Expat Living in London

Expat Living in London: We Finally Found An Apartment!

August 26, 2016
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I’ve completely abandoned my blog for the past few days because I’ve been busy looking for an apartment here in London. The Greek Mister started working night shifts (7pm to 6am) so it’s only myself going around London viewing apartments. Thankfully, the city is very well-connected via tubes and trains so going by myself wasn’t a problem plus I get to explore the city as well. I do have to thank the mobile app called Citymapper for that, seriously if you’re moving or visiting London you MUST have this app.

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We’ve been living in a hotel provided by The Greek Mister’s company and this I tell you, it’s not at all good to live in a hotel. It’s only been 10 days for us but we both can’t wait to get out of here. Although the staff were all lovely, it just doesn’t feel right for us. Until now, I still feel like I’m just here for a holiday since all of my clothes are packed in suitcases. Breakfast is yummy though, pork sausage and pork bacon are both big YAYS for us since we didn’t have that in Doha. Lol.

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London has a lot of boroughs and being a newbie in this city, we relied on the advice of friends and online community threads to help us decide where we’d like to live. We’ve received different opinion for each areas we’ve considered living. For us, is it safe? is the most important question of all. I know that safety can’t be guaranteed anywhere we live but I just don’t want to live in an area where walking outside at sundown isn’t recommended.

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Having said that, we’ve decided to ditch the city living (thank goodness as I’m not a big city girl anyway) and choose to stay in either Richmond or Kingston which are both outside the city but still very accessible. Richmond is ranked as the happiest place to live in London while Kingston came in close second. That was just a coincidence that we chose those two boroughs, I didn’t actually search “where is the happiest place to live in London” on google because that would be weird of me. I saw that article AFTER we paid for the apartment and reading it now made me feel good about my decision.

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So where did we find an apartment? Kingston which was actually my choice, The Greek Mister preferred Richmond. After viewing so many apartments in both boroughs, I came into conclusion that Richmond apartments are all pretty and modern but too small for its price. Kingston on the other hand offers a greater value for your money in terms of actual living space.

One particular apartment that I saw on Richmond can’t even fit one double bed in the bedroom. The Greek Mister who stands 6ft3in tall will have to lie down diagonally with the bedroom door open so part of his legs would be out of the bedroom for him to fit. It was that small! Although the whole property itself is pretty, I don’t think prettiness can make up for the small living space.

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The Kingston apartment that we finally got was discovered out of pure luck. We were about to pay the booking fee for another apartment when I saw a new advertisement for an apartment in a building which I previously saw in another viewing. The previous apartment in the same building was good but it was only available on October and this one is available right away. The price was perfect as well so I risked losing the other apartment and decided to give this new one a go. As soon as I saw it, I fell immediately in love with it. It was love at first sight really and I knew that it was THE ONE.

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I had the cash for a downpayment and was ready to pay for the apartment right there and then but the lovely owner would like to meet The Greek Mister first just to see if he’d entrust his apartment to us. That was actually another thing which I loved about the place – the owner is concerned about who’s going to live in his house more than the profit that he will get from us. It means that he takes good care of this apartment. I already passed his test and I wasn’t really worried about The Greek Mister passing it because he’s adorable. I was sure the owner will like him as well and we’ll get it.

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After The Greek Mister’s work the next day, we met the owner at 7am. I wasn’t able to sleep the previous night because I was too excited to finalize it. As expected, the owner gave us the contract as soon as he met The Greek Mister (I told you he’s adorable). Also, since we’re dealing with the owner himself – we didn’t have to pay the stupid fees all the real estate agencies are charging so that’s another win for us.

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I’m really happy with this decision and I really feel good about it. I don’t feel like I’m settling on an apartment just because we’re desperate to move out of the hotel. I really feel like I’d love living there and that’s really what’s important. On the plus side, I had a job interview last week just opposite the apartment that we’ll be living in. So if I do get the job, my house is quite literally only a hop and a skip to work. 🙂



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26 Comments

  • Reply Julie December 29, 2016 at 06:38

    I’ve got me some time and finally have some time to “get to know” you better…! I temporarily lived in New Malden when I first arrived in London as thats where the ex was living… So I have spent many a weekends roaming through Kingston and Richmond… And I finally ended up in Balham for a couple years before making the move to Bayswater. I loved Bayswater. And what I loved about London was that despite it being a big city, you still have the small village feel depending on where you’re living… Ahh. Maybe I’ll move back to London. Hehe
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    • Reply Pinay Flying High December 31, 2016 at 11:44

      That’s absolutely true, I love the small village feel that you get in some areas of London and Kingston does have that. I couldn’t have chosen a better area to live in. 🙂

  • Reply Peter September 28, 2016 at 05:33

    Wow great pics of London and I’m jealous you’re living there. I visited for the first time this spring and fell in love with the place. Wish I could figure out how to do it.

  • Reply Muna @ Strictly Lighthearted September 7, 2016 at 09:56

    Ohh so you moved to London … that’s nice! Have wonderful memories of London as we spent quite a few years there …. We preferred living in the city though … But have friends who live in Kingston and loved it! Good luck on your new adventure and the job hunt! 🙂

    • Reply Pinay Flying High September 7, 2016 at 19:41

      Thank you. I’m generally not a big fan of big cities (specially after living in Dubai and Doha), Kingston is such a welcome change for us. We love it! 🙂

      • Reply Muna @ Strictly Lighthearted September 7, 2016 at 21:28

        I’ll ask you how much you enjoy the rain and cloudy weather a few months down the line

        • Reply Pinay Flying High September 7, 2016 at 21:33

          Maybe after a year or two. We’ve had 9 years of sunshine in the Middle East, I hope that it will take 9 years of rain as well in London before we get tired of it. Lol.

          We were having beer the other day outside when it started raining. Everyone went inside while The Greek Mister and myself stayed outside, enjoying the rain. They probably think we’re nuts. Lol.

  • Reply vinneve September 2, 2016 at 12:59

    Glad to have found you again as I think I need to be updated haha! Surprised to read you are now in London!
    I understand your feelings about hotel as we also lived in hotel before here in Abu Dhabi as per my old post (pls check if you can).
    Anyway… glad that you found your place of home!

    • Reply Pinay Flying High September 7, 2016 at 19:48

      Thank you! Staying in a hotel isn’t really comfortable is it? :p

  • Reply Mitzie Mee August 27, 2016 at 17:06

    Are the photos from Kingston? Looks like a nice place to settle down:) Congratulations on your move!

    • Reply Pinay Flying High September 7, 2016 at 19:52

      Yes the photos are from Kingston. You know me, not a fan of big cities so this is definitely right up my alley. :p Thank you. 🙂

  • Reply Hung Thai August 26, 2016 at 23:41

    What?! Your apartment is surrounded by this? Stop making me jealous with all this awesomeness…
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    • Reply Pinay Flying High September 7, 2016 at 19:53

      Yes!!! I can’t believe it! I still feel like I’m on a holiday. :p

  • Reply Pinayskattebasse August 26, 2016 at 19:37

    Work close to your place??? Amazin!
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  • Reply Photo Cache August 26, 2016 at 16:47

    Cheers to new adventures! I cannot wait to read about your new discoveries in your new “hood” , where’s the perfect watering hole for the locals and what’s the best brekkie spot is. So excited for you.
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    • Reply Pinay Flying High September 7, 2016 at 20:24

      Thank you! We haven’t done much until now as we’re too busy with the house. But hopefully soon, we’d be able to explore the city. 🙂

  • Reply Sally August 26, 2016 at 16:02

    Your pics are so gorgeous! Congrats on the move and the apartment!

    • Reply Pinay Flying High September 7, 2016 at 20:27

      Thank you Sally. Let me know when you’re headed here. :p

  • Reply Sahar August 26, 2016 at 14:46

    Wishing you a happy life in your new home! I can totally relate to.finding a good apartment that your heart says yes this is where I need to live!!
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    • Reply Pinay Flying High September 7, 2016 at 20:28

      Thank you very much Sahar and yes, I did have that moment when I saw the apartment that we live in now. :p

  • Reply Tanja (the Red phone box travels) August 26, 2016 at 13:21

    Kingston looks lovely! enjoy it!:)
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  • Reply Ahila August 26, 2016 at 13:17

    Good to hear that you found the apartment of your choice in the neighbourhood you wanted! Happy explorations around London, Noemi!
    Ahila recently posted…Sunshine Blogger AwardMy Profile

    • Reply Pinay Flying High September 7, 2016 at 20:31

      Thank you very much Ahila. We got lucky with this apartment. :p

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