Home is where the heart is, but sometimes you just need a place to sleep for a few months. London is known across the world for being an incredible city to visit and live within, but that well-earned fame has also resulted in it being a very difficult area for finding an affordable flat to let.
Looking for a place to stay can be an incredibly stressful affair. This is especially true when you’re headed to a new city or country with which you might be unfamiliar. There are a lot of important things to keep in mind when you’re looking around for a place to stay. The intended length of your stay is a very important factor, and generally, something you need to be quite sure of before committing to any longer-term leases as breaking a lease can be a complicated and expensive affair.
Typically, the shorter your lease term, the higher of a premium you will pay in rent. Due to this fact, it’s essential that you nail down how long your stay will be and commit to a lease that matches best with your situation. Long-term accommodations are more cost-effective when you lock yourself into longer leases, but that same commitment also locks you into that contract you sign. This means it’s imperative that you do your due diligence and learn as much as you can about your desired accommodation prior to signing anything.
Location, Location, Location
The specific part of the city you want to stay in will dictate the availability and pricing you’re likely to find. As with all big cities, some areas are more affluent than others, and some parts of town can be a lot more prone to being home to criminal activities. As such, make sure you fully investigate any potential housing locations by researching both the building itself as well as the part of town it’s in.
Finding a location that is close to your work or that has a great nightlife scene can be a real boon, but you should probably expect to pay a premium for such locations. Oftentimes, commuting is an unavoidable aspect of city living. Since this is often the case, make sure you check out what your commute would be like and what kinds of transportation options are available to you. This leads us to a very important factor for any house hunt: budgeting.
Know and Stick to Your Budget
Create a firm budget that leaves you enough money to stock some away for incidentals, savings, and the occasional celebratory splurges. Once you know your budget, the real work begins: itemizing and comparing expenses. Rent is a huge portion of most people’s monthly expenses, but where you decide to stay can have larger financial implications than the cost of rent itself.
The cost of transportation solutions varies wildly depending on where you live in the city and where you might need to commute to daily. Depending on the situation, it might be more affordable to live farther away and allocate more funds to transportation needs, but you can’t know how it all balances out unless you write down a detailed, itemized list of expenses for each potential housing option.
Something worth considering that can help reduce the cost of housing is living with others. Housemates can help you share the financial burden of renting but living with others comes with its own set of problems entirely different from living alone. It’s a good idea to get to know potential roommates prior to making any binding agreements so you can best assess your compatibility for living together.
Finding the right place to live is a huge undertaking but doing your proper diligence will give you the best chance for finding the perfect place for your situation and preferences. There are some good websites available for finding flats and housing accommodation such as Accommodation.co.uk, so make sure you take advantage of them and inform yourself as much as possible before making any lasting commitments. Having said that, not all tools are created equal so make sure the sites you are using are reputable ones with verifiable information such as accommodation.co.uk.
Best of luck in your new city and happy hunting!