Dear Diary

Dear Diary: Home is where your story begins…

The lease on my sublet is up at the end of the month and as such I’ve been on the torturous journey of hunting for a new place to live. I actually think that flat hunting is just as bad as job hunting, which anyone who’s had to face the constant rejection (or more likely silence) after submitting your application knows is a horribly demotivating experience.

There are thousands upon thousands of rooms available on sites like SpareRoom, GumTree or EasyRoomMate and sifting through them all is a challenge. When I first started I was astounded by the number of adverts that had absolutely no pictures of the room or even the flat attached to them. How am I supposed to know if something is even remotely suitable for me if I can’t see it? A quick poll on Twitter found that a LOT of people feel the same way so I started to filter by photo ads only. Then I had the thought that hundreds of other people would be doing this too so I started messaging some of the more promising ones asking for pictures but the response rate is actually ridiculously low, I must have e-mailed at least a dozen people and so far have only received one set of pictures!

I’m probably not helping things by being too picky about what I want as I’ve been incredibly spoiled with where I’m living at the moment. As it’s a sublet it’s very cheap, just £640/month including all bills, which for London and the fact it’s a new build with two bedrooms two bathrooms as well as only 30 minutes on the tube to the West End where I work.

Originally I had wanted to move closer to the heart of London so that I could walk to work, saving money and getting some exercise to burn off those cupcake calories, but the closer you get to the centre the more expensive, and the smaller, rooms seem to be. I had to turn down one near Edgware Road because it was tiny for the £730/month they’re asking for.

I’ve also never lived with anyone other than family before moving (well, there was six months at uni when I shared with an older student but I don’t count that) so I’m used to having my own space and the thought of moving into apartments with 4-6 bedrooms just isn’t my cup of tea! So then I started looking at the area I’m currently living in as well, the commute is easy and it’s a whole lot cheaper out here in zone 3 than zone 1!

I’d love to have my own bathroom/en suite. I pretty much have that where I am at the moment due to my flatmate having an en suite but he occasionally uses the bath and of course visitors use the main bathroom too when they’re round. This might seem like an unnecessary luxury to some but given my Crohn’s getting to the bathroom is sometimes a matter of urgency and the thought of there being only one toilet when someone is already in the shower or taking a bath is unpleasant to say the least! I turned down another place because my room was going to be off of the living room and I didn’t like the idea of having to disturb people in the lounge by having to rush through to the toilet.

So what is my ideal criteria for a flat? A fully furnished 2 bedroom 2 bathroom new built apartment somewhere within a 45 minute walk of my work place, sharing with only one other person or a couple for less than £700/month total including all bills. And do you know what? I found one that meets almost all my criteria! I went to view it on Monday evening and loved it even more than I already did from the pictures, the guy who lives there and owns it seemed to be really lovely but he had a couple of more flat viewings lined up after mine that he wanted to see through before making the decision. I had hoped I’d hear back from him last night but nothing so far and that makes me nervous. I don’t want to have to arrange even more viewings!!

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