Where do you start the search for your dream apartment? Assuming that you know what apartment you want and can afford, if you want flatmates and where do you want to live. When my mum was my age she started her search with ads in the newspaper. Today we have quicker methods with new options appearing any time at any day on various portals online.
When looking for an apartment it is important to be quick and efficient as the property market is very fast paced. No one is going to wait and bring you an apartment on a silver plate. Unless you are of course a billionaire buying a white elephant; jargon for a very expensive property that was on the market for a long time. It brings an agent a huge provision as well as a difficulty to sell.
Firstly, I always start with word of mouth. If your friend enjoyed living in Mr. John Smith’s property and claims that he is a tremendous, one of a kind landlord, there is a big chance you will enjoy it too. If you cannot find anything this way, it is time to start your search…
You can start your search from: Zoopla, Right Move, or Gumtree as options are endless. However, look at the adverts closely as not all of them are as great as they seem at the first sight.
In my opinion, there is no point in wasting time on calling ads without photos from inside as well as outside. I am more likely to call if there are more than four photos including all rooms, kitchen, hall, bathroom, and other facilities if there is any. Ideally pictures should be from different angles to see roughly how big room are.
Next factor that is important is size. As perfect as it might look on photos, tiny spaces, without windows might not be worth the price that agency or landlord is asking for. I appreciate when ad includes room sizes. Despite the fact that my apartment is tiny, it looks more spacious than it really is due to a big window that allows light to lighten up the room.
I never waste time anymore to call someone who has not included price. That for me is purely a waste of my time. At the beginning, I would call them just to hear some ridiculous amount. Obviously, I do not want nor will pay for a studio flat in a basement over £2000.00 a month. Some of my friends have also been offered to pay in a little bit of a “different way”. Seriously, it is a property market, not a find a sugar daddy website.
A few years ago there was a very popular scam
, that I almost was a victim of. You find a perfect home, location is amazing, price is not ridiculous just there is this one thing… You have to send money to secure a deposit before viewing as they are in business in Africa or elsewhere. Alternwatively their best auntie is sick at the other end of the country and they do not want to waste time to return to town for nothing in case you will not want to rent out a property.
No one honest will request money before a viewing. There is no obligation to pay a penny for someone’s time. It is a landlord’s business to show you the flat and possibly have an amazing tenant, or an agency’s business to get provision from finding such great tenant as you are!
The thing is that most of the scam ads with properties look better than you could possibly imagine. You might be lucky, but seriously can you be that lucky to find a two bedroom flat near the London Eye with a jazzuzi and sauna for only £1,500.00 a month?
Check and ask whomever you are speaking with when you are booking viewing if the flat is furnished. Paying a deposit and monthly rent is a rather significant cost and you do not want to discover that you just wasted two or more hours of your life to see a property that does not meet your criteria.
Is there a central gas heating or electric, double or single glazing windows?
I do not know about you but this is a deal breaker for me. Central gas heating and double glazing windows are must and I noticed that some people like to stretch the truth in this department.
Can you think of other red flags you should watch out for while checking ads?