We’ve been thinking about getting our own place for a while now. While we really lucked out with great flat mates and an alright room for our first flat share in London, you reach a point where there are more negative things about living with a bunch of people than there are positive.
There wasn’t a huge rush to move out (our lease wasn’t up until June) so we decided to take our time looking through one bedroom flats for one that fit all our criteria.
In early April, we had looked at lots of places online and decided to actually go and see a few of them. Out of the 7 flats we saw: one had the washer in the wardrobe of the bedroom and was above a loud pub, one had a bedroom where the bed touched 3 of the walls, I can’t even remember 4 of them, and the last one was pretty much perfect.
I’ll admit that I had made up my mind I was going to hate it before even going into the building (it had been a long day of seeing below average flats and I was tired) but as soon as we met our landlord-to-be and stepped foot into the flat, we were both sold.
However, a couple of things about our situation did make moving out a little more difficult.
1) A few months prior I decided I wanted to move some furniture around and give the room a spring clean. In the process of moving the wardrobe we discovered a rather large mould issue on the wall behind it. I’ll spare you the pictures but it was really bad. We spent an entire day scrubbing the walls as per instructions from Mr Google and managed to get most of it off. However, it was due to the exterior wall being, well, full of holes so it kept coming back.
2) The lease wasn’t up until June and even though there’s no break clause, the agent was happy to let us move out before then provided we were able to find someone to pay us back bond and a month’s rent (which was about £2000 total) to replace us on the lease.
As you can imagine, point 2 has the possibility of being a lot more difficult when you consider point 1.
We decided we couldn’t risk losing the new flat even if that meant paying double rent for a month so we made an offer (yep, you need to make an offer even if you aren’t buying the place) and it was accepted right away!
I put the ad up for getting someone to take over our room on a Monday, had 5 viewings on Wednesday, one of them confirmed they wanted the room that night (even with the wall issue!), we moved out on Saturday, and they moved in on Sunday (and paid us everything that day before even signing the lease)! It was crazy how fast and well everything worked out. The girl who moved in was absolutely lovely and made the whole process so easy – turns out she was in quite a rush to move (she had to be out of her place that same weekend) which definitely helped things.
So! After a long and tiring moving day (thanks to Jono and Cath for driving the van/helping with all the heavy lifting etc – we could not have done it without you) and many, many trips to Ikea, we are officially living on our own for the first time in our relationship!
The flat came unfurnished (besides the massive wardrobe in the bedroom) so we were looking at making a large deposit into Ikea’s bank account for things like a couch, bed, etc. Luckily, 2 people that Matt works with are in the process of getting rid of a bunch of furniture and we were able to get quite a few big ticket items for free. We were given a couch, bed frame, book shelf, coffee tables, kitchen appliances, and wine glasses for Africa. Without those things, we could’ve easily spent 4x more than we did to fit out the flat and we are so grateful for their generosity!
It’s not a very big flat but it’s perfect for just the two of us and already feels like home.