After a very busy week in the office, I was glad to get away from my desk to pound the pavements of London in search of a new property for my next client! On Saturday I was assigned the task of finding a London flat in one day for a Canadian marketer. Jayne is a seasoned expat, currently living in Geneva but relocating to London for a new job.
Her schedule was very tight, arriving in London on Friday night and flying home Sunday morning but the London Relocation One Day Viewing Model is perfect for time poor professionals searching for a new home in London to rent.
Bright and early on Saturday morning, Eldin (our trusty driver) and I picked up Jayne from her temporary accommodation right beside Trafalgar Square. Jayne was recommended to London Relocation by one of my old clients who relocated from Spain to London and whom I regularly keep in touch with. As such, we bonded immediately and we were all in high spirits for the day ahead.
Our first apartment was in an old factory conversion in the Wenlock Basin area, just east of bustling Angel. At 70 sq metres, the property is much larger than your typical 1 bedroom flat in London! Despite a cool, industrial interior style, I could sense that Jayne was sceptical about the apartment. On our way to the next viewing, she expressed her concerns about the area. Though Jayne loved the idea of the industrial warehouse type conversion, it was clear the surrounding neighbourhood was a negating factor, perhaps a little bit too urban and rough around the edges for a single female moving to London for the first time.
I completely understood her concerns and reassured her that we would be focusing our day on busier and more upscale areas where she would not have to look behind her when walking home late from work at night!
Located immediately south of Angel station in trendy Clerkenwell, our next apartment was a revelation. With two huge terraces interconnected by the open kitchen/living room, this apartment was designed to entertain and party (don’t tell the landlord!). Direct outside space of this size is such a rarity in London, especially for a 1 bedroom property, I knew this property would be hard to beat!
With only two properties under our belt, it was coffee time! We headed to “Coffee Works” in Islington, an old reliable of mine for good coffee and friendly service. With our coffees in hand, Jayne and I explored the area on foot as the market traders and antique stalls were setting up on Camden Passage and Upper Street was coming to life on a typical winter’s morning.
We continued throughout the morning and lunchtime, visiting properties in Islington and Highbury before venturing down to Shoreditch. One building in particular stuck out, not because of the apartment but because my good friend lives in this particular block!My client liked the apartment but the communal rooftop terrace with wonderful views over the city skyline was the major selling point.
I knew the property with the amazing terraces would get a run for its money when we pulled up to a well-designed building tucked away in Clerkenwell, very close to Exmouth Market, (fantastic for its international food stalls and interesting array of bars, restaurants and cafes). Set amongst wonderful communal gardens in a very peaceful setting, even the aroma of the shrubbery on entering the development was fabulous, talk about the property selling itself.
By now Jayne was having a tough time narrowing down her options and looked to me for guidance and my professional opinion. We both agreed that the Clerkenwell two bed with the peaceful communal gardens and the one bedroom with the two roof terraces were the main contenders.
We took another look at the one bedroom again but this only made the decision making harder! Jayne mentioned earlier in the day that she would like to see a few examples of properties over her price range in order to have as a comparison towards the end of the viewing day. With sunlight fading fast, we viewed two properties 40% above her maximum budget, both fully refurbished but still retaining the period charm of Georgian London. Jayne was very impressed, but happily decided to proceed ahead with the Clerkenwell two bedroom property and keep some spare change for travelling and exploring London life to the max!
Kenneth Walsh is an accredited Global Mobility Specialist and Property Finding Guru. Unofficially, he’s our go-to guy for everything that’s ‘happening’ in London. If you want to find the best London neighbourhoods, restaurants, coffee shops, bistros and places to visit – connect with him on Google Plus – he’s always got a top tip ready for LR clients.