• 1st August 2016

Moving Diary: Part One

Graphic of houses for moving diary

House hunting – is it fun or just one big ball of stress? I’ve been out of university for two years now. I’ve been lucky enough to find a perfect graduate job in PR in my home city, which I love, and I feel blessed that I earn my own money. However, like many 22 year olds, I left the freedom of university behind and am back living with my parents. This was absolutely fine whilst I was job hunting but after two years, I have itchy feet and am keen to move out and have my own space again.

My sister and I have always gotten on really well so we thought it would be a great idea to move in together. She needs to find a place in the city centre anyway as she’s about to go into her final year at University and I would like to be living within walking distance of work to save the cost of travel.

This is going to be the first of many posts as I invite you to join me on my journey to moving out (properly) for the first time! I thought it would be useful for me to share my experience, as I know plenty of young people will be in my position – not rolling in money but yearning for freedom. Our situation is made even more difficult by the fact that I am in full-time employment and my sister is a student. We are finding that landlords either want one or the other!

If you are in a similar situation, my advice would be to contact an estate agent and simply ask. For example, if you’ve seen a property that you really like the look of but it states on the website “students only” and you are full-time employed but living with a student, email the estate agent, refer to the specific property and ask if this would be an issue. More often than not, we have found that the agents are quite flexible and that it’s up to the landlord whether he or she wants to accept you as tenants or not. If you have a reasonable landlord, they usually don’t have a problem with it, as long as the student has a guarantor in place.

Another obstacle I have come across is the situation of inner-city parking. I am a car owner and absolutely love having a car. It’s been so useful when I need to travel to various places for work, visit my boyfriend and friends who live in the city, being able to get down to the beach easily and generally just going out and about. However, I’ve found it quite difficult to find houses or flats that have parking spaces available. It’s either on-street parking which isn’t regulated by permits so is an absolute nightmare or if a property has a designated parking space/driveway it bumps the rent right up! So, I’ve decided to stop basing my search on whether or not there are parking facilities and just face the fact that if I move into the city, I may have to leave my car at home.

Before you start property searching, consider whether you would like furnished or unfurnished. I’ve found that a lot of non-student properties are unfurnished so ensure that you have enough funds to get everything you need once you move in! Like my sister, when I was a student I obviously wanted a furnished house as I had no money. However, now that I have my own job and I’m doing pretty well, I would like to get my own furniture. I consider this as my first proper home that is going to be mine so I would really like to make it nice and homey and I don’t think you can do that if you have someone else’s furniture. You just have to look at my Pinterest board to see how much I love playing house! If anyone has any tips for finding furniture bargains though, please send them my way!

Finally, the last thing to bear in mind is not to panic that everything is going to go! There are always new properties being added to websites so if you see something that you like but aren’t ready to move out yet, don’t worry, there will always be something else in the future. I would recommend starting to view properties when you are ready to move out as most landlords want tenants to move in immediately. However, always keep your eye on property websites to get a feel for what you want.

We viewed a property in June but we aren’t ready to move out until late August. However, it is good to view one or two early just to get a feel for what you want. By viewing this property which was pretty cramped, small and dark, we concluded that there were better properties on the market which were cheaper and full of natural light. That’s the one thing I am big on, natural light. I can’t stand dark houses.

We are currently still property searching and as I mentioned, we are looking to move out late August / early September so I will keep you posted with tips, tricks and our new house…when we eventually find it 😉

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