Yup… it’s not all Big Ben and city scenes! London has many sweet scenes too. Not surprisingly, they are our favourites. But here’s what’s up!
Again… wandering the city and discovering more to love!
Haha, yes! My partner and I have moved to the place that we had seen on the market and originally wanted. The owners were not sure whether or not they wanted to sell, and now we got it! It’s very close to where we moved before the Holidays, but oh, so charming and lovely!
This inspired me to look back at our ups and downs in London and offer some tips to those of you who are thinking of moving here. I’ve become sort of obsessed with properties here… I will also be posting some pictures of our new flat. Some were taken by the agency and some by me, though the most beautiful view is in person, of course! 🙂
- Short lets are fantastic!
In London, you can get a flat for a short period of time. I am not saying you can’t find that elsewhere, I am just saying that it was news to me when I moved here and it has proven to be the best idea ever. It’s like Airbnb, but better, for example when you know you want to stay for a set amount of time without having to book it all at once, or just you know, save… Don’t get me wrong, I love Airbnb, but it’s better for “in-between” living. Short lets are the best of both worlds.
Another reason why sort lets are great is because they allow you to feel out certain towns. You can stay for a couple months, depending on the let, and see how you feel in your neighbourhood. If you don’t vibe with your local shops or restaurant, or you don’t like the feel of the people, or you simply don’t feel inspired to go out to run errands, or walk/run etc., then you just leave!
This is my favourite reason for choosing short lets because I get to move around if I want a change and I get to live in all my favourite place in the city! I am new to London so obviously, I want to live it out a much as possible. Especially, because Tomas and I are planning on moving at the end of the year. Of course, our previous short let agreement is what allowed us to be able to move in to our new flat!
TIP: Get a storage unit if you will be moving around. Tomas and I originally got a unit when we were between places as it was easier to manage. We got the smallest unit possible, and it was right in front of his old flat, which is now his sister’s. We ended up keeping it for a lot of things Tomas needed to go through and I stored my summer suitcase because I could. I will be bringing it home next week but it was nice to have the option of not bringing everything around with me. If you have a lot of stuff that you can’t move as easily, and you don’t have a car, get a storage unit!
2. It’s expensive, yes, but you can make it work. You are as rich as what you need!
Living in London is bloody expensive but you can make it work. I know it may seem hard to believe, but you can live a happy and exciting life in London, without going broke. I don’t want to speak for everyone, nor do I want to discourage anyone, but I would like to say that you are as rich as what you need. London has helped me see that. No, I can’t live the “high life”, but I couldn’t back home either. I’m not a millionaire. Not even close. My boyfriend and I have good jobs but we by no means ignore our budget or forget the value of money. Just prioritise! What matters to you? What do you want for yourself? How much would you like to put in to your flat or house? You have to work on that sort of thing a lot more in expensive cities. I had to think of these things in Montreal with my first flat as well. Here, it’S obviously more expensive and the madness around you can be so tempting and overwhelming but you have to realise that it’s just a city. You can be happy with a lot less than you think and you can provide a lot more for yourself if you simply relax, come back to yourself, and be honest with yourself about what you really need.
3. Flat shares can help!
If you cannot afford your own place, there is an abundance of house-shares and flat-shares in London. I know many people who have and do live with house mates. It’S so common and honestly, very normal. In fact, most of the time, you can make amazing friends that last a lifetime. Often, it remains pretty neutral, and pleasant enough. Worst case scenario, it’s not ideal, and you part ways. Nevertheless, it’s a great option for so many! It has nothing to do with how much money you make either. I know people with great jobs who have flat mates. I have also met several expats who simply do it for a couple years, save a ton of money, then go on their merry way. It’s brilliant!
4. The city is incredible, so your flat doesn’t necessarily have to be.
Listen, I know how hard it can be to find a decent place, for a reasonable price in London. Trust me. But this city is so exciting and full of diversity, nature, magic, and sparkle, that maybe your flat need not be glamourous. Also, the building are more often than not, so old, and the architecture is rather dated. The hallways can be narrow, the natural light missing, and the smell… less than ideal. BUT! If you stick with it, do your research, and stay positive, you will find the place. Again, it all depends what matter to you. Perhaps location is most important to you, or maybe it’s natural light, or the layout of the kitchen, or the size of the bedroom. Whatever it is, do your research and stick to it!
5. Check for flats every day and book as many viewings as possible
It’s London. Things disappear as quickly as they came about. 17 million people walk these streets; you have to go for what you want! Book your viewings, even the listings that are not your favourite. You never know what might happen. Cover your bases! You may turn up to a viewing and fall in love with a property. Equally, you can visit a flat on which you had your mind set, and find it does not suit your taste when you arrive.
6. Do not underestimate the power of a vibe!
I always found that the perfect combination of location, charm, village feel, and natural surroundings was perfect. Anyone else? Probably.
I like when I can hit the woods and the waterside easily once I step out the door. I like to know my walks and runs will be pretty. I also like charming villages. It’s just the way I am. From Wimbledon Village to every village I have visited since moving to London, they I have found something unique that has stolen my heart and I love the vibe. I really like indie shops, cute boutiques, quaint nooks, cobblestone streets, and a large common for sun bathing and picnics. I also really enjoy cottage-like homes, beautiful wood work, and a cozy vibe. Sort of boho/beachy/chique (what I like to call my style of home and decor). I don’t want to be in the centre of the city with all the craziness. I like my small villages and to me, the energy is one with which I like to surround myself. This is personal, as some people a major “city people”. I know my brother LOVES a big city. He would find my village so boring and basic.
So find your vibe and follow your heart. The rest WILL follow!
And here’s the new home and neighbourhood! The bedroom is smaller and frankly, a lot more cozy. We really love this place. It’s cottage-like, has a loft conversion which I also like (I find it very trendy, especially exposed brick!), it’s by the water (we literally have a small river flow in our backyard over the ledge where we sit under the sun every day!), walking distance to Kew gardens, and of course Richmond park right by. It has the best kitchen, heated floors, and the bath is just everything! London has really made me appreciate a nice flat, and for us, this is the flat we wanted for the rest of the year. Or for thé next while anyway!