Another blazing hot day in London coupled with high humidity. Mind you, ‘blazing hot’ by a Briton’s standard means something in the mid 20s celcius. Which it was.
I’m on an early-ish train into central London. 4 more viewings to go to with 2 different agencies.
The first 2 viewings are forgettable. The first flat is decidedly studenty and very unappealing. It’s been on a while. The 2nd flat is in a plush gated compound but – though the whole complex is pleasant and very high-end – the flat itself is at ground level on a very busy road. No getting away from the sound of cars.
I move on to the next agent. A small, independent property management firm who only work in SW1. The first flat is very spacious but I’m not over-keen on the communal areas and it’s not really me.
But the second flat is a BIG hit. In a stunning garden square, regency town houses, extremely smart. We actually pass what looks to be a Filipino maid sweeping the entrance to one of the adjoining town houses. It’s that kind of area. A quick look online later suggests that intact houses go at over £7 million in this square. Very high level of affluence.
The flat itself is very nice indeed. Large reception room, large fitted kitchen with all mod cons, small/medium sized bedroom and the bathroom is ensuite (i.e. the bathroom is off the bedroom and not independent). To my mind – that’s why it’s in my price range rather than out of it. The bathroom is very small (no bath, shower cubicle only) which would put some people off. For my needs it’s probably fine. The tenant is in. She’s some international classical musician about to relocate to another orchestra abroad. Pleasant to speak to, I pry her for information and like what I’m getting back. The vibe is really good. Sure, it’s 3 floors up and there is no lift (quite typical for these regency properties) but the view overlooking the garden square is absolutely beautiful and it just all feels ultra cosmopolitan and high end – a whole world away from zone 3 suburbia. And amazingly – it’s in my price range. And it includes council tax, gas, heating and water. This means it’s a fair bit cheaper than the one I really liked from earlier last week.
The reflection isn’t surprising. I’ve seen 10 properties. The 2 I really like are both properties which I was the first to view – i.e. they’d just come on to the market. The ones I didn’t like were the ones that had been on a while. Fairly obvious it would be this way.
So we’ll see what happens. I already have an offer outstanding on the ground floor flat I saw last week that I really loved. But it will be £££ as it was the VERY top of my maximum budget and doesn’t include any bills. The one I saw this morning would work out anything up to £2,000 per annum cheaper so there’s a lot to think about. But I’m leaning very strongly indeed to making an offer first thing Monday morning on this one from today. And I feel extremely sure it will go very fast. It was a beautiful period flat in a stunning garden square in central London and was on at a reasonable price. More importantly, I trusted my vibe; the communal areas were lovely and talking to the tenant who had lived there a year I found very reassuring.