Okay, peeps. I need your help. I can’t make up my mind and the time is running out.
I’m trying to find housing in Groningen that will work for me. So far I’ve looked at a few options, had one massive fail (why don’t people post honest photos), and it’s finally come down to these three locations. I’ve been twisting them in my brain for DAYS and it’s down to the wire. One landlord is pushing me to make a decision. Thought I’d get some new perspective and ask you to throw your opinions in the mix.
Let’s do this!
My monthly budget is around 1,020 CAD (685 euro). This needs to pay for food, furnishings, and I’m hoping to have a chunk left over each month for extras and exploration. Here’s what I have, from cheapest to most expensive, all within my budget.
Housing Option #1 – 400 CAD per month
It’s not central, but it’s already furnished and comes with a crappy bicycle. It’s 3km from the city center – 40 minute walk, 10 minute bike ride. The room is EXTREMELY small and there is no shared living space, but there is a kitchen and washing machine and all utilities are included in the price. The closest grocery store is a 15 minute walk away.
Pros: Saving lots and lots of money for travel and fun stuff, don’t have to worry about finding a bed on arrival, comes with a bike, is very quiet and seems clean, super cute and safe neighborhood, near the science campus. Could take the bus.
Cons: Potentially claustrophobic, I have no idea whether riding a bike is something I can do physically (would it get easier with practice?), c0mparatively long distance from center and arts campus could prove detrimental to my stay in long run, no housemates to make friends with.
The landlord is pushing for an answer because he has other interested parties. I’m tempted to put down a payment because it’s a good, reliable, cheap option and I could possibly change my accommodations if I get there and hate the location.
Housing Option #2 – 483 CAD per month
Very central, only a ten minute walk to the arts campus. Shared house with three housemates. Doesn’t look extraordinarily clean, but doesn’t look gross either. Typical student housing standard. The house is right across from a gorgeous park, but is on a busy downtown street. The room is an average size, unfurnished, hideous potentially gross brown carpet. Price is all-inclusive. Haven’t done a virtual walk-through yet.
Pros: Super close to downtown, could walk to everything (actually a huge pro). Right around the corner from a cheap grocery store. Right next to a park. Housemates to interact with. Bigger room. Still saving enough money to potentially go do some things.
Cons: Unfurnished – would have to buy everything I need myself, which could add up quickly. Looks to be in a loud part of town. Potential to show up and have it be gross (but that’s true anywhere, I guess, I just hate the look of that brown carpet, ew). Neighborhood not necessarily the safest, but not scary. Could probably use the $80 for other things.
No real opinion either way on this one. I just don’t like that carpet. But if it’s just brown and not actually disgusting in person, I won’t mind.
Housing Option #3 – 520 CAD per month
Just as central as Option #2, but in a quiet neighborhood. Shared with three housemates, tiny kitchen, toilet, bathroom – they don’t look super fancy or nice, but they don’t look nasty either. It looks like four people living in a small space, but I’m used to that. The benefit to this place is its close location and the fact that the room looks really light and decently large and doable. It is not furnished. Price is all-inclusive.
Pros: Location, location, location. Pretty bedroom. Within walking distance of everything important. Housemates to befriend. Everything is in working order.
Cons: Could be grosser than the pictures make it look. Higher cost means less money for extras, trips, and nicer food. Still need to buy my own furnishings, which adds up as well.
So that’s it. I have no idea which to pick. I like being close because I’m more likely to go out and do things, also I worry about whether I can physically do a bike. However, my bigger priority is saving the money with which to go see things, travel on the weekends, and do more with my time than pay for rent and eat noodles. What would you do? Looking forward to your ideas!