How to Find Affordable Housing in London
Affordable Housing in London are something of a myth nowadays. Finding an apartment within your price range in the capital can be difficult, but it is not impossible. If you are willing to spend some time researching, it is quite possible to find an affordable apartment in London and be very happy with your new home. By taking the time to research neighbourhoods, go to viewings, and calculate the cost of your commute, you will ultimately find the perfect apartment for you within your budget.
Consider the location
Location is everything when it comes to finding an affordable apartment in London. Generally speaking, the further from the city centre you get, the cheaper the apartment will be. Looking at the London Underground map, zones 1 and 2 are generally the most expensive. If you venture to zones 3-8 (yes, the tube runs that far), you may find cheaper options.
The cheapest areas in London
Some of the cheapest find affordable housing in London for rent are neighbourhoods that have not yet seen a lot of money invested in them. What they lack in extravagant coffee shops and independent boutiques, they make up for in affordable rents.
Pick the neighbourhood you’re most comfortable with
For each area you are interested in, it is important to research whether you would be comfortable and happy living there. Even if the rent is very cheap, you want to ensure you feel safe and at home. Cheap is not always better. For an apartment to be truly affordable, it must fit your needs.
When researching an area of interest, check Google Maps and Images to see if you like how it looks and the feel you get from it. Look at the main streets and amenities and try to imagine yourself living there. If you are moving to a cheaper neighbourhood, it is also a good idea to check out the crime statistics for that area. If crime is a concern, a quick search will help determine if this is the right for you.
Consider your housing needs
If you have children, it needs to be near a good school. Is the bathroom a must? Will it need a freezer (you would be surprised at the number of apartments in London that do not have decent freezers)?
Make a list and narrow down your list of properties according to this. A list of “must-haves” will also help when seeing a real estate agent. It is a rarity for someone to know what they want, and you will certainly benefit from providing clear instructions.
Consider flat and house sharing
If you want to save money on rent, consider living with others in a flatshare or house share. If you are a couple sharing a house, you can save money on living expenses. For example, you may want to pay off debt or save for a house deposit. The best way to start a house share is to visit websites or apps designed for this purpose. There you can find an existing house share in need of new housemates, or you can find others looking for a house share and start a new one yourself. The second option works especially well if you turn the lounge of the house share into another bedroom. That way the rent will be even lower.
Where to look for housing when moving to London
You can come across find affordable housing in London almost everywhere. Strangely enough, you can find a cheap apartment through an estate agent or even by going through a local newspaper. Don’t write off real estate agents altogether because they might surprise you. If they know what you’re looking for, they can show you an apartment that has just gone on the market that day and is not yet listed online.
Additional tips for a smooth moving out
A great piece of advice that should be mentioned more often is negotiating. Always try to lower the price of your flat with your estate agent or landlord. You can save money by agreeing to a two-year contract instead of a one-year one or by taking care of the gardening and some maintenance. Anything goes as long as both parties are interested.
You don’t know how long the apartment has been on the market, whether you are the landlord’s ideal tenant, or whether the landlord wants you to stay longer than a year.
If you have a set budget and the apartment is on the market for more than what you would like, you can negotiate a lower price if the landlord thinks you are an ideal tenant.
You may also want to contact a reliable house removals services or two. They will be able to provide you with enough information regarding whether people tend to move in or out of the area. If many people are moving out of the neighbourhood, then there is a reason behind it.
Furthermore, a local removals company can inform you about the locals, what they like to do and where they gather. They will also offer professional help with the moving out and in process, assisting with packing and storage.
To find affordable housing in London, you may have to tweak your search a bit.Try to look for neighbourhoods that don’t have a tube line, but you can find transportation to one. Changing multiple transports to get to work may not be ideal, but it will significantly reduce the rent.Ensure you thoroughly research the area, including the crime rate and how it is developing in recent years. Consider a flat or house share option if you are comfortable living with others to reduce how much you spend on rent per month. Remember, always try to negotiate a better price.