Moving into your first house after graduation can be an exciting, yet extremely stressful time.
Having said goodbye to 3-month summer breaks, secured a graduate job in London, and officially flown the nest; it’s now time to start your preparation for the big move.
From organising bill payments to finding where to live in London on a budget and meeting your new housemates – there are a number of things that go into making the move to London as a graduate.
Well, don’t stress – we’ve got you covered with a handy list of things you should know now you are moving into your first house share in London, read on to find out more!
Or head back to our Complete Guide to London.
Top tips for finding house shares in London
1. Decide where to live in London
Moving to London can be overwhelming, especially with how vast the city is – how do you choose between East London or South London?
The location of your graduate job should be a big factor when deciding where to build your base, the commute especially – if it’s an hour and a half each way, is that a valuable use of your time or graduate budget?
When surfing the web for your new home, Zoopla and Rightmove will soon become your go-to bookmarked pages and your day-to-day will quickly involve spending more time on the phone to estate agents than to your friends and family.
Properties get snapped up quickly, so this part of the process is vital to ensuring you get the first pick.
Work out your budget whilst you look, research the areas you’d like to live in and when you would like to or need to move in – once you have that figured out, you should be able to have a good idea of the types of places you can afford.
As well as this, you will need to work out how much of what you earn will be used to spend on rent, and what salary you’ll need to successfully afford living in London.
Estate agents may ask you to confirm a UK-based guarantor who can guarantee the rent for you.
2. Find housemates in London
Once you’ve worked out which areas you can afford in London or would like to live in, you’ll then need to decide who you’d like to live with.
Choosing housemates in London is an important task – deciding between living with friends and strangers can be tricky, as house dynamics can alter relationships when faced with new challenges.
If you’d rather live with strangers and are looking for the best house shares in London, check out Spareroom, a great site to help you find people you would like to house share with, or spare rooms available in already formed homes.
You’ll need to set up a free profile, where you should explain a little bit about your personality, interests, what you are like as a housemate, and how long you are looking to rent a room for.
You can then chat to potential new housemates on the platform.
If you’ve decided on a group to live with already, Homie is also a go-to site for finding houses, with places to live in every area of London.
3. Complete your property inventory checks
Once you’ve signed the contract and moved in, make sure you double-check the condition of all the appliances and furniture in your home.
Take pictures of anything which isn’t clean, because it could come back to bite you when you move out – you don’t want your landlord or agency to charge you for any damage that you didn’t cause.
Document everything and inform your agent as soon as you move in – you might not want to at the time, but it will help to eliminate any hassle when you do decide to move out to a different area of London.
4. Consider the initial costs and bills
When moving into your first house share in London, the costs can add up quickly.
After paying that initial deposit and two months’ rent upfront, there are still bills to set up (hello council tax!)
Always make sure you save enough money at the end of paying your rent, as the first few months can be quite heavy on the purse strings with setting up bills, water, and internet.
Like each part of the house hunting process, make sure you do your research before committing to one provider, and seek out the best deals.
This is where choosing trustworthy flatmates to live with in London will come in handy as you will all have to chip in for bills – you don’t want to be the one left out of pocket if the bills are in your name.
Put Acasa and Billing Better on your radar – they provide a quick and easy way of paying bills, so there will be no excuse for late payments!
There will always be one flatmate who won’t want to pay for a TV license – but it is worth paying either monthly or a one-off amount, as they do check.
5. Settle into your new house share in London – and enjoy!
When all the hard work is done, get out and enjoy London for the city it is!
Housewarmings are great for bonding with flatmates and their friends, and will hopefully expand your London network.
Take the time to really get to know the area you’re living in; go for walks, check out travel connections, familiarise yourself with buses, try out local cafes, pubs, and gyms.
Post-graduate life can be a daunting prospect, but don’t forget how these changes can have a positive impact.
Finding the perfect graduate house share in London relies on you taking the time to organise finding housemates, paying bills and rent, and moving into your new London home.
Find more graduate career advice on our Careers Advice Blog – or check out the latest Graduate Jobs in London and across the UK!