Sunday, 27 February 2011
Non-Book: Renting a House in London
At the moment my fiance and I are trying to move house. We currently rent a two bedroom flat which we are desperate to move out of because we have a damp/mould problem that requires constant attention, the shower doesn't work properly and the electricity needs rewiring. As we pay £775 a month for this, we want to do better. We want to move as soon as possible because we're getting married in July and don't want to be moving whilst getting married in the same month - too stressful! We have to be out by June 17th when our agreement runs out.
What we would really like to do is buy a house but that's impossible. An average two bedroom house in this part of the woods (outer London, not inner) is around £250,000. Because of the recession most mortgage companies want at least a 20% mortgage and we just don't have £50,000 knocking around. We have savings but it's hard to see how anyone without rich parents who could give them a hand could get a first mortgage with that kind of deposit. Some companies offer a 10% deposit, which may be possible in a few years but definitely not now. We could afford the mortgage payments but not the deposit.
So until either a) we win the lottery b) mortgage companies calm down or c) ten years pass, we need to rent. And the rental market is just ridiculous. Yesterday we saw a lovely house to rent in our preferred area for a reasonable price. We rang the agent only to be informed that it had already been let - it went on the market at 9am and was let at 9.30am. This has happened over and over again and because we're both teachers we can't make these early morning viewings. We schedule after school viewings only to find the property has gone in the day. It's just too fast and it seems you have to be in the right place at the time, which is very frustrating. We've given up getting excited about properties because 9 times out of 10, they are gone already. That other 1 time out of 10 the landlord is usually reluctant to rent to us because we have a cat.
Between this and wedding planning though, I'm getting a bit stressed!