I'm back from a two day international house hunting trip. I laughed, I cried, I pulled an all-nighter and most importantly, I found our new home. I've been planning on presenting my final three options like the House Hunters International show and let you all weigh in on which one I should have chosen.
Funny thing is, my relocation consultant (person who organized and showed me all the listings) was on the show a year ago. She was helping a NY couple find a place in London.
Kate my home finder
In the tone of House Hunters International here is the latest episode:
The LoRusso family lives outside of Washington, DC. Matt's company is relocating him to central London for at least two years. His wife, Julie is a housewife and self proclaimed home body, so the search for a place that will feel like home is very important to her. They have a son who will be going to school in London, and they will need to be located close to school since they won't have a car.
There are not a lot of properties that have the features Julie is looking for and are also within their budget. Julie wants something that is close to her son's new school, has some character or charm, has a least 2 bedrooms, good storage, two bathrooms, some type of outdoor space (like a terrace, balcony, patio), and nothing that feels like a hotel-she prefers not to have to use an elevator to get to her front door. The search is focussed on the Regent's Park area of London
The first property is a flat in the St. John's Wood neighborhood. It's across the street from the Lord's Cricket Grounds and has plenty of character and closet space. This area is known for having a heavy population of Americans, so she'd be among fellow American expats. It has stairs and an elevator, but is on the sixth floor.
The walk to school would be about 20 minutes. It has three bedrooms. This unit is just under budget.
And chandeliers a-plenty!
Open space with chandelier could be used as a dining area.
Beautiful hardwood floors throughout.
Updated kitchen with room for a table.
(There is a typical european combination washer/dryer unit in the kitchen, which is very common in London. They are notorious for being quite small and not effective as dryers. That's why the current resident is air drying his clothes on the furniture in the living room.)
Third bedroom could be used as an office and guest room.
High ceilings, great closets, good sized rooms.
The second property is a mews house,about a 10 minute walk to school and is just one block from the neighborhood high street. What it lacks in charm it makes up for with storage. It has a garage! But it has gray wall to wall carpeting and very small bedrooms with small closets. The kitchen is on the ground floor and the living room is on the second floor.
kitchen on the ground floor.
utility room with washer AND dryer
Large living room on the second floor
The bedrooms are small
The second property is over budget, but "negotiable".
The third property is a sleek mews house that is about a 10 minute walk from the school. It has the kitchen, living room, washer AND dryer on the main floor. It has three bedrooms with nice closet space and has been updated with windows everywhere to maximize natural light inside. The second floor even has a partial glass floor to bring light into the main floor.
Kitchen includes top of the line appliances, and island, skylight and wood floors.
First floor stairs.
(Notice the glass floor that bring light into the kitchen below)
The bedrooms are nice sizes and all have good closets.
Every bedroom has it's own bathroom
The top floor has a big skylight that's automated!
The third property is significantly over budget.
So, which property will the LoRussos choose? Will it be the charming flat with chandeliers, high ceilings, wood floors and nice closets? Or will it be the Mews house with a ground floor kitchen, two bedrooms and a garage? Or, will they splurge and take the sleek mews house with one floor living, great light and a bathroom for every bedroom?