Folk Laws – to Move Back Home or not…

We spoke to final year students at Nottingham University, to find out how they were feeling about graduating, what were their hopes, expectations and concerns.
One of the topics they talked about most was their living situation – the ups and downs of moving back home, or renting.

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Moving Back Home

For most graduates, this will be the most likely option, at least for the short-term while they get sorted with work. But some were rather worried about the prospect!  How would it feel after all those years away?

‘I haven’t lived at home properly with my parents for 4 years. OMG, what’s it going to be like?
When I last lived at home I was 17/18.  I’ve grown up, but mum still sees me as 17. I’m not the person that left to go to uni.’

(Chloe, Postgrad – Marketing)

‘It will take some getting used to after being away. Having to consider your family as well, thinking about their schedule, helping to clear up, and the nagging, aaaaaggh!’

(Molly, Undergrad – Medicine)
washing WB

But everyone appreciates the upsides of moving back home…

‘It will be good to have the security of family around, when everything else in your life involves such huge change.’

            (Charlie, Undergrad – Geography)

‘I’ll live at home at least until I get a job, and probably for the first few years when I’m working.  It’s the best chance to save a bit of money to invest in somewhere long-term.’

            (Kiran, Postgrad – Maths)

Security Deposit - emptying piggy -wb

‘I’d like to have a house-share with friends, but I’ll stay at home until I’ve saved enough money.  Finding a job you really like is far more important than getting a house, I’d much rather have the job security.’

            (Chloe, Postgrad – Marketing)



Our response

Lotty, a recent graduate who now works for us, made a big change leaving her job in property, renting in London; she moved back home to pursue a different career path.
‘ “Millenials”… we don’t get paid as much as our parents did at our age, yet living costs are significantly higher … cool! Well no, it’s not cool AT ALL … it’s a relatively depressing reality that we have to come to terms with… but my message here is not all doom and gloom!

 I have found moving back home unexpectedly liberating.

It has allowed me to focus on myself and my career, slow down and take control.

Now I can dip in and out of my social life in London.

It helps to create an adult relationship with your parents, so they do understand that things have moved on since you were 17/18…’


Read Lotty’s full blog  The Reality of Moving Home

See Living Back in the Family Home



Some graduates won’t have the option of moving back home, and will have to rent straight away.

‘Unfortunately, job-wise there’s not much going on at home (village outside Sheffield), so I’ll have to move wherever I get a job.  But I’m not sure how I’m going to afford it.’

            (James, Undergrad – Mechanical Engineering)

‘I won’t be able to move back home.  If you’re renting, it puts even more pressure on finding a job you like, because you’ve got to keep paying rent, you can’t just quit your job.’

            (Jon, Undergrad – American Studies & History)


Most people are quite excited and looking forward to house-sharing some time in the future, but they’re under no illusion that the experience will resemble student days.  Their main concerns relate to the expense, and lack of knowledge and experience of commercial renting, which leaves them feeling rather vulnerable.


Costs of renting

‘While I’m at uni, my student loan covers my rent. But if I move back home, I won’t be able to justify renting, it will seem like a waste of money. I won’t earn enough to support myself, and don’t feel I can ask my parents.   So I’ll have to weigh up how much I want to live out with friends, versus how much money I want for a bit of a social life.’

            (Rav, Undergrad – Languages & Business) 

‘Thinking about renting is stressful. You know it’s going to be expensive, especially in the major cities.’

(Simi, Undergrad – Spanish & Business)Teal pig who pays what (white background) cropped




‘Moving somewhere new, it’s not as easy as when you’re at uni, where you’re all just together in one area. You don’t know the best places to live, especially around London, it’s so much bigger.  I really have no idea where to start looking, or how to go about finding housemates.’

            (Georgia, Undergrad – Management & Spanish)




‘Who to share with? Do you go for a house-share or just rent a room?
Everyone is at such different stages at this point.  Some friends are going travelling, some already have jobs and others are job-hunting. It’s such a big thing to commit to, but you’re not going to find lots of people who are ready to move in with you, in the same place, with similar salary levels …’

(Lara, Undergrad – English)

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‘At uni you know you’re just renting for a year, and you’re only there during term time. But this feels like a big commitment and rather overwhelming. It’s a bit scary having to take out a contract. You never know what’s going to happen. What if you don’t get on with your housemates? What if you lose your job?’

         (Charlie, Undergrad – Geography)



Avoid being ripped off

‘You want to avoid the stereotypical student landlords, who rip you off.  How do you know who are the good ones?’

            (Jon, Undergrad – American Studies & History)

‘You come out of uni and you’re suddenly an adult. But you just feel you don’t know much and you worry about being ripped off.  Not getting your deposit back at the end of the year. The first time we rented a student house, we went into it knowing absolutely nothing. We had to ask our parents about the contract. There’s not enough information.’

            (Issy, Postgrad – Management Psychology)

‘How long is a rental contract?  How long do you have to commit for? How do they work out utility bills, all the different charges?  I think they’re deliberately confusing. It’s hard to find out about these things. People just assume you know, now you’re an adult. I have no idea, no one has.’

            (Lara: Undergrad – English)

‘Aaaah the bills, we got ripped off so much. We were charged estimated amounts all the way through. We didn’t even have a meter key.’

            (Chloe, Postgrad – Marketing)

‘It would be good to know what you can get for your money, having an idea what other people are paying so you know you’re getting a fair deal.  And being able to compare the cost of living 5 miles further out, balancing that with the extra travel costs.’

            (Lizzie, Postgrad – Management Psychology)



Our response

Finding the right place to live is important, because it will probably be home for the foreseeable future, and will also be one of your biggest expenses.  If you’re new to commercial renting, you might not know where to start or what to expect.
Hello Grads has a complete guide to hassle-free housing, starting with an introduction to the rental process.  We cover finding housemates and searching for property, how to check the accommodation suits your needs, precautions to avoid scams and how to choose a genuine, decent landlord/agency.
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We explain the process of reaching an agreement and signing a contract (including things you should know about the security deposit and inventory).  We talk about the costs to take into account when you’re renting, and where to get help if you need it.
There’s plenty of info, useful links and some handy printable checklists.  So take a peek.  And enjoy the journey ahead!
Thank you Nottingham students! Charlie, Chloe, Georgia, Issy, James, Jon, Kiran, Lara, Lizzie, Molly, Rav & Simi.  We’ll be covering more topics soon – social life, student debt, getting a job and more…