Broadening our horizons


We’ve been a bit busy this week, but we have found time to view two of the propeties for a second time – this time with some friends for a second opinion. The two that we liked were Berkley Court and Queen’s Road.

After we’d looked for a second time, we decided we would like to put in an offer on Berkley Court. However, we wanted to get some mortgage advice first, so we arranged an appointment for today (Saturday) with the financial adviser at Townends estate agents.

What we discovered was that we could easily borrow enough to offer on Berkley Court – but also, that we could afford a more expensive property if we increased the amount we were prepared to pay per month. So we went home and did some sums, and decided we could push our repayments up to 900 pounds per month. Which means we can look at some slightly more expensive properties.

This has left us a bit unsure what to do. We still like Berkley Court, and feel it is probably a bit of a bargain. There seems less available at the slightly higher prices that fit our criteria, but there are some that might be worth viewing.

So, we decided we should at least view a couple of more expensive places. We saw a couple online, and in fact managed to see one today. This was a Victorian cottage. We were quite excited about seeing a proper house, but the reality was that it wasn’t the same quality as the flats we’ve seen. Both the garden and the house would need quite a bit of work to make it how we would like.

We’ve also booked an appointment to see a property in Lebanon Court on Monday – which actually has an extra room (either bedroom or dining room).

This at least will give us an idea of what we might get for the extra money. I can still see us putting in an offer on Berkley Court (if its still available) – only time will tell.

More flat viewings


We were too busy enjoying ourselves last night (had some friends round to dinner – had a really nice time) to write this after seeing two flats yesterday, and as we’ve seen two more this evening it’s definitely time for an update.

5 Grove Lodge
We saw this yesterday. First impressions weren’t so good, the outside was rather dilapidated with peeling paint, and weeds in the yard. It was also on a very busy road – right in the centre of Twickenham though.

When we went inside, the lady living there was very nice, but the flat was rather cluttered – and a bit chintzy for our taste. Although obviously we’d redecorate, it was quite difficult to get a feeling of the size. There was also quite an overwhelming heavy scent which made us feel glad to get out into the fresh air!

So overall, we weren’t too keen. However, there was a nice small garden out the back (shared with the other flats), and also access to a private riverside garden/balcony belonging to another block of flats (Eyot Lodge), which was absolutely gorgeous – and made us wish that we were looking at a flat in Eyot Lodge instead.

Finally there was no gas in the block – but there was a carpark.

So overall, we weren’t impressed but since we were due to see another in the same block later in the week, we thought we’d see what a similar flat looked like without all the stuff in it.

Queen’s Road
We had been warned by the Estate Agent that the second bedroom was very small – which was something that we’d already realised. However, we hadn’t quite appreciated how large the other bedroom and the living room were – really quite spacious. It also has a balcony which runs down the side of both bedrooms – this was a really attractive feature (the balcony wasn’t that wide, but we could really imagine it full of plants). The kitchen and bathroom were both OK – not huge, but reasonably nicely done.

So – this was the first flat that we’d seen which we really liked. The downsides – no central heating (electric heaters and storage heaters), no gas (just economy 7 electric), small second bedroom (would probably fit a double bed, but not much else). However, the location is brilliant (nice quiet road really close to the centre of Twickenham), and we really liked the balcony, and lots of light. I think we felt we could imagine living there.

Berkley Court
We saw this tonight, and this was another one we liked. This certainly felt like the biggest flat we’ve seen, with two good sized bedrooms, a largish kitchen and bathroom, and a nice living room. Wooden floors throughout, and gas central heating.

Some little things that we didn’t like – no oven, only a hob, and the service charges were on the high-ish side (900 pounds a year), but definitely one we think is worth a second look.

8 Grove Lodge
Last one for now. Not a lot to say really – it was fine, but nothing special. Confirmed what we thought really about the other thing – it was fine, but I don’t think we would see it as a move up from where we are.

Valuation 2


We had our second valuation today. The guy who did it was very thorough, and took time to measure the rooms (with some clever sonic device), and asked lots of questions about the lease, the central heating system and the like – all the kind of thing that the previous valuer had not been bothered about at all.

And the result? Exactly the same as the first valuation – which probably goes to show that it’s not rocket science.

We’ve got another valuation booked for next week (probably the last I should think – 3 seems to be enough to be going on with) – then we need to decide who to use, and when to put it on the market. I’m starting to get slightly worried about the timing – although in theory it is (apparently) a seller’s market, and we should have no problem selling our flat, it would be nice to already have an offer on ours when we see the one we want.

Milton Lodge


We viewed our first flat today, and only took us 15 minutes – I’ve spent more time deciding on a pair of boots!

From the outside, all looked well, although it was on quite a busy road.

What we liked:
Lovely wood flooring
Nice big hallway
High standard of decor
First floor flat

On the downside:
Kitchen and Bathroom smaller than we would like
Main bedroom lacked natural light
Lack of electrical sockets in main bedroom
No storage space
No allocated parking space

Viewing the flat made me realise that a good sized kitchen should be a priority on the big great Twickenham flat hunt

Home Sweet New Home?


We started on our hunt for a new home today – we saw our first flat. However, first we thought we’d better say what we were looking for:

Near to Twickenham Station (maximum of 10-15 minutes walk) – which would put it somewhere on this map
Total floorspace more than our current flat (55 sq m)
2 Bedrooms

After seeing our first flat today (see the next post), we added a new condition to our wish list:

A largish kitchen (our current one in 3.1m x 2.2m)