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"It's not about the destination, it's about the journey. "

House Hunting In London – Nightmare

Where do I begin?

Finding a decent place to live in London is unbelievably difficult as you’re literally competing against others for that awesome room that you found on either Spare Room or GumTree. Am I right guys? I viewed a place in Edgware Rd only a week ago and 10 people were viewing that place on the same day as me. How much did that place cost? It cost £700 incl bills and was available as a double room. But the room was hardly worth paying that much as the area it is in is like a ghetto and when I first walked in entrance of the block of flats, I asked the agent showing me the place why there was water on the floor. He explained that it was, “rain water”, and I just looked at him with amazement that he could say such a thing with such integrity without even batting an eyelid. At that point I wanted to get out, as the place was obviously having damp issues. We then walked into the actual place where the rooms were, on the 4th floor, no elevators, just stairs, and the actual flat was not any better. The kitchen was as if they had turned a big closet into a kitchen, and made every other room a bedroom. The bloody washing machine was situated in a corridor, which you had to turn sideways in order to get the toilet. The place could only be described as horrid and disgusting.

The next place I went to was Kings Cross, where I viewed a room just outside of the British Library. The location was great, but the actual house left much to be desired. I get it, it’s central London and you’re going to have to pay a bit to get something nice. But this was place was £700 (not including bills) and the place had not been refurbished in years. I walked in and again, like the other place in Edgware Road, it smelled of damp and for some reason, god knows why, this seems to be a common theme in most of the places that I’ve viewed so far. I don’t get it. If people are paying that much on rent then surely the money they’re getting collectively from that would be enough to make the place look somewhat acceptable. However, in every instance the rooms and the house generally have been horrible. I would rather live all the way in Essex than live in these rooms (oh wait, I already do!).

Then that shining glimmer of hope and all that is good and holy came along with a place in Camden Town that came available. I was hopeful as I spoke to one of the housemates on the phone and it seemed like we would get on quite well if we lived with each other. He invited me to the house to check me out and for me to see the place to see if I wanted it. I said to him that I’d take and he said, “that’s great”. He then said that he’d hand over the keys the next day. I thought, “sorted” – I don’t have to look elsewhere anymore. I was wrong. So wrong. He had actually lined up two others to view the place. Apparently one of those two had begged for the room stating that she been in a hostel sleeping with 10 others and was almost crying in front of the aforementioned housemate. They gave her the place and at 2:30AM, he had sent me a text saying that the, “room was no longer available”, and apologised stating the girl was almost in tears. I was sort of furious, but at the same time felt sorry for the girl that begged for the room. That left me in a sticky situation. I then had to take two days off of work because of this to find a place and I had already told my then landlord that I was moving out on a certain date. He, of course, had found someone else to take the room I was in, so effectively I would have been homeless had it not been for my sister.

This entire weekend, I’ve been looking for a place to live. Oh wait, when I say entire, I mean just Sunday. I actually did Tough Mudder, a 12 mile obstacle course, said to be one of the hardest obstacle courses in the United Kingdom, on Saturday. That was a lot of fun. But when you have to move out the day before to a place that is ages away from London, you don’t have enough time to prepare mentally or physically. If I was still living in Angel then I would have likely gone the gym after work to do some jogging, but I didn’t have the time for that. Today, Sunday, I actually went to the local Tesco and used the WiFi and sat in Costa Coffee, as I feel guilty for staying in my sister’s house-share – even though everyone is cool about it in her house. And today I actually traveled to Camden Town, again, to view a place and to meet my potential flatmates. I actually got along with them really well and can imagine being their flatmates. They seemed so nice and laid back. The place was also awesome. Nice big lounge, kitchen and the double room looked fantastic. It was not 7 minutes on foot from Camden Town Underground Station, and also a walkable distance to Tottenham Court Road – where I work. I arrived there at around 9PM as the flatmates, Lucy and Fury, work late hours. It took me around an hour and a half from Highams Park to get there, but I’d absolutely love to live there. We spoke for around an hour and a half!

They do however have two other people that they’ve promised a viewing. However, I heard Lucy saying that they would like to give me the room when I stated that I wanted to live there. But Lilly stated that they had 2 others coming to view the place. Fair is fair! Hopefully I’ll get the place though. I think I did a pretty decent job considering we chatted for over an hour! I even got a follow-up on SpareRoom saying that the housemates liked me! 🙂  I really hope that a person doesn’t come along and starts begging to live there. I mean, I’m in a situation where I’m having to live in the same room as my sister… it’s not ideal and I don’t actually have my own ‘space’. With a full-time job and studying at university part-time, I’ve realised the importance of having your own personal space to make this all work mentally. I can’t wait to move out and hopefully I’ll be able to take that place! I think I’ve got a really good shot at getting this place as I genuinely got on really well with the guys living there! Fingers crossed. 🙂

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