In our 5 years of being together, we have bought two houses and sold one in Singapore. In the process of doing all these, we have viewed countless of properties especially in the east of Singapore. Once again, we will have to deal with getting a house for the family. Except this time round, we would be renting it and the location is in London.
E’s company engaged a relocation agent to assist us in our home search and I suppose it was quite helpful. The relocation consultant shortlisted some places that fitted our needs. There was also an adviser, Emma who drove us around the various potential homes. The first day of house hunting was quite fruitful as we went with my father and sister. The kids were left in the apartment with my mother again. My poor Mummy. 😦
The first three properties that we went to were at Limehouse. They were fairly modern apartments. All were acceptable with few minuses. If I did not recall wrongly, the first apartment was carpeted entirely and I am not a fan of carpeted flooring. The second apartment had a better layout but the tenant only could leave in mid January and we needed the apartment earlier. Our main gripe about the area was that it was not as children friendly as we wanted our environment to be. We took a break before continuing with the second leg of the house search.
Next, Emma drove us to another area with that suited us better with a huge park in the vicinity. The rental was slightly higher but we loved the place. The next obstacle was to find a home that we liked. We viewed a duplex(bedrooms were in the lower level and the kitchen and living area in the upper level). I appreciated the relatively larger living area but we all thought there was a moldy smell. 😦 There was also an option of a townhouse with 2+1 bedrooms which was within our budget. I always thought that it was quite enticing to live in a landed property, especially since it is quite costly to own on back in Singapore. However, when we got to the house and I saw the yard and the garage and everything, I got a reality check. It suddenly dawned upon me that perhaps I did like the IDEA of living in one but not actually living in one. That particular townhouse was lovely. I appreciated the space but I did not like how it looked rather lived-in and the very thought of cleaning the yard and garage is a huge turn off. We also viewed two absolutely modern flats with stunning views but it was quite a distance away from the city center.
The last apartment that we viewed was perfect in every way. E actually considered this apartment when we were back in Singapore. He showed me pictures of it but all I could think of was staying in houses. Turns out he did know me better than I knew. I do like renting a place that is new- with no reminisce of the previous owner. When we first viewed our current place, it turned out that I really liked the decor(new everything- down to the beds, the utensils, the furniture, the carpet) and the convenience that the place provided. The best part about the apartment was that there was a small playground right in front of our doorsteps. Literally!
When we left, I suppose all of us subconsciously knew it was the one.
We continued our house search the next day. The only difference was that this time round, we brought the kids along. My parents and Kimberly went shopping at Oxford instead. It was quite a disastrous day. The kids were really fussy on the car ride. In fact, none of the houses that we saw was to our liking. To add more drama to the day, Gillian vomited in the car followed by Ryan and then Gillian. I have to say Emma looked quite traumatised. *sigh*
In the end, we cut the house search and returned to the apartment. We discussed and decided that we liked the last apartment that we saw on the first day of the house search. Within a week, we made an offer to the owner and it was settled. Thankfully. Then, it marked the end of of house hunting and the start of enjoying our London holidays.