Flatshare Hunting

February 29, 2008 – 11:14 am

At the end of March my housemates and I will all be abandoning the property that has been home for the past couple of years. We are also basically heading our seperate ways which is a shame but I’m confident we will still keep in close contact. Since most of our arrangements for doing things recently have been almost exclusively email/facebook based I can’t imagine why that wouldn’t continue. Anyway I started this post to talk about my moving possibilities so without further ado…

After some frantic searching for a flatshare to move into, I’m pretty confident that I’m not going to be homeless at the end of March. Of the 3 places I have seen, one was a little more expensive than I really wanted, especially since it was still being done up. As converted office space it had a lot of room, the bedrooms and bathrooms were clustered together near the entrance but it had a massive kitchen/living area. Imagine a large open plan office and you get an idea of the space, the kitchen was along the back wall with a couple of chairs a TV and some other furniture placed around the living area. I could imagine moving various furniture I have in the flat bean bags and shelves full of DVD’s would probably help make the area feel more homely. The guy who had placed the ad was one of the people I would be sharing with and as he showed me around he seemed perfectly likeable so I’m sure we would get on, I didn’t get the opportunity to meet the girl who I would be sharing with though. The bathroom wasn’t very big but perfectly adequate and with only 3 people sharing shouldn’t be much trouble. The room I’d move into would be furnished, this is something I am accepting of most flatshares which is a bit of a shame since I have loads of furniture myself. It came with a double bed and a whole wall was taken up with included wardrobe space, apart from that though the room wasn’t really expansive and would get cluttered with my computer and TV set up although I may have been able to arrange to move my computer into the living area. The location is ideal slightly closer to work than I currently am and within easy walking distance to all the shops and supermarket. It is available this weekend which is a really early for me but the guy placing the ad seemed to think mid month move in might be possible. Since it was the first place I saw I wanted to check out a few other properties to make sure I wasn’t just getting carried away.

Second place was curiously close to Wandsworth Southside but in an area I hadn’t explored, close to a large park and one street away from an underground station. It was also a bargain, not much more than I am paying at the moment (I have accepted I won’t get any cheaper than I’m currently paying). Better yet the move in date is mid March which would stop me stressing early and give me plenty of moving leeway. The house had a nice sized living room leading through to a normal sized kitchen and I think there was a small garden too although that isn’t one of my must have requirements. Much more homely feel than the office property but not much space to add any more furniture. This ad had caught my eye since it would be sharing with ‘three lovely ladies’ and unlike most hadn’t specified female flatmate preferred, I only briefly met one of the ladies since the girl showing me round was the one who would be moving out. Heading upstairs to the room I was impressed with the space, a bed fit nicely in the corner and there was space in the window area that would suit for my television and various games. One side of the room had a chest of drawers with a cupboard built into the wall above it and there was another wardrobe built into the wall next to this. The bathroom was a little small and desperately needed the ceiling repainted, my guide assured me this was being done by the landlady soon but I wasn’t that concerned, if I got the place I’d probably offer to paint it myself. Despite only being the second place I had seen I was sure to register my interest but wanted to make sure the ‘three lovely ladies’ wouldn’t mind sharing with a lovely young man. If they aren’t against the idea I’ll look forward to meeting them all hopefully soon and arrange a deposit. In the meantime I’m still checking out places.

Moving on to a third place with another nice cheap price this time located further from work but still in the reach of a couple of buses in Tooting Broadway. The ad had the place listed for move in this weekend but also said it had en suite so I was keen to see the place. Literally 2 minutes from the Northern line station would be very handy for getting into town and visiting one of my friends who lives in Clapham and I have seen precious little of since moving to London. A large detached house with a small entrance hall and I was greeted by the friendly face of the girl who would be moving out. Down a short hallway into a large open plan living room / kitchen which reminds me a little of the setup in my old university halls just with leather furniture. There was a small oustide area which I was shown but it just had a car belonging to one of the housemates parked in it and not much more space. There was another bedroom on the ground floor in the hallway and some storage space under the stairs. Heading upstairs there was another room above the bedroom downstairs and then I got to see the room available. She mentioned there was another bedroom down the upstairs hallway and a bathroom that two of the housemates shared. The room available had a double bed tucked into the corner with a standing wardrobe, desk and chest of drawers in front of the window. Unfortunately these seemed to take up basically all of the floorspace. The desk wouldn’t be staying, shame since I could use a desk its the chest of drawers and wardrobe I’d want to replace. The en-suite was no lie though, with a power shower and toilet it was a very appealing but I couldn’t shake the feeling that the house was far more student-y than I was after. Coupled with the very early move in date and the apparent success I had so far I decided it wasn’t the room for me but thanked her very much for her time.

So of the three places I have seen so far I apparently am easily impressed. I don’t feel I am scraping the bottom of the barrel by any means, each place has had its benefits and drawbacks. I don’t doubt I would get on with any people I move in with but I would prefer a sociable environment and that did seem to be a little lacking from the last property I viewed. If I only had a week left to decide then I would have snapped up a cheap room with ensuite and the spacious living area but as it is I am waiting to hear back from the second place and am happy to carry on looking if that falls though. It’s all pretty exciting really and I’m looking forward to making some new friends. For the next couple of weeks I feel I can relax a little and search out the most appealing properties rather than chasing every listing that looks vaguely interesting.

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