11 flats, 8 agents, 4 possibles and one offer
Took a whirlwind tour of central London on Wednesday to find the perfect flat. I was not wildly optimistic – I had heard too many stories of gazumped offers, greedy agents, and fruitless searches. The relocation consultant was very efficient, and we drove briskly from possible property to possible property. Then we drove briskly around and around the block looking for a parking spot that would not result in a wheel clamp. Then we wrestled with the council to make their pay-by-mobile-phone parking system function. Then the consultant just parked in the middle of the street while I ran in to pass judgement.
By property #4 I had perfected the art of the 30-second decision. Too small, too pokey, hideous wallpaper, 5 flights of stairs, strong smell of mothballs, funny-looking caretaker, funny-looking neighbour, faint aura of boiled cabbage, too far from the Tube, too close to the Tube, too Laura Ashley, too Terence Conran, yellow walls, net curtains, no storage…
Flats #1, #5, #8 and #9 were all acceptable. #8 won on location, amenities and understated decor. We put an offer in, it was accepted verbally, now I wait to see if anything goes awry.
I hope this is the one – I have already located and Google mapped the local leisure centre, library, garden centre, Tube station, whole food grocer and branches of Habitat, M&S and Muji, not to mention testing the walking route to the office (35 minutes).
Even had enough time left over for the V&A, Hyde Park, and arguably the world’s most tasteless monument before the train back to Bristol.