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> Moving out & finding somewhere to live!, aaaah!
CrazyFooIAintGet...
post Sep 7 2009, 08:24 AM
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So I'm about to start my first real job and I'm planning to rent a flat in london (where the job is) ph34r.gif

I stayed at home with my family while at uni so I'm totally clueless about the whole thing...

Anybody got any advice? If you have any tips about what to look for when looking for flats, what questions to ask potential landlords etc. that would be really helpful smile.gif


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snooodlysnoosnoo...
post Sep 7 2009, 05:39 PM
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Ooooh moving out!
I have moved many times in the last 6 years but I still forget about things when looking at places so my main advice is this - if you look at lots of places and a lot of them are dire don't be too excited about the ones that seem decent because you will overlook little things like Mata mentioned (the place I've just moved into has a ridiculously small number of plug sockets D: ).

At the same time don't be put off looking at as many places as you can possibly find (RightMove is your friend) if something looks promising then arrange to see it. Letting agents are generally pretty decent, they may try to push the good points of a property but I've never met one who hasn't taken "it's not for me" as an answer.

Are you going to be looking for somewhere on your own or a house share? If it's a house share try to see it at a time when other people will be there so you can see what they're like - do they stick to their rooms or are they pretty sociable? Do they rota cleaning, is there a kitty for shared goods (toilet roll, cleaning stuff etc) and have they got any weird schedules (eg working nights) that are likely to cause you issues with noise when you're trying to sleep.

Good luck!


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Hobbes
post Sep 7 2009, 09:39 PM
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QUOTE (snoo @ Sep 7 2009, 06:39 PM) *
I have moved many times in the last 6 years


^ Sounds like me!! Not good for the ol' credit check, mind you.

One word to keep in mind, from a financial perspective, is contingency: try, if you can, ensure you have money set aside for the unexpected. Even just a few untouched quid can help when something suddenly needs attention.

There is a massive difference between being able to 'afford' a place, and being able to 'afford a place and live'. It's all very well acknowledging that you have the £XXXX.XX each month to cover the £XXXX.XX bills/food each month. But then what? Do you have enough money to enjoy a bit of life occasionally? Will the odd cinema trip push the budget? Will visiting friends by car/bus/tube/hovercraft cost a little bit too much. As Sir. Psycho Sexy said, quite rightly, you do NOT want to become dependant on loans and credit cards. Indeed, if you can avoid them altogether, then all the better! Due to various circumstances and bad decisions, I have my fair share of credit card debt that I will soon be back in a position to hack away it. But having those numbers having over your head can affect everything from your stress levels, to the chances of getting positive credit checks for things you DO need.

Be aware that no matter how good your forecasting, you will probably forget to include a particular cost in your budget. For example, Mata suggested checking if the phone line is there/operating/connected, etc. If has been disconnected because the previous person did not pay their bill on time, or the property has been empty for a while, etc, then you may have to incur a charge to get it connected again. It's nothing backbreaking usually, but it's yet another cost.

Some of your monthly bills like council tax, and utilities like electric, water, and gas, often have discounted rates for people living alone. I don't know if this is going to be the case for you but, for example, I get approximately 30% off my council tax as a "Single Person's Allowance." Every little helps smile.gif

As a tenant, always check in your agreement who is responsible for maintaining items that remain in the property - from furnishings (if any), to electrical applicances, boilers, radiators, etc. Some landlords will expect you to cover the costs of repair, and some will do it themselves.

Finally... negotiate! No matter what the agent's price is, you should not expect to pay that. I got about 12% off the monthly rent of my current flat. Sometimes negotiation isn't as simple as getting cheaper rent. Sometimes you can get the landlord to pay your council tax instead, or your water rates (because he can put this through as an expense, thus reducing his tax bill, rather than just taking a cut in income), or create a more flexible agreement. Obviously, negotiation is a lot more limited in high-demand areas. But give it a shot smile.gif

I was shown around my current flat by a letting agent who told me it had been on their books for a couple of months without any real interest, and that initially the landlord had actually wanted to sell it, but got no takers. He had chucked out his previous tenants prior to putting it on the market, and so I could assume that by this point he was fairly eager to start making money on it once again. Through the agents, I offered about 12% below his asking price and was told that he would drop about 5%. I said no, I wasn't willing to go to that price and, a little later that day, I got another phone call from the agent saying that he was willing to go to my price, but only if I had a 1 year minimum lease. My reply? No... I want it at my price, with a lease that includes a six-month break clause in case I want out earlier. He accepted smile.gif

To be fair, you can't always push the landlord/agents too far in all cases.

I know that the general rule for buying a property is that, ordinarily, you should be able to pay at least 5% below the marketed value. I'm not sure how it stands with renting, but saving money is always worth a shot. Anybody that agrees the rent or purchase price without at least TRYING to negotiate is foolish, I think.

And finally (I know I said finally earlier, but I just remembered something else): never agree on a property based on one viewing. This might seem obvious, but I know several people that have signed documents and moved in, having only viewed the property once. You need to see those bricks at least twice before you even make the offer.

Oh... also... biggrin.gif ... take a drive, if you can, around the area at night and during school exit times, to see what kind of "behaviour" takes place in the area. During the day, when most of the street is at work or school, it might seem wonderfully pleasant. But once the schools empty, or the sun comes down, things can change drastically.

Good luck smile.gif
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Posts in this topic
- crazymat   Moving out & finding somewhere to live!   Sep 7 2009, 08:24 AM
- - Sir Psycho Sexy   Just make sure you'll have enough money to liv...   Sep 7 2009, 10:09 AM
- - Mata   Always check on what the expected bills might be a...   Sep 7 2009, 12:33 PM
- - WeeJ   Check out how much the Council tax will be. Bane o...   Sep 7 2009, 12:55 PM
- - elphaba2   Plumbing! Check for signs of water damage--any...   Sep 7 2009, 04:06 PM
- - crazymat   Thanks everyone! Lots of good advice, I will ...   Sep 7 2009, 05:36 PM
- - snoo   Ooooh moving out! I have moved many times in t...   Sep 7 2009, 05:39 PM
|- - Hobbes   QUOTE (snoo @ Sep 7 2009, 06:39 PM) I hav...   Sep 7 2009, 09:39 PM
- - CheeseMoose   Ugh. I'm seeing all this from the other side a...   Sep 7 2009, 11:20 PM
- - funked)out_frog   I don't really have anything to add apart from...   Sep 8 2009, 07:22 PM
- - Daria   Firstly: good luck! Secondly: whereabouts in L...   Sep 9 2009, 12:45 PM
|- - Hobbes   QUOTE (Daria @ Sep 9 2009, 01:45 PM) Also...   Sep 10 2009, 05:35 PM
- - Mata   Oo, good one. If possible, always go for double gl...   Sep 9 2009, 01:02 PM
- - crazymat   To answer some questions: I'm moving to west ...   Sep 9 2009, 01:57 PM
- - Mata   Oh, and take a digital camera so you can compare f...   Sep 10 2009, 12:45 PM
- - Cath   And a list of questions you want to ask dont rely ...   Sep 10 2009, 03:55 PM
- - Daria   I like moving house! I've moved 14 times i...   Sep 10 2009, 09:09 PM
- - crazymat   I hope so! On second thoughts I'm a bit ...   Sep 13 2009, 10:04 AM
|- - Hobbes   QUOTE (crazymat @ Sep 13 2009, 11:04 AM) ...   Sep 13 2009, 06:40 PM
- - snoo   Remember it's a lot easier to move from a smal...   Sep 13 2009, 07:06 PM
- - Daria   Last year at uni, my rent was two thirds of my inc...   Sep 13 2009, 07:16 PM
|- - crazymat   QUOTE (Daria @ Sep 13 2009, 08:16 PM) Sor...   Sep 14 2009, 11:16 AM
- - elphaba2   Fufu! Waaaant. Want. *ponders whether she ca...   Sep 13 2009, 10:01 PM
- - Daria   I found cocoyam fufu last time. It's pink and ...   Sep 13 2009, 11:41 PM
- - Mata   DEATH BY FUFU! /Futurama I mostly have a cupb...   Sep 14 2009, 12:15 PM
|- - TigerLily013   QUOTE (Mata @ Sep 14 2009, 08:15 AM) DEAT...   Sep 25 2009, 02:14 AM
- - Hobbes   Paprika. Always keep paprika in stock. The greate...   Sep 14 2009, 04:38 PM
- - WeeJ   K, so I came home last night to find the radiator ...   Sep 20 2009, 09:30 PM
- - Mata   This is where you find out how good your landlords...   Sep 21 2009, 06:16 AM
- - funked)out_frog   QUOTE (Hobbes @ Sep 14 2009, 05:38 PM) Pa...   Sep 21 2009, 06:40 PM
|- - Hobbes   QUOTE (funked)out_frog @ Sep 21 2009, 07...   Sep 21 2009, 07:26 PM
- - patback87   Sounds like everyone has given you good advice. My...   Sep 24 2009, 07:29 AM
- - crazymat   Thanks for the advice! I've found a flat ...   Sep 24 2009, 03:07 PM
|- - Sir Psycho Sexy   QUOTE (crazymat @ Sep 24 2009, 04:07 PM) ...   Sep 24 2009, 04:34 PM
|- - snoo   QUOTE (crazymat @ Sep 24 2009, 04:07 PM) ...   Sep 24 2009, 07:57 PM
- - patback87   It's good to hear you found a place. Even if y...   Sep 24 2009, 06:32 PM
- - Mata   Get contents insurance. Tescos do pretty decent ra...   Sep 25 2009, 12:53 PM
- - CheeseMoose   Ugh contents insurance. I was trying to get some a...   Sep 25 2009, 01:12 PM
- - crazymat   Yeah, I'm not looking forward to the lack of i...   Sep 25 2009, 05:26 PM
- - snoo   Direct line have 50% off home contents insurance a...   Sep 25 2009, 06:48 PM
- - elphaba2   Crowded cafes are your best friends. Think Starbuc...   Sep 25 2009, 07:35 PM
- - Daria   Yay for finding somewhere!   Sep 26 2009, 10:02 AM
- - crazymat   Argh contents insurance is confusing! How do I...   Sep 28 2009, 04:14 PM
- - CheeseMoose   You don't have to be that accurate about when ...   Sep 28 2009, 11:28 PM
- - Mata   2 weeks is actually pretty fast for turning on the...   Sep 29 2009, 06:16 AM
- - crazymat   Yeah I've got no idea... There's a pictur...   Sep 29 2009, 11:14 AM
- - Mata   Hmm... Sash windows and big lintels... It's tr...   Sep 29 2009, 01:00 PM
- - Lurker in the Dark   I call twenties on that. Also, don't leave you...   Sep 29 2009, 09:21 PM


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