Friday, 8 May 2015

how to | look for a house! (renting edition)

Dropped into my inbox a few weeks ago a sad little email that my house (which I rent) is being refurbished and that me and my housemates have to pack up and go.

Only being in this house since January, I had a mini panic with the thought of paying deposits, spending my evenings scrolling through houses and preparing myself to downsize. Luckily, the hunt for the new place i'll soon call home was short and (mostly) sweet, so I thought i'd share some tips and tricks on moving in London!

FYI.. this is for renting, not buying.. im not that grown up yet! 

(My new bedroom.. I wish! Thanks Pinterest!)

Don't Panic
Just remember that there are houses out there in your price range at actually quite a reasonable size. Just relax, keep calm and it will all work out.

Get Organised
Your life will become a series of phonecalls and emails to different companies about different houses, some you love and some you can't even remember about! Double booking a house viewing happens (trust me!) and trying to do all of these with other people that have different requirements can be hard.

Go old school and get excel out. Make a table, and add the house addresses, links, any other info (money or if they have a balcony!), when you've contacted the agents, the company and when you are doing a viewing. Basically fit as much info into those little boxes as possible and make it shareable if you are looking with other housemates (Google docs is good for this). This is a great tip as its easy to keep up to date and keep on track. Even spilting places up and having people in charge of certain area/houses helps a lot.

House Viewings
Ask yourself some questions - Do we all need to be at this viewing? (We found 3 of us seeing a different house on the same night helped to get lots seen and out the way) Is this 100% a house you could live in? Don't waste time with things you feel like you might like if they could go down in price or give you certain furniture etc. because its a waste of time when renting or see if it could just be a quick phonecall before you view the house.

Be sure to take lots of photos and here are some key questions to ask:
- What are the neighbours/is the area like?
- Roughly how much will bills be (if not included)?
- What furniture (if any) will be included?
& generally ask about extra charges: Deposits, Admin fees, Bank fees etc.

Im telling you now, and im sorry, but you are not going to get it all. You can't get the perfect kitchen with a backgarden and a huge room with an ensuite. Not unless you have bags of money and in that case, this post isnt for you. You can get lovely places, but ill guarantee that you will have to compromise on something.

For example, there maybe one small room in a 3 bedroom house, but the other areas in the house are nice. If rooms are a problem, you may have to look at dividing the rent in a non-equal spilt, with the biggest room paying more. Before you look at houses, figure out what you'd be willing to compromise on and make an agreement with others in the house.

Find a house is tricky, but when you find 'the one' its so exciting!
So get that excel spreadsheet open and chill those bubbles for when you get the acceptance phonecall!

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