Thursday, June 22, 2006

Finding our dream home - a (so far) elusive ambition

It's somewhat difficult finding an amazing 'dream' place to live when you already reside in a huge, friendly, riverside apartment. When we moved in, in October last year, we thought nothing of the fact that the owner 'might come back on the summer next year' - I didn't even know if I would still be in the country! But now the time has come, and with no view to be going home anytime soon, we have found ourselves being turfed out of our lovely flat (damn the relaxed nature of our non-existent lease agreement!) and consequently will be homeless next Saturday. Although it is only technically a period of two months which we need to be out of our flat for, the thought of moving all our belongings twice and finding somewhere to live in the meantime, gave us the heeby-jeebys and we decided that our riverside days, as beautiful and lovely as they have been, must come to an end. It's time to move on to new things!

Enter a month of agonising over flats/houses which were too small, miles away from anywhere, too old and too scabby, too expensive, too cheap (yes, there is such a thing), not available, downright ugly and just not right. We've also learnt that while an agent can be your best friend when they have an "amazing, just right for you" house they are also there to slam you with fees for everything under the sun which will set you back at least £300. They can also tend to be a little creative with "oh yes, it's just MINUTES away from the tube station" and you don't find until you get there that they actually meant TWENTY minutes. Finding houses off free websites like through people like us means you get no fees, but likely it happens that you don't get a formal lease agreement (which I might need later on for visa purposes) and things can happen like just happened to us - where you get turfed out because you technically have no legal contract! It worked fantastically for us for a year, but I think we need something a bit more concrete now.

Anyways, we are looking at three more places tonight and it's crunch time. I'm going to pick one of these if it kills me!

The agony of house hunting has somewhat overshadowed the fact that it is the bug AUSTRALIA VS CROATIA game today. I came to work decked out in green and gold, complete with Aussie lanyard and whistle so I'm all set. Not getting my hopes too high, but the Aussie spirit is all about daring to dream right?

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