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    I've applied to the University of Reading for the MSc Real Estate programme for the autmn term. If accepted, I would relocate my family from the US (wife, 8 yr old, 6 yr old and family dog). We're excited but need some guidance with regards to the local housing market. Unfortunately, the University has limited accommodations for students with famalies and they are all reserved. Therefore, I'm looking for feedback on the most approproate neighborhood to let an apartment or house that is nice, safe, access to public transportation and parks for the kids and dog. We'll likely only be in Reading for 12-14 months and want to make the most it.
    Kind Regards.

    Jamelle
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    Have you checked the university accommodation website for housing? Sometimes universities have houses/rooms to stay in for a family as they appreciate that some postgraduate applicants have dependents.
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    Hi Jamelle,

    I am going to Reading for graduate school starting this fall as well. My fiance and I are relocating from NYC and are having a hard time figuring out how to rent an apt 3000 miles away! Have you found any good agencies?

    Thanks,
    Candace
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    Hi Jamelle and Candace

    we'll be moving internationally, too. Not from the US, within Europe.

    I wondered if the University offered help to find an apartment and advises you on making a good choice? I mean, I've never rented a place in the UK. What do you have to look out for? Bills covered: yes/no, council tax, agency fees, what if you have a pipe rupture, who pays what, and so on.

    We plan on going first, finding a place and then move our stuff. But I assume, that's a bit harder if you have to fly across the Atlantic.

    What are your plans?

    In any case, good luck in finding a nice place.
    Noan
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    (Original post by Kandi191)
    Hi Jamelle,

    I am going to Reading for graduate school starting this fall as well. My fiance and I are relocating from NYC and are having a hard time figuring out how to rent an apt 3000 miles away! Have you found any good agencies?

    Thanks,
    Candace
    Candace,

    Congrates on your acceptance to UofR. Please let me know your programme of study. I'll be going through the MSc Real Estate at Henley School of Business. My wife and I were just in Reading a few weeks ago as part of a scouting trip so that we could make our final decision on which graduate programme to attend. I found it to be a really nice 'city'. Although a tiny spec. compared to NYC. We found the people to be friendly, plenty of public transportation, lots of pedestrian walkers and bikers, etc... There is a nice downtown area (Broad) that is along a canal with shops and restaurants and movie complex, etc... Looks like a fun place to hang on a Saturday night. UofR is a little outside of the Central Business District and feels a little remote and suburban. Certainly a lot of green space and has a campus feel, similar to a traditional American Uni. Think Rutgers or Penn State, etc....Fields, school buildings and dorms sprinkled about.

    While in Reading we spent a great deal of time looking at the residential real estate market. Our requirements are unique, since we have children and a dog. I did see the Postgraduate Student Housing. Advantages = inexpensive (compared to private accomodations), really close to campus (like literaly two blocks from the campus). Disadvantages = Some of the buildings and facilities looked tired and dated and dorm-like. Space. They are tiny. I'm ok with that, but I must warn you. We looked at one, you could sit on the toilet, wash your hands at the same time. Bottom line, I assume your programme is 12 months. If budget is a real issue, you can't go wrong with the Uni sponsored housing. You can do anything for 12 months. But, if you are interested in more space, you'll have to go the private route.

    We registered with many of the local real estate agencieis. Romans, Parkers, Davis Tate, etc... In the UK, there is no such thing as a buyer's agent for rental. The letting agents specifically work for the landlord, so a lot of the searching is going to be left up to you. I would suggest looking at http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property/Reading.html. You will be able to enter your information and see the properties that are available which meet your criteria. We were told that most of the properties available for the September term, won't really be listed on this website until June or July. All the estate agents post their listings on The Right Move. It's like their version of MLS.

    It you let me know your property requirements, I think I know enough about the neighborhoods to steer you in the right direction. Let me know if you need to be near the Uni. or if you need a garden/yard, etc....

    I have found that Heather McKeever has been very helpful on all fronts. She is the International Student Advisors.

    Heather McKeever (Mrs)
    Regional Manager - the Americas
    Reading International Office
    University of Reading

    Blandford Lodge | Whiteknights|P O Box 217 | Reading RG6 6AH | United Kingdom
    Tel: +44 118 378 8749 | Fax: +44 118 975 0046
    Skype: heather.mckeever | E-mail: [email protected]
    Web: www.reading.ac.uk/international

    Hit me back with some more information and questions. Lets try to help each other out. I don't know about you, but my head is spinning with all the decisions and action items in order to attend in Sept.

    Best of luck and I hope to hear from you soon.

    Allen Holloway
    (Jamelle is my nickname - don't ask)
    (also please forgive spelling.... I can't get the spell check to work ???)
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    Hi Allen,

    Thanks for the thoughtful reply! We visited the UK last year but at the time I was only looking at Uni's in London since there is a 75% chance that is where my partner will be working. So we never got to visit Reading. I have been looking over Rightmove for the last few weeks and it has been invaluable as far as seeing whats available.

    We are def. looking to be in a "downtown" feel, close to Broad st. or in that area I am assuming. We live in the East Village and so everything is open 24/7 with lots of stuff just across the street. Its going to be a huge change for me to live in a small town, but my fiance is from NJ so she is used to it. We are also planning on me potentially having to commute from London starting in the Spring so for us "everything" is up in the air it seems. We are looking for a nice'ish modern studio, hopefully ~400sft which is what we have now.

    I am doing an MARes in Archaeology and plan on continuing onto the PhD program. Where are you from?
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    Candace,

    We live in Charlotte, NC now.... so Reading feels like a big city to us.

    Commuting from London. Its possible, but could be a big pain. Train, motor coach or car..... will just add time to your day. But, it can be done.
    As for a modern flat, I would suggest you look around Erleigh Road (between Uni and downtown district), near Royal Berkshire Hospital (East Reading), area along the London Road between the London Rd, Kings and Wokingham intersection to Southhampton. You might also like Caversham accross the river. The residential areas directly adjacent to the university feel suburban.

    Best of luck. Keep in touch.

    Jamelle
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    Hi,

    Thanks for the info and its glad to know that I have been looking in the right area. If I do end up commuting from London it would be on the train which is about 700$ a month yikes! Luckily, I feel like coming from NYC we are used to paying ridiculous amounts of money for travel and housing, the cost from Reading to London is the same $$ and time as when my partners dad traveled when he worked in NYC but lived in NJ, so around here I guess we are used to it.

    We are pondering just getting a room somewhere or even a hotel for a few weeks just to get settled and see where we want to live.
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    Candace,

    I'm not an international student but I do understand your predicament.

    In my opinion I think it would be better for you and your fiance to rent privately. It'll give you far more options and space.

    I wouldn't worry too much about the change from moving to a big city to a small town when you have London so close. If you miss the buzz of city life it's a simple train journey away, and London is awesome; full of night life and things to do.

    Staying somewhere temporarily for a couple of weeks so that you can scout out the area a bit more is not a bad idea at all.

    Good luck.
 
 
 
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