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My Student Home: a look inside private rented accommodation in Norwich Lanes

Welcome to My Student Home, our blog series on renting private accommodation while studying in Norwich, written by students for students. This blog series aims to highlight the ease and affordability of living in Norwich, which has been rated the tenth most affordable city in the UK for students. In this blog post, we meet twin third year students Ethan and Molly Brown, who moved to Norwich from Clacton-on-Sea, Essex. Here, they shows us around their terraced house situated in the centre of Norwich, 5 minutes away from campus.

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What is your name and what course are you on?

My name is Ethan Brown and I studied BA (Hons) Graphic Design, and my name is Molly Brown and I studied BA (Hons) Textile Design.

Where did you live during your first year at NUA?

We were unable to get a place in All Saints Green, but it actually worked out better than we could have hoped for.

Four members of the house have lived in this property for the full three years. Because of this it’s been more convenient as it meant we didn’t have to move, and had a place to call ‘home’ for our entire stay.  

How much is your rent and what do you get for that cost?

We’re currently living in a five-bedroom house and each pay £470 a month, including all bills.

The property has one shared bathroom between four of us, one ensuite, one shared downstairs toilet, a massive kitchen/lounge with a dishwasher, washer-dryer plus a communal garden with a bike shed.

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How many people do you live with?

The house is shared between five students.

How did you find your house/housemates?

Ethan: After not getting into halls, we had a slight panic as to what to do for housing. However, after joining a bunch of NUA groups on Facebook clearly there were others in the same situation. 

We started looking at all the local housing sites (the NUA list of trusted landlords was really helpful with this) and stumbled across this property by letting agent Prolet.

We found few others on a group chat who were also posting pictures of the same house, so we began our own chat to organise things further.

Molly: One of our housemates decided to move out in year three, so we advertised on Facebook for a new member to join our home. Luckily, we found someone interested almost immediately.

My Student Home: a look at twins Ethan and Molly Brown's terraced home in the city centre. Ethan's room is painted white, and has storage space, a double bed and desk space. There are three floor to ceiling windows with blinds, making the room light and airy. There are pieces of graphic design work around Ethan's desk area.

How far away from campus do you live? 

We are extremely lucky to live less than 5 minutes away from NUA so it’s just a small walk to uni each day. 

What’s the area like?

Ethan: We absolutely LOVE the area that we live in! We are just a short walk to pretty much anywhere in the city – it couldn’t be better.

We live in a crafty part of Norwich with some really cool coffee, record, and arty shops nearby.

Molly: I couldn’t imagine a more convenient and beautiful part of the city to call home. Tesco is two minutes away, Elm filled my plant obsession and was just up the road!

Being so close to uni allows me to sleep in till the very last minute which was amazing!

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What’s your favourite spot near your house?

Ethan: Difficult question, there are so many Norwich gems around our house, from the renowned Grosvenor’s Fish and Chip shop to Elm – but for me it’s got to be Strangers Coffee Shop for that much-needed caffeine fix! 

Molly: My favourite spot has to be the Plantation Gardens which is just a 10-minute walk. It helped having a place to escape and relax when uni deadlines were around the corner and for me studying Textile Design it became the perfect place to fuel my inspiration.

How have you made your house homely?

Molly: Over the years I’ve added little bits of ‘me’ to my room and the shared areas; from plants to decorative items like cushions and photos of us all. 

My favourite part of my room is my ‘art studio’ which I’ve added to and adapted throughout my study. It became the perfect place for me to do my work and keep focused.

Ethan: We’ve been really lucky to have lived in this house for three years, so over time it has become more homely.

I think we’re all going to be sad leaving, but having ‘family’ games nights and movie nights help to really make the place feel like home.

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