Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Hunting

"I'm going to see a flat at 2pm" announced the Boy.

Months after deciding that living at our respective homes was no longer an option if we are to keep our sanity, last week the Boy nipped off for a poke around a potential flat.

The verdict was returned at half past the hour.

It was a one bed, split level studio flat, with an unusually large amount of space. Within our budget, situated in a huge townhouse, in a nice neighbourhood. I felt a tinge of excitement as he reeled off all the pros.

"There's just one thing" he said, "might be a small problem"
"Yeah? What's that?"
"Well, the bedroom is raised up on a split level, right..."
"Yeaaaah..."
"And, err, I didn't fit above or below it. You'd be alright, but it might get a bit annoying for me. I'd have to bend down."

Conceding to the limitations of a 6 ft 5 boyfriend, I suggested we look elsewhere.

So yesterday evening we hopped off to another viewing, a one bed flat in the heart of our desired area. First impressions were good. From the amazing location and spacious rooms to the roof terrace, where Canary Wharf could be seen blinking at us in the distance, my hopes were raised.

"I'm sure the agent said it was on our budget earlier on the phone" said the Boy, as we squeezed past another viewing couple on the stairwell. "But I've just heard him quote £25 a week more to those other two"

Sure enough, despite making our top budget clear earlier that day, we'd been taken to a flat that was fine in every respect...apart from the price. Bloody estate agents: we'd been duped.

"Well, look. Offer them what we're prepared to pay, tell them we'll move in ASAP and give it the lick of paint it needs."

I sincerely doubt the landlord will accept our offer of a DIY paint job in return for knock-off rent, but hey - it's worth a try.

Which brings me to my conclusion: with estate agents and their crafty tricks, a tall boyfriend and a city shrinking in space, I have a feeling this flat hunting business may take a while.

9 comments:

nottwittter said...

You've got to play them at their own game.
Go back to them and tell them you've found somewhere equally suitable for the money they first quoted you.
If they're interested they need to get back to you within 24 hrs or you'll take the other one.

I bet they go back to the landlord and make the offer...

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

Unfortunately, when they've got other people all offering the price, they've got their pick of the bunch. Flats in London at the moment (like the one we saw, anyway) are gold dust. They were showing us and some others round last night, and it was rented out today.

Not by us, though. Our offer wasn't accepted :(

nottwittter said...

In that case revert to plan B. Take some smelly cheese and secrete it somewhere in a desired abode. Fish will also work.
The competition will reduce drastically.

The Unbearable Banishment said...

Nothing cuts you down to size like real estate in a big city like London (or New York). If you want to know what rung of economic ladder you occupy, go apartment hunting. You get put in your place real fast. At least, I did.

jman said...

Estate agents, like property developers deserve their own special rung in Dante's Inferno and it wouldn't be in the higher reaches of the place. What is it about real estate that makes people behave like scum. Or does it just attract those types? Good luck with the hunt.

soupemes said...

My friend worked for one of the Devil's own agencies (mentioning no names of course **coughfoxtonscough**) and he said that this is a deliberate trick. He said that they probably have some lovely properties on at your budget but they always upsell by taking you to see shitty ones. Then they take you to one that is a bit more expensive but overbudget but it is beautiful and you fall in love with it.

For those people that have a lower budget than you, they take them to see shitty ones at their budget and then the nice ones at your budget that they don't allow you to see are the ones that they tempt them with. All in all, they always set it up so that the people that end up renting with them usually end up paying more than they said.

He advised to tell any agent that your upper limit is a good £100 below what it actually is, that way they show you shitty ones at this pretend budget max and then lovely ones at your real budget.

Good luck. Is this a flat for the *two* of you? :)

Please Don't Eat With Your Mouth Open said...

not twitter - A much better idea. That one I can run with.

Unbearable - I do indeed get that feeling, because although with our combined budget we can get somewhere that is our own (i.e. a one bed, as opposed to a house share if I was looking for just me), in comparison to my friends out of london who have their own (not rented) houses...it's a sorry state of affairs. But then this city's the capital for a reason. It's amazing.

jman - They are the slimiest slimeballs around. I genuinely don't believe that any of them are in it to do anything except make money for themselves.
Which is sad, when your job is finding homes for people. It could be so much more.

Soup - Good advice. I felt so angry at the agent for getting our hopes up about a place that he knew we couldn't afford. In future, we'll lower the price and raise it as necessary.

And yep, it's a one bed flat for two ;)

theperpetualspiral said...

it's a one bed flat for two

Next you'll be saying it's a proper relationship and all that ;)

roseski said...

Oh, don't. Am dreading flat-hunting again...

I'd love to offer advice but I am apparently cursed! Good luck.

 

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