs Jesmond gets top points
Are you moving into a house with your mates next year? Do you think you've got the best out there? Or maybe you've already admitted you rushed it and ended up with seven of you squeezing into a kitchen big enough for two.
We've compiled the ultimate checklist of what makes the perfect, student abode, covering all bases.
Location, Location, Location
Just in case we weren’t clear- LOCATION. One of, if not THE, most important factors as to how good a student house is, is its location. Do not be fooled by those bizarre landlords who leer and try to take you into Heaton in their minivan for a viewing – run. Run away from scary Heaton and lonely Sandyford and into the sunny, sociable arms of Jesmond.
If you are unlucky enough to have signed your soul away to a devil in Heaton, minus 10 points. Minus 5 for Sandyford, as you can at least access Osborne Road fairly quickly in a spontaneous day drinking situation.
The best place to be is the leafy, Range Rover embellished and Joules-clad suburb of Jesmond. West Jesmond is preferred, if possible (think Sunbury or Hazelwood Avenue) but central Jesmond has its perks too – Cavendish Road, Queens Road or even Manor House Road make the cut. Plus 10 points for anything left of Osborne Road, and plus 5 for the rest of Jesmond.
Basically, if you can see Blanc from a top floor window, you’re golden (plus 5 points for instant access to Blanc, minus 3 points if you would rather go to Osborne's). In addition, Jesmond boasts a multitude of supermarkets, so a house that is no more than a five minute walk from Tesco, Sainsbury’s (or even Waitrose, if you’re one of those) is worth two points, 5 bonus points if you can see one of them from your front door.
Obviously, a house close to the metro is important – 10 points for houses within a 10 minute walk (minus 15 points if you’re on the wrong side of the metro – you know which one I mean).
Finally, with regard to location, it may shock you to know that the residents of Jesmond are not solely students. Your beautiful student house gains 5 points if it does not have any real-life grown up next-door neighbours (but minus five for every noise complaint you have had this year).
These are serious aspects of the house which are surprisingly useful:
A bit of roof/makeshift balcony for summer chilling (plus 5). 5 bonus points awarded if it’s a full-blown roof terrace, 10 bonus points if it can hold more than 10 people.
Wheelie bins. If you live in a big house and you have suffered from this, you will understand – no Jesmond house seems to have enough (if any) wheelie bins. Plus 5 points for every wheelie bin you have, and minus 10 for every time a housemate had to run around the street in the middle of the night depositing rubbish into the other wheelie bins on the street.
A parking space. Preferably one that fits the Fiat 500/Polo/Fiesta belonging to that one poor sod who agreed to bring their car up this year and inevitably ended up giving lifts everywhere. Plus 5 points for the space, plus 10 if the car hasn’t been scratched/bumped/dented once in trying to manoeuvre into the driveway with months’ worth of Aldi shopping clogging up the back window.
Student houses must be able to weather a myriad of situations, so there are key features to consider:
A good living room/kitchen for parties. Plus 5 points if your table can convert to a beer pong table, but minus 5 if your kitchen has carpet (heathens).
When it comes to relaxing, however, carpet is a must – in the living room. 10 points are awarded to a house with this feature, or 5 points if you at least have a fluffy IKEA rug strewn somewhere. In fact, 1 bonus point for every single IKEA adornment your house contains- plastic plants, dart boards, stationery organisers, bedside lamps – you name it. If you went all out and bought actual flatpack furniture, I salute you.
5 bonus points awarded for every single string of fairy lights bestowed upon any part of your house. Forfeit those points if any one of your housemates has ever whined that fairy lights are only appropriate at Christmas time. Maybe reconsider living with them next year, too.
Finally, simply for matters of hygiene and sanity: plus 10 points if your house has a bathroom to person ratio of at least one bathroom for every three occupants. Plus an extra 5 points if it is one between two.
0 – 25 points:
You probably live in Heaton or Sandyford, right? If so, better luck next year. If not, take a trip to IKEA and bolster your points with a lava lamp or two.
A moderate score, for an average house supporting an average lifestyle. Perhaps your score was brought down by mistakenly thinking that living near Arlo's meant you lived in the fun part of Jesmond. Try again in September.
Congratulations! Your house is well equipped to withstand any student activity thrown at it. Now, throw on a puffer jacket, some Filas and a headband, you deserve a celebratory drink at Blanc.