House Hunters International – Part 2 – London

In May, Cole and I flew to London to search for an apartment that would be our U.K. home for the next couple years.

Similar to our apartment search in Amsterdam, I did way too much online research beforehand and came prepared with a spreadsheet of places I found online. We were set up with a relocation company who contacted many of the apartments I found plus some more so we ended up with about 15-20 apartments to see over the course of a few days.

Through my research online and after speaking to people who lived in London, I knew finding an apartment was going to very different than Amsterdam. The few things we heard and then witnessed for ourselves were:

  • Adjust to a living in a much smaller apartment…
  • …that you are paying at least 50% more :-O
  • Carpet, carpet, and more carpet  (why hasn’t the hardwood trend caught on in London yet?!)
  • The layout of London apartments are very traditional – there is typically a separate room for everything and each are closed off from one another. There is a separate room for the Kitchen, Living room, and bedroom. This isn’t exactly Cole and I’s preferred layout, which made the search a bit more challenging.
  • London is huge and unlike many other major cities, it doesn’t have many high rises, so that means all the neighborhoods are very spread out. However, the fact that Cole and my offices are located on complete opposite sides of London suburbs made it easy to narrow down our search to a couple neighborhoods.

We had a very productive two days of apartment hunting and narrowed down our selection to two apartments in Pimlico. While they were both not only in the same neighorhood, and just a street down from one another – they were very different. The best part of both apartments was the fact they were located on one of the infamous private London squares, which was a huge advantage for us with Lucy (plus it has a tennis court!!)

The first apartment was completely refurbished and modern. It had an open floor plan so the kitchen opened up to the living room. It also had a great bathroom, but unfortunately the major (and really only) downside was that it was only one bedroom.

The second apartment was the same square footage as the first, but had two bedrooms. The other benefit was that it was on a lower floor, which meant bigger windows and higher ceilings. However, it wasn’t as updated and didn’t have as nice of finishes as the first apartment. It was in desperate need of a paint job and some other cosmetic updates.

After some deliberation over pints, we decided to put an offer on the first apartment and we couldn’t be happier. We’ve settled in and are loving it – Lucy is especially happy to have the large garden right outside the front door. I would say she’s settling into London and loving it.

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