House Hunting

“I should say: the house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace.”
― Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space

Ironically, for someone who works in property, a couple of weeks after the Brexit vote (which has rattled the industry in a lot of interesting ways), our landlady dropped me an email informing us that as a result of the vote (amongst other things) she was selling the apartment and we’d have to move. The process should take a few months, and neither she nor the agents thought it would be a quick process and would likely go into next year, but she would keep us updated.

Well, alright then. We made a note, quietly started looking around the neighborhoods we were interested in living in, but not with a major sense of urgency, and figured we’d be moving in a few months. We were happy to help with viewings, provide access upon request, and keep the apartment neat and tidy…with the benefit of advance warning of visits at least.

Needlescratch to a week and a half ago when we got a phone call from the agent informing us that our apartment has been sold. Quite suddenly and without warning, our search kicked into high gear.

There is still a lot behind the scenes work for our landlady but all things considered we’d far rather choose when we go than be assigned a countdown clock by someone else. We spent a couple of days searching, made a list, called the relevant agents and set aside a weekend to do nothing but look at potential options. We ended up paired with a really savvy agent who clearly is good at his job because he both started and ended at properties that were at the north end of our budget, but were both good options. Cheeky. However I’m happy to say that as with our first apartment, the first one we saw was the winner and we made an offer the same day as we knew it would go quickly. Our landlady has approved the earlier move out and we had to pay an advance and deposit to secure it, but come October, we will not be homeless.

We will also, it must be said, be living in a truly adult apartment for the very first time. I could not be more thrilled. We will have a dishwasher for the first time in over seven years of marriage (whose name is not Jeff), a terrace, and a completely new kitchen–I grow misty eyed thinking about it. It’s a great apartment and we’re ready to live in something that is not a shoebox; our current flat is less than 350 square feet. We’re also ready for things like cupboards and wardrobes and blenders, silly as that may sound. We’ve been living without them for years, of course, but I’m really looking forward to things like cooking, laundry, and cleaning being a bit easier thanks to the fact that we don’t have to fight against decay as well as mess.

With an upgrade comes bigger challenges however. We own almost no furniture, only the raw basics of cooking gear, and most of what we own we will be able to fit into suitcases. We will have to build a home from scratch on a shoestring budget–as a significant portion of our expendable money went towards a deposit payment–and literally piece by piece. Starting with a mattress. It will take at least a year.

I’m ready for it.

The hood.
The hood.



9 thoughts on “House Hunting”

  1. I know what a nightmare house hunting in London can be, so it’s awesome you were able to find somewhere so quickly! I was really excited about having a dishwasher when we moved into our place some years ago, but I never use the thing! I don’t own enough dishes to make it worth my while, because I need to use them again before the dishwasher fills up.

    1. We were really lucky. But we gave the agents a really specific brief and they compiled stuff we were able to research in advance and not muck about on. We are NOT time wasters 😉

      Oh man, you sound simply a lot more put together than we manage to be. Dishes are my personal Waterloo…

      1. I don’t know about put together…I just cook and bake a lot, and I only own like three pans and three bowls, so I tend to have to wash as I’m cooking or I run out of dishes to use! I don’t actually mind doing dishes though, so long as our hot water is working. It’s dusting I hate the most!

      2. Oh man, hot water is a separate issue altogether. Our building has regularly turned it off and sent us the notification letter…days after their work in question. It’s a minefield!

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