Tomorrow Pedro and I are viewing 6 houses. 6 potential first homes.
To say I’m excited is an understatement. I’m also mega nervous. I’ve had experience of searching for places to live before. I’m hoping by remembering them I might find a magic formula to help me through tomorrow…
Uni – or varying degrees of damp
The first time I looked for a place to live as an independent adult. Me and some uni friends started looking together during the ever traumatic first year. We weighed up getting a 7 bedroom house – the idea was to recreate the atmosphere of halls in a more homely setting. I know I know – horrendous! We soon (fortunately) gave up on that idea (more the lack of 7 bedroom houses in York than a mature realisation that it would be horrific) and started looking for the distinctly more available 4 bedroom home. We soon discovered that it all came down to how much damp we could stand – and were lucky to find a nice house with a private landlord who was mercifully grateful that we seemed to pay rent on time and didn’t cause much of a fuss. Overlooking the odd slugs on the kitchen floor incident, it really was a nice student house.
Living Alone – or talking to myself
The next house hunt I undertook was for my first proper grown up flat. I had just started teaching and I wanted the whole professional lifestyle – fabulous, well-decorated flat to hold sophisticated soirees in and make gin cocktails (at least half of this came true). I was going to live alone for the first time and I couldn’t wait! I am a tidy freak. I love things being JUST SO. So living alone sounded perfect. After viewing some rather sad-looking studio flats (‘studio’ is code for a flat in a room), I found a gorgeous first floor flat with laminated floors, old fashioned sash windows overlooking a park. It was glorious. I adored it, and even found the motivation to clean it constantly. The sunlight coming through the windows was beautiful. When winter came, I quickly realised that the two storage heaters in the flat were not sufficient to heat an entire first floor – particularly not a bathroom with no heat source other than the shower. Cue mould. All over the bathroom wall. Truly disgusting. Oddly enough, my letting agents ‘solving’ the problem by painting over the mould did not work. After a long battle, I moved out, heartbroken, and disillusioned with letting agents everywhere.
The Flat of Dreams
The next house hunt I did resulted in finding this amazing flat. The flat of dreams. So perfect. Quiet, spacious, serene, grown up and girly, with a little garden for summer picnics, and containing the world’s best Housemate. In all honesty I am gutted to leave here – but I know I will be starting a new adventure with the marvellous Pedro, and being able to see him more often is so exciting!
The Wish List
From the above I think I may have a ‘wish list’ for what I want from a house when viewing tomorrow:
- SPACE. Lovely big light rooms – and perhaps even a little ‘geek’ room for Pedro and his computer thingamys (technical term)
- A garden for BBQs and parties and entertaining!
- Neutral, grown up decor – that we can make our own with our own tastes and ideas
- Modern finishing – so we can avoid damp and mould!
Please keep your fingers crossed for us – organising these viewings has been a logistical nightmare!
What’s your top tip when viewing potential homes?