A place to call ‘home’ in London

OK so everyone knows that finding the right place to call ‘home’ may be hard. Acknowledging this, all we ever wanted was a roof over our heads, so we ended up spending no less than £690,00 pcm EACH without electricity and gas. You may call us crazy, rich or superficial. I don’t blame you, neither do I want to justify myself, but let me give you 11 facts about the great, great city of London:

  1. The right house for you may be the rats’ right house as well.

It is well known that London is the rats’ paradise and Big Ben does not only attract tourists, but rats’ curiosity as well. At tube stations, parks, near Westminster and of course, in everyone’s house – rats are the new fashionable pets. So if you don’t want Jerry to be your life partner you may think twice before moving to London.

  1. House cleaning is the best business in the world

Weekly cleaner and £25,00 deduction from deposit for cleaning. You may think that every apartment is cleaner than a hospital. SURPRISE! The apartment is even dirtier than before (I am still not sure how they accomplish this!). So, I should either call the cleaning service a scam or the most profitable business in the city.

  1. Living close to nature

If you love nature, the sound of the river, the pure smell of grass after rain and the little animals that beautifully live as a united family, then you should definitely move to London. OK, maybe you will not experience the first two things, but surely you will embrace the great ecosystem’s diversity by adopting the most domestic animals (no, no, not dogs): SPIDERS! Everywhere, I swear, they are everywhere. Under your sink, in the bathtub, in your wardrobe and even in your bed so you can never feel alone (aren’t they sweet?)!

  1. Being rich in the UK means being poor in London (because London is not UK, London is London, doh!)

If you were thinking that spending £400,00 pcm on a simple room (not even your private house) is extravagance, I am sorry to let you down, but again, think twice! In this great, great city the middle class is actually the low class and the rich guys who can own 3 countries barely afford a flat near Big Ben.

  1. London has a new time dimension – 5 minutes from the underground means 20 min with bus from the overground

I am still trying to figure out if agents and landlords’ watches are all broken or they really live in a new time dimension. So if you are looking for a place 10 min walking from the tube then expect the landlord to tell you that you are basically living just across the station. Otherwise, you may check the buses’ schedules.

  1. ‘We are not professionals’ Agent: “No worries” = you have to pay 6 MONTHS in advance+ 2 months deposit

Because no one can trust a just graduated-from-university person, right?

  1. A pretty view costs £200,00 pcm

Either that, or you can try to make a landscape out of the view of trash or car parking which always happens to be just outside your window.

  1. SUPER OFFER!!! You can live near movie stars for ONLY £3000,00 pcm!!! TAKE IT NOW!

This may be the funniest part of our house-hunting journey. We were eating in a fine restaurant (Mc Donald’s) and I received a call from an agent who was telling me about a great area in which he has several apartments. Unfortunately for him we knew that area pretty well. There, a murder is considered a routine and a thief is your best friend, so I told him that we were looking for better areas. Here comes the funny part: the poor guy made us the greatest deal the human race ever saw: living near ‘movie stars’ (quoting) for only £3000,00. I was looking at my Happy Meal, then at Diana who was waiting for me breathless to give her good news, then at my Happy Meal, so I told him that I will call him back because this is slightly over our budget (slightly because this is our budget for 6 months instead of one).

  1. Spacious double room = single under-the-stairs room

Because agents do not only have a different time dimension, but apparently they also have a special space dimension. Either that or they see double because a single bed is clearly described as a king one. On the bright side you can experience Harry Potter’s life under the stairs.

  1. Mould is art

One of the main advantages of being an event planner specialised in art is that you see potential art in everything. So we found ourselves in a point in which the mould on the wall was actually a masterpiece! 

  1. Living with 10 unknown people in the same house is ordinary (living with only 6 is luxury)

Who needs privacy? Apparently, not Londoners! Moving from a 2bedroom apartment shared with my best friend to a house full of unknown people may be a little scary, but we will probably get used to it. Will we? 

So after too many viewings and too many hours spent on spareroom, we can now say that we are Living on the edge (of Zone 2) and we drink our coffee not on the Thames, but looking at The Shard, Big Ben, London Eye and St. Paul’s Cathedral for as ‘little’ as £690 pcm. We considered ourselves the personalisation of bad luck, but everything averages out with this unbelievable treasure we found!


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Maria Dinca says:

    Hey guys, first of all welcome to London! I love the idea of your blog but, (and I hope you won’t take this the wrong way) I feel that it’s a shame this post isn’t more informative and useful instead of taking this negative approach. It’s true that finding the right place in London is expensive and complicated but it all comes down to inexperience and not knowing where to look rather than agents and the city itself. I can guarantee that not all houses have rats, spiders are not that common and paying 6 months in advance is just policy in the UK for those who don’t have a UK guarantor/a stable income. Would you rent your house to someone who couldn’t guarantee that they can pay rent every month?

    Anyway, I know that moving to London can be quite a shock but I hope you can start seeing it in a better light once you get used to what living here actually means – it’s really great. London is much more than just Zone 1 and exploring the touristy side, there’s taxes and expenses that come with living in a city like this, much like in New York or Tokyo. Ask away for help if you need any and good luck! x

    1. Hey Mariaaa *insert lots of excitement*. Thank you so much for stopping by and thanks for the compliments. I am glad you like the idea of this blog and I hope you will follow us.

      I am deeply sorry for misunderstanding, this post is related exclusively to our own experience of house-hunting and unfortunately these are our conclusions after more than 20 viewings. I am sure that there are lots of places without rats or spiders but for our budget (£700 pcm for a room) this is everything we found. However, I am sure that if someone lives ‘near a celebrity’ they would not experience this. I am more than aware of the UK’s rental market as I have been living in Birmingham for 3 years and even without a job I paid monthly (and the apartment was let by one of the most prestigious agencies in the country). Moreover, even in this apartment I pay monthly so it is possible to pay monthly without a guarantor or a job. I don’t want to scare anyone who wants to move to London but I am just preparing them for the real city as most of the other blogs about London are all about how easy it is to find perfection here.

      However, I agree that I (Andreea) have a dramatic side so I might (slightly) exaggerate things but only for humour. Anyway, thank you for sharing your experience on our blog and I hope you will return soon. xxx

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