Moving House - why so darned expensive!

by Crumpet 26 Replies latest social current

  • Crumpet

    As you may already know Mr C and I are parting company and I am on the search for somewhere to live.

    Last night I saw two dirty, grubby pokey and depressing little rooms, about 8 foot by 9 foot, which I could just about afford at £450 a month (thats about $900 to you yanks)! This is not in London but about 30 minutes by train from London. even at £450 its going to be extremely tight - I'll only have about £30-40 a week for food, fuel, clothes and travel left over.

    What are your best money saving tips? And does anyone know if it is now normal for lettign agencies to charge approximately a weeks rent as a fee - this was not the case when I last lived alone 5 years ago so I want to be sure I am not being ripped off anymore than I will be by renting one of the hovels available.


  • Fe2O3Girl

    Ouch Crumpet! I think that in the buy-to-let economy and with south east prices, you are in a tough position. I don't have any expertise on those issues, but I can recommend Martin Lewis' website:

    to get the best value for money on current accounts, bills, spending and credit without being a skinflint.


  • fullofdoubtnow

    Hi Crumpet,

    The letting agencies around here (Derby) usually ask for a weeks' rent as a deposit, which you get back eventually as long as you haven't done any damage to the property while you live there.

    If you are using the train regularly to get around, a season ticket would be a way of saving some money, I know Trev used to buy one to get to Nottingham and back before he got free parking at work, and it saved him around £18 - £20 per month than if he'd bought a ticket every day. As for saving money on gas and electricity, we have card meters here instead of paying a bill. We are both out most of the day, so only use power when we are here, and find that a saving.

    I hope you manage to find somewhere nice at a reasonable price that you can afford. If you need anything and we have it spare, you are welcome to it. Let us know if there is anything you are short of, and we will try to help. I will pm you with our email address shortly.

    All the very best with wherever you end up living.



  • Dansk

    Hi Lovely,

    I really am sorry for your present situation - but I feel, and I know you know, that long-term it is for the best and that you WILL overcome it!!

    It's been years since I lived the bachelor life and lived in a few hovels myself - expensive and inexpensive - but I remember when Claire and I first got married and money was tight we would scour the charity shops for bargains - and there are plenty! Claire even managed to pick me a smart suit one day!!

    Where we live now, there is a strong wealthy Jewish element, and in the charity shops cheap costing items of real quality are availble, so DON'T be too proud to visit such-like in your area!

    Obviously, your social life will be curtailed somewhat, but that's no big deal as it will enable you to save. Pick one night, say a weekend night, when you can go out and really enjoy yourself - but don't be tempted to make it two in a row. Make new friends and rekindle old ones, and accept every dinner invitation you can as, not only will this get you out of your four walls, it'll also save you on groceries because you'll be getting a free meal!

    If you can, walk instead of catching the bus. Catch the bus instead of the train. Catch the train only when you have to.

    I have a brother who has the ability to cook a wonderful meal out of the cheapest left-overs. OK, he's a qualified chef, but it just goes to show what one can achieve when one puts their mind to it. Don't eat expensive foods when you don't have to. Beans on toast is very nutritious, even if it's boring! And I'm a master with omlettes - another good, cheap but filling food!

    I'm sure the ladies on this forum, especially, will be able to give you more sound advice, but the above has helped me and can help you, too.



  • Sad emo
    Sad emo


    Not having ever rented a house myself the following suggestions may be wrong but I hope they give you some ideas!

    Within 30 mins of London is slap bang in the commuter belt - that's why our prices have shot up where I am (halfway between Manchester and Leeds). Could you look a little further afield?

    Have you looked in the small ads of local papers - some owners rent privately thus cutting out the letting agent. Private letting isn't as open to unscrupulous people as it used to be re giving notice of end of rental etc. The laws have been tightened up.

    If moving further out isn't an option, consider looking at houses/flats in areas with a bad reputation. This isn't as crazy as it sounds!!! Quite often, in a 'rough' area, there will lie small pockets which aren't bad but have just been tarred with the same brush. (I live in one such area) The rent charged however, will reflect the area.

    I don't get the reasoning behind letting agents charging a fee - is that just so you can go onto their books, or in case you pull out of a rent agreement or maybe it's just another name for a bond?

    Hope you get sorted soon

  • Crumpet
    Catch the bus instead of the train. Catch the train only when you have to.

    Excellent advice Ian which I am already putting into practice coming to the Aposta Curry - by train it would have cost £57 cheapest and by bus its costing me £5! In fact its not even costing £5 as Mr C has paid for it!

    I'm not too proud for charity shops - so I will be doing that.

    Linda - thanks for the ideas - I do currently use a season ticket so its £85 a month to get to work, but if I move closer to work which is the plan I should be able to walk everywhere. Down here you need a months rent in advance and a months rent as a deposit as well - not just a week, but Mr C is going to lend me that indefinitely.

    Thanks for the link to that site Rachel - very helpful ideas there!

    Ian - I wont be able to go out full stop and as for dinner invitations no one likes single girls at dinner parties - but thats okay i like my own company. Its just annoying that I wont have internet access as I dont think I can afford that, but never mind. I have dozens of books

  • Gadget
    And does anyone know if it is now normal for lettign agencies to charge approximately a weeks rent as a fee

    Its normal. Before I sold my old house, my tenants paid £125 agency fees, a months rent in advance, plus a months rent as deposit. The letting agency made a lot of money from both of us without doing any real work, and still ended up dropping me in it! Thats why I ended up selling the house.

    I would recommend using a private landlord if possible. I would avoid people with lots of properties, but people with just one or two can have some real bargains, as well as being a lot easier to deal with to get problems sorted than a letting agency.

  • Sad emo
    Sad emo
    Its just annoying that I wont have internet access

    The local library (if you still have one lol!)

    I think most have FREE internet access, you might have to book a slot though. If they don't have internet, you can get lots more free books

    And if you're in the library you'd be saving electric and heating costs!

  • fullofdoubtnow

    Will you have a pc/laptop?

    Where Trev works, they are upgrading all the computers next month, and he gets the opportunity to buy a pc or laptop at a ridiculously cheap price, like £100 for a fairly new laptop, with desktops even cheaper. Our friend Marion is taking advantage of this, as she has limited resources, and I would have to ask Trev when he gets home from work, but I don't think he is restricted to buying just 1. I f you are intersted, I can ask, just let me know.



  • Crumpet
    Within 30 mins of London is slap bang in the commuter belt - that's why our prices have shot up where I am (halfway between Manchester and Leeds). Could you look a little further afield

    Sad Emo - lucky you never having rented - how did you manage that?

    I am living in the most expensive part of the country I know but I can't move any further out - it currently takes me between 2.5 and 4 hours to and from work each day so I'm hoping to save money and time by living closer to work. We have plenty of areas with bad reputations but as a single woman it simply wont be safe for me coming home from work alone and Mr C has forbidden me to move anywhere like that namely - West Croydon/Brixton way. There are some nice flats but its in drug dealer country and very ghetto-ish. Murder, assault and rape are very common - hardly even make the local rag - just loads of police signs up appealing for witnesses constantly.

    I have the internet at work - so I wont be completely cut off. But in the long lonely winter evenings to come it would be nice to get online - still I shouldnt rule it out - I might be able to afford it.

    And Linda thank you for the offer re cheap laptops - if only I'd known that a few months ago! I bought one and am paying it off interest free monthly so it will be paid for by December which will give me some extra money - not a lot but some.

    gadget - thanks for the advice re the up front fee - I nevefr got asked for this when I used to rent - how annoying. But thats a really good idea about the private landlords who just own a couple of properties - I am looking into that now through teh private ads on the net and there are some nicer places available in reasonable areas!

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