The desirable area would be somewhere in Richmond or the surrounding districts. Richmond itself would be ideal as I will be working there and it has a direct tube line to South Kensington (where Lee currently works and the commute for him will then be a lot easier).
Yesterday we started in earnest with our search. We spent the day in Richmond and trolled around all the Estate Agents we could find. We managed to see 3 properties, none of which turned out to be suitable but, by the end of the day, we felt quite hopeful in finding a property fairly soon.
Today, after advice from a very helpful Estate Agent at Hamptons, we broadened our search towards Twickenham. This seemed to be more promising but, unfortunately, there appears to be a bit of a shortage in availability currently. We did the rounds again and have ended up making appointments to visit about 4 properties tomorrow.
There was also a bit of better luck later this afternoon when we found a very friendly Estate Agents - Milestone & Collis. They had a property on the market within our budget and relatively well located. The only thing we were warned about is that it was a little "dated". We were taken to see it straight away and it looks pretty good. The area was nice and quiet (not that Lee is bothered) and there is plenty of parking available. The flat itself is in very good condition with 2 good sized double bedrooms, lounge, kitchen and bathroom. There is also a private garden area. It does feel a little as though you step back in time as the decoration is very late 60's/early 70's (including some fantastic retro linoleum tiles in the kitchen which will be staying if we get the place). Unfortunately the kitchen is in serious need of reorganisation and will need some work, but we're well up for doing it.
Nicola, the agent, told us that another couple had seen the flat yesterday and had put in an offer with a lower rent and certain conditions for the landlord to meet (changing some carpets etc). We have now also put in an offer, slightly higher than the other one, and have given some "suggestions" to the landlord for improving the flat which we are happy to carry out ourselves with some financial backing from the landlord. The changes will definitely improve the value of the property and, hopefully, the landlord will be up for it.
So, it was a pretty good afternoon. We're still not 100% definite about this place and, obviously, we will need to see whether the offer is accepted first. We've also got the 4 places to look at tomorrow so we may still find something we prefer then.
It's going to be another very busy day with lots of running around. We're also off to see Love Never Dies tomorrow night. Hopefully we won't be too knackered and fall asleep during the show (unless it's truly boring).
Keep you posted soon.