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Moving into your first house after graduation can be an exciting, yet stressful time. You’ve said goodbye to 3-month summer breaks, secured a graduate job in London, and have officially flown the nest. What’s next? The preparation for the Big Move – from organising bill payments, to meeting your new housemates, there’s lots to consider before leaping into the next chapter.
Here’s a handy list of things you should know now you are moving into your first house share in London:
Moving to London can be overwhelming, especially with how vast the city is – how do you choose between East or South London? The location of your graduate job should be a big factor when deciding where to build your base, the commute especially – if it’s an hour and a half each way, is that a valuable use of your time?
When surfing the web for your new home, Zoopla and Rightmove will soon become your go-to bookmarked pages and your day-to-day will quickly involve spending more time on the phone to estate agents than to your friends and family. Properties get snapped up quickly, so this part of the process is vital to ensuring you get first pick.
Work out your budget whilst you look, research the areas you’d like to live in and when you would like to or need to move in - once you have that figured out, you should be able to have a good idea of the types of places you can afford. As well as this, you will need to work out how much of what you earn will be used to spend on rent, and what salary you’ll need to successfully afford living in London. Estate agents may ask you to confirm a UK based guarantor who can guarantee the rent for you.
Once you’ve worked out which areas you can afford/would like to live in, you’ll then need to decide who you’d like to live with. Choosing your housemates is an important task – deciding between living with friends and strangers can be tricky, as house dynamics can alter relationships when faced with new challenges. If you’d rather live with strangers, check out Spareroom, a great site to help you find people you would like to house share with, or spare rooms available in already formed homes. Homie is also a go-to site for finding whole houses, once you’ve decided on a group to live with.
Once you’ve signed the contract and moved in, make sure you double check the condition of all the appliances and furniture in your home. Take pictures of anything which isn’t clean, because it could come back to bite you when you move out – you don’t want your landlord or agency to charge you for any damage that you didn’t make. Document everything and inform your agent as soon as you move in – you might not want to at the time, but it should eliminate any hassle when you do decide to move out.
When moving into your first house share in London, the costs can add up quickly. After paying that initial deposit and two months’ rent up front, there are still bills to set up (hello council tax). Always make sure you save enough money at the end of paying your rent as the first few months can be quite heavy on the purse strings with setting up bills, water, and internet.
Like each part of the house hunting process, make sure you do your research before committing and seek out the best deals. This again is where choosing trustworthy flatmates will come in handy as you will all have to chip in for bills – you don’t want to be the one left out of pocket if the bills are in your name. Put Acasa and Billing Better on your radar – they provide a quick and easy way of paying bills, so there will be no excuse for late payments! There will always be one flatmate who won’t want to pay for a TV license – but it is worth paying either monthly or a one-off amount, as they do check.
When all the hard-work is done, get out and enjoy London for the city it is! Housewarmings are great for bonding with flatmates and their friends, and will hopefully expand your London network.
Take the time to really get to know the area you’re living in; go for walks, check out travel connections, familiarise yourself with buses, try out local cafes, pubs, and gyms. Post-graduate life can be a daunting prospect, but don’t forget how these changes can have a positive impact.
Now we’re on the subject – Homie are offering 25% off their house hunting services. Use GAGAGO25% to redeem!
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