I move around a lot and the thing that is the most stressful is finding somewhere to live. Finding that special place you can call home and hang up your jockstrap isn’t always easy.
I was asked today if I had any tips for finding a place so here are my top tips when looking for a new home.
- Use your network. Most of the time I have found a place to live it’s been through friends or family. Using your network doesn’t only mean letting everyone know that you are on the look out for a new place. Use your connections to provide you with valuable intel on locations, prices and any thing else that they think might be helpful.
- Use sites like Gumtree and other online resources. These are often the best way to find a place and by looking at a few different sites you can often see trends in price and which are the popular areas.
- Begin with areas that have strong public transport. This might seem like a no brainer but public transport especially in an unfamiliar city will be one of the key factors when it comes to how liveable your new place is. I look at where I will be working and then back track along the key train lines.
- Take a walk in Google. When you are looking at an area it’s super important to actually go out there and take a walk around. If you don’t have time then a walk in Google street view can still tell you a lot about an area. I have seen places that look great on paper but a quick street view stroll around the neighbourhood has changed my mind.
- Be wary of Estate Agents or boarding houses. This was a problem especially in London where Agents post ads to trick you in to thinking you are looking at an established share house, but when you arrive at the property you find out it’s more like a dormitory with locks on the the bedroom doors and communal kitchens and bathrooms. I found this really frustrating in London, the last thing you want to do is come home from work and have to lock yourself in your bedroom. One agent made me think I was going to the property but the address turned out to be the agents office and the property had already been leased.
- Do the meet and greet! always take the opportunity to meet the person or people you are going to be living with. If you’re going to be living with more than one person then make sure that you take the chance to meet them all.
- Take a good bathroom or a good kitchen over a big bedroom every time. Unless you plan to spend all your time in your room I’d sacrifice a little space for a place with a decent bathroom. A shitty bathroom is a nightmare. Always be sure to check the water pressure when you do an inspection. You’d be amazed how much difference being able to have a decent shower makes to the liveability of a place.