For first year students, I would strongly recommend living in halls of residence, and making friends on campus right from the start. The halls at Hope are very varied, but each have their pros and cons.
Angela and Austin halls are quite cramped, the facilities lacking, but you will get a great community feel when you get to know your hall mates. These halls are also cheaper, which is great if you are comfortable sharing a shower and tiny kitchen with 7 other girls/boys (it's a single sex hall).
The Harry Potter Halls are also single sex, and quite cheap, but even more cramped with 35 people on one corridor. These halls are great for comradery, but again, you don't get much personal space.
Newman, Teresa and Wesley Halls are much more spacious, giving you an ensuite room and a large kitchen to share with up to 5 flatmates. The facilities are much more comfortable, and you will soon learn to cook more than supernoodles (unlike the cooking facilities in the smaller halls kitchens), although meeting new people is a little more difficult here. Flats are quite separate, and each flat is very secure, so it is less likely for you to bump into people and make new friends.
For 2nd, 3rd, or 4th year students, Smithdown Road is the best place to live. This is a largely student populated area just 10 minutes away from Hope Childwall Campus, and has a range of takeaways, cafes, shops, and is very close to some beautiful parks. Terraced houses vary, but the area is in a good location between the university and the city, with great access to bus routes.