If you're like me you'll spend several weeks looking at different houses, or flats before finding one that you like. I found that in the early stages of the process I was looking at a lot of properties, and that each on I found I loved. It was only when I saw the next one that I realised the properties I had examined weren't so nice.
I guess it's true there's always somebody better at Kung Fu than you, and there's always a nicer house.
I was clear in my purchase, I wanted a two bedroomed flat that was close to some area of grass, somewhere where I could walk my new dog.
- Look at the location, are there any 24 hour shops/newsagents nearby?
- My flat is close to a supermarket which stays open until 9/10PM, but there are no local newsagents I can see - the ones nearby close at 5PM.
- Is there adequate parking?
- Is it in front of a main road?
- My place isn't, there isn't traffic noise - but some fecker will keep having his/her car alarm going off...
- Children nearby?
- My place has lots of children nearby, but none in my building or those to either side. I like children (ha!) but they will run around and scream, etc, noisily.
- If you have a digital camera I strongly recommend taking pictures of any flat you view - they will help your memory.
- You should take notice of the position and number of electricity sockets in the property; to see if there are sufficient number, and to know if they're in appopriate locations
- Adding extra sockets is easy with a handy electrician, but it's a hassle booking one and waiting for them to arrive.
- Make a note of any alcoves, or strange corners - they will be awkward to fill with your furnature.
- Try to spot where any telephone sockets, and aerial cables enter the flat - they will limit where your phones are going to be positioned, and where you can place any TV equipment you might have.
- If you have a mobile phone take it out and look at the signal strength.
- I appear to have only minimal reception in my new flat - and that only occurs when standing at the front room window :(
- If the place has wooden floorboards, or a false floor especially, take the time to walk over all the area of the floor and check for creaks and movement.
- Check that all the doors open and close properly, and see if there is any creaking involved.
After moving in it you will take a while to settle. This is normal, you can probably expect to be living from packed boxes for at least a week; longer if you're lazy or working during the transition period.
However there are some things that you must do immediately:
- Find and identify the main controls for:
- Your electricity supply.
- Your incoming water supply.
- Your gas supply, if present.
You should also take initial readings from any gas/electricity meters for your first bill.
Once you have the readings you should write to the suppliers of your utilities telling them the initial readings, and asking for the bills to be sent in your name - telephone call may be sufficient.
Finally you want to sort out your telephone, if desired, and arrange for your old mail to be forwarded by the post office if you wish.
Once settled there are some purchases you will almost certainly need:
- Curtain hooks.
- Curtain rings.
- Door mat.
- Bin bags. Lots of.
- Coat Hangers.
- Nails / Drawing pins.
- Duplicate keys.
Once inside the place you will also need to place your name upon the front door/buzzer if it's a tenement flat - this will be a simple job, but without it people will not be able to visit you!
If you have any comments then please share them and I'll update this page.
I'll also add any thoughts that occur to me.