Eamon and I recently decided to give in our notice and find a new place to live. I love our current flat, it has been the perfect starter flat for us in London. It is big enough for the two of us. It is close to everything we needed to access. Furthermore, it has a gorgeous spiral staircase that Eamon knew I would love when he was choosing a home for us.
Alas, we have bought many, more pairs of shoes. We have bought more appliances. Hence, we no longer fit into our cosy love nest, so it was time to fly the coop. Anyone who has looked for property to rent in the London market will tell you it is a tough nut to crack. So, here are a few things I have learnt from this process.
- Move fast – I am sure this goes without saying! You may view your dream apartment in the morning, but while you are deciding if you can afford it, someone else has snatched it up from you by the afternoon. You need to think quick, act on it and get something locked down. The market moves so fast and you need to move with it! This being said, don’t settle for the first flat that you view. You are not going to lose out! The great thing about a fast market is that something will always come available that is absolutely perfect for you!
- Know what you want – Make a list of everything you want in a new property so that you can refine exactly what you need. This will make it easier to navigate all of the properties available to you. Top things to determine would be your budget, which areas are best and which areas are a complete no-go. It is also good to decide what type of property you want, new build or old etc.
- Use a letting agent – Some people want to do the house hunting on their own to avoid fees but if you find a property on your own and it has a letting agent anyway. You can’t avoid those fees! Approach agents, get them to do the hard work for you. They will find you the best place for you, in less time and sometimes even pick you up to view these places. You only get charged a fee when they find you something, so why not make sure it all gets done correctly?
- Make friends with your letting agent – Be friendly, be kind and be patient. Looking for a new home may be stressful but being courteous to the letting agent will ensure they remember you. So, when they find that perfect property, you will be the first candidate they call. Be memorable for your good qualities and it will go a long way to finding you a decent home.
- Plan your transport- when you are going to view a place, it is quite handy to arrange a viewing after work. This helps you can determine what your travel route would be like at peak time. This will give you a general indication if the property is located in the right spot for you. It also helps if you see bus stops in the area, even better if there are night buses in the area so you know you have access to transport no matter what time.
- Save ahead of time – there are a lot of upfront costs when you are renting. Make sure you have a deposit, first months rent and enough for admin fees all saved up. This means that you don’t have the added financial stress when moving.
- Find a buddy – rent is incredibly expensive in London so if you can find someone to share with, this is an ideal way to save funds as long as you are happy with sharing 🙂