Taking up a PG or a hostel for the first time is both amazing and scary. Some people are in love with the idea of living independently, while some come to a PG because of college or work and it’s only later that they start loving it. Whatever the case may be, it’s always important to have a good, well-facilitated PG if you want your PG days to be a good experience.
So how do you actually go about finding a decent place for yourself to live in? You check online or ask some contacts, pick up a few options, visit the flats and check them for facilities and looks (or whatever your preference is), strike a deal, pay the rent and the humongous deposit amount, and shift in. Easy peasy!
Well, picking up the right PG is a very tricky task. You could visit once and think everything is fine, but once you shift, you start experiencing all the problems. You need to be very careful and pay attention to all the big and small details before moving into a PG. It’s about comfort, after all. It’s true that rented and shared accommodation could never feel like home, but now that you have to live in one, why not suit yourself in the best way you can?
Here’s a list of things to check before taking a PG. I noted these down when I was in one and was facing all the problems.
First thing, check the drinking water facilities- whether the PG has an RO or uses water from packaged bottles. If it uses direct tap water, it’s a no right away! Otherwise, check the RO machine if it functions properly or if the bottles have clean water.
Then, check the availability of water for other purposes. Check the medium of water supply- whether they have 24*7 access to water/submersible, or whether they depend on the municipality’s water supply that is available just 2 times a day for a limited time. Check that the water is not salty, smelly or unclean.
Trust me, water is one thing you can’t compromise with. I lost half my hair washing them with salty tap water.
You can’t live without electricity- you just can’t. I know people who start panicking (not sulking, actually getting anxious) when the power supply is cut off due to any reason- I am one of them! And the thing is that every time power goes off, I start worrying about all the horrible things that could happen, like my phone running out of battery or having no access to water because I couldn’t turn on the motor.
Before you move into a PG, get an idea on how often the power goes off in the area, how well the invertor works, and how many units of power the devices (especially AC or cooler) consume (as that would directly impact the bill).
Check the wiring- make sure there are no loose ends or any chance to get hit by current or have short-circuits.
#3 Food & Kitchen
- Check the taste of the food. See whether it’s too spicy, oily or sugary. Make sure the curry is not watery and so on.
- Check the menu. Make sure they provide nutritious food.
- The raw items they use- whether the products are branded or loose, their quality
- Check the containers and shelves where they store the groceries and veggies. Usually, there’s a lot of unclean places involved.
- Check how hygienically they cook. In my old PG, they use to prepare the dough on the slab itself.
- Check the dishwashing area to see if it’s kept clean
- Check the facility and resources available for cooking, like stove, utensils, grinder, etc.
- If you’re a non-vegetarian, ask whether they provide/allow non-vegetarian food in the PG.
Well, when I first took a PG, I was lucky that it was in a beautiful society. I had a park right in front of the house, and that park became an essential part of my lifestyle. My room had a balcony. The neighbours were all decent, though it wasn’t easy to spot people every day. There was greenery in the society.
It was a gated society, so it was safer than the rest of the places. But there was one disadvantage involved- the gates of the society closed at 11 pm, so if I ever had to come late, I could only come in through the main gate, which was kilometres away. I had to walk outside the gate sometimes as cabs would arrive there instead of coming inside
#5 Shops/facilities- banks, gym, ATM
Now, coming to the most basic requirements and their availability, it is very important to have shops nearby. I was unlucky I had to walk a long way for the basic grocery items, and take an auto for anything more than that. When you move in to a PG, make sure you have all the amenities nearby, at least the availability of daily necessities like milk, soap, etc.
Unless you have your own vehicle, not having transport connectivity at your doorstep would be an everyday torture. Look for a place that has availability of shared autos, e-rickshaws, etc.
#7 Space, infra, facilities, furnishing, Wi-Fi, washing machine, etc.
Now coming to the basic features of the PG- the infrastructure and the facilities provided. These are the features which you can choose or compromise with according to your preference and budget- the look and space of the room, the furniture provided or available for use, appliances like washing machine, TV, geyser, fridge etc.
Make sure the PG provides good Wi-Fi because you would most certainly need it.
Make a list of things that you would like to be provided by the PG beforehand- mattress, pillow, bed sheet, table chair, etc- and when you visit the PG, check if you will be getting all those.
So, here’s your checklist. You’re now all set to go PG hunting!