The 30 Stages Of Flat Hunting In London
Undoubtedly the most painful thing you'll ever experience.
You've graduated! You're moving to London! This is the beginning of the rest of your life!
You know who you are? You're Julia Roberts in Notting Hill.
You're Harry Potter at Platform 9 3/4.
You're Mary-Kate and Ashley in Winning London.
First step: the Internet. Gumtree and Rightmove are about to become your new best friends.
A ten minute browse teaches you that you're going to need to quadruple your budget.
But that's OK. You don't need luxury. You just need somewhere to live.
So you call the estate agent. Everything's gone.
Somehow he convinces you that Essex is the new East London. So you hop on the tube to your first viewing.
Two hours later, you're so lost you could cry. But then a shady figure emerges from the shadows. This is your estate agent.
"Follow me," he hisses as he lures you up 45 flights of stairs and kicks down the door of the flat you're about to view.
"Why is this entire room laminated?" you ask. No reply.
"And what's with the sloping floor?"
"And the smell. What's that smell?"
"Where are the windows?"
"Why have you turned the boiler into a centrepiece?"
"Is this a former prison?"
"Oh no," the estate agent laughs. "This is your new home. Spacious, isn't it?"
"Not really," you think, as you choke back the tears.
But apparently four other people are already interested. You're going to have to make an offer.
And pay a hefty agency fee.
"It's fine," you tell yourself. "Once the paperwork's sorted, I'll be able to move in."
Unfortunately, the only person shadier than your estate agent is your landlord.
Your landlord who has definitely fixed the structural problems you discussed over the phone.
And provided a make-shift heater.
Even if he did leave BLOOD ON THE WALLS.
Still, you've made a commitment. You've found a guarantor. It's time to move.
And although your flat is gross, you vow NEVER to move again.
Which is just as well, because even if you're poor, London's pretty much the best.
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