To say I was nervous about moving to London is a bit of an understatement. Whilst I was obviously super excited about living in a city that I love being a tourist in, the London rental market is packed full of horror stories. From people ending up in garages to people offering women accommodation in exchange for sexual favours, the crazy un-affordability of the city, in addition to its sheer size was a tad overwhelming.
Unlike with Birmingham where, having spent three years in the city studying, I roughly knew which areas which where with London I had nooo idea. One website that was super helpful was Find Properly. This meant I could pop in where I was working and how long I was happy to commute for and the site pulls up properties within that area which meant I could pick out places that came up many times. I then went down to London and did a whistle-stop tour of the areas that came up frequently in order to pick places that I would feel happy to live in (and fell in love with Greenwich, which is way outside my price range, of course).
I also had to wave goodbye to any hope I had of living by myself, like I had in Birmingham, at least as I didn’t want to be sleeping next door to my oven. This meant I ended up on Spare Room, potentially the most overwhelming property site ever; though it did chill me out about being able to find somewhere as there are quite literally thousands of places on there. I would just advise against putting your mobile number on there unless you enjoy pushy texts from landlords.
So, a few costly visits to London later featuring one dreamy house heartbreak (related, letting agency fees are ridiculous), I found a flat/house. It overlooks a park and you can see Canary Wharf out my window and I share with two really lovely and normal (and seriously inspiring girls; one moved to London alone at 19, the other came across from France by herself…mad) girls. I’m still making tweaks to my room, and might actually do a room tour style post once I’m all done, but the past couple of weeks here have been really nice. Here’s to many more.