So having been back in the UK for just over a year my tenancy on the flat off the Old Kent Road was up for renewal… with a 10% increase on rent being added on. So with Dina successfully implanted in to Belfast and a wedding to save for I decided to move out and find something cheaper. A lot cheaper.
So the first rule was find a flat share – they’re always cheaper – and then set the budget and start using the websites out there to find something that fits the bill and the bills!!
I saw several properties in and around South London however what I discovered was that most adverts online were not being replied to!! I enquired after 48 rooms to let. I heard back from fewer than ten. I’ve no idea what that means, whether it’s because the market is so hot that the rooms had already gone, or if it’s the fact that people are just rude… meh.
Anyways, of the four I ended up viewing, two were real possibilities. The first was near Tulse Hill and would have been sharing with a young couple with the advantage of having a private bathroom as they would be having the en-suite room, yet the room itself was tiny in comparison to what I was leaving. The second was a room in a Council Authority building in a four bedroom flat. Here the bedroom was huge, though obviously there was no private bathroom… indeed, no bathroom at all as the wash room only has a shower and no bath (which suits me down to the ground).
So with both in budget and both with a direct bus connection to work it was heads or tails time. In the end, the bigger bedroom meant more to me than a private bathroom – particularly when the one on offer was so small that cleaning will be a charm.
So I’m now living in Streatham (or St. Reatham if you’re attempting to be funny) in South West London. I say South West merely because it has a SW postcode, but it is border line and in truth is as bout as central as you can get. It’s a little early really to say much about the area, but I’m about a five minute walk away from the bus stop to work, there are some shops not too far away (including a Tesco Metro & Carphone Warehouse) and it’s a good 25 minute walk to Clapham South Tube Station.
In terms of the flat, it’s a top floor, two-storey flat with four bedrooms – currently containing a Journalist who writes for a Teenage Girls’ Magazine called Bliss (and who claims to be a Trotskyite); an Intern (i.e. unpaid) Journalist who is writing for a Fashion Website; and a (currently) unemployed Art Lecturer (he claims that because he hasn’t sold any of his own art he isn’t an artist). And me… a Bank Employee. I have to say that conversations so far around Art & Literature have been a struggle!!
The biggest advantage of the flat is the Bedroom. It’s huge. Possibly the biggest bedroom I have had since Brighton. I’ve got my bed, a 2 seater sofa and my TV set up alongside the wardrobe, chest of drawers and bedside table. Sure at the moment it’s still a bit crazy with boxes and rubbish, but slowly I’m getting there in terms of sorting it all out. At the least I’d better make an improvement before next weekend when Dina makes her first visit!!