Thursday, July 03, 2008

flat hunting

I've spent the last couple of days flat-hunting in Brighton, a wearying but quite enjoyable process so long as there isn't any urgency and – happily – on this occasion there isn't. I'm basically window flat—shopping, wondering if I should upgrade my studio to a bigger and more comfortable place and seeing what's available. Unlike on almost every other occasion I've done it in the past, I'm looking without being forced to do so by a notice period running down.

The first flat I saw was through Direct Lettings, who arranged to show me a flat on Powis Road, and timed the appointment so that they could show a couple round at the same time. I hate this arrangement, so arrived early, establishing my presence as the dominant flat-hunter. The rival couple stood sulkily on the other side of the road, resenting my proximity. After a while a man-child with a thickly knotted tie pulled up in a hatchback and escorted us inside. The flat was nice but too small, a double bedroom which offered space for nothing more than a bed, and a nice living room with a kitchen settled incongruously on its flank, inching into the space. The young man showing us round was clearly tongue-tied so I didn't ask any questions, just peered into spaces and waited to leave.

The second flat was much better, tempting even – a compact but attractive apartment in the middle of Brighton's lively North Laine, complete with laminated floorboards, two balconies and a huge glass window-wall looking out onto the street. It was the sort of place that was easy to fall in love with, so I put my head down and muttered "too small, too small, too small" to myself, until the urge to take it faded away. I left the property exchanging warm words with the agent – this time a charming bloke from Leaders, whose first statement of purpose was the following:

"I don’t know if you can smell it, but I’m covered in deep heat".

Which kind of broke the ice.

This morning the same agent – Ben; if you use Leaders ask for Ben – showed me round a flat on Buckingham Place, well positioned in Seven Dials and near the station, as well as the shops and Dan's house, too. And all of a sudden the luxury of relaxed flat-hunting went out of the window because, well, it was rather super, and now I need to think of notice periods, deposits and contracts because... I think... I'm going to take it.

5 comments:

anne so said...

Not in the same building where we burnt the balcony, i hope? :)

jonathan said...

Ha ha, no - other side of the road (not far from Anita's). Just phoned 'em and took it so I only have one more month of the Crescent being my local :-0

Dan said...

Oh God.. My life is turning into Neighbours... Just think, as I go to answer the door someone I know will be at the other side in order to save time in the plot!

anneso said...

you should build tunnels linking all your flats.

jonathan said...

Yes! Coming out at the Crescent!