We toured lots of properties last week on our house hunting trip. Some were really nice, others less so. Some larger and farther away from things, some closer and smaller. Old Victorians converted into apartments and newer construction town houses. Due to the fact that that Josh will be commuting to the suburbs, we looked in areas of town in the direction of his office that are still connected to the rest of the city via the Underground (the Tube). All of the places we looked will involve a half hour train/Tube ride to the heart of London.
While most House Hunters shows reveal three options, we're going to do four. Just for fun.
And now, like the last time, let me morph into my Suzanne Whang persona:
Option 1 is located in Richmond, their ideal neighborhood, and is near the local transit station. This flat covers the ground floor and basement of the building, which will make for easy access in and out with two small kids. They liked the open concept living room/dining room/kitchen, and appreciated the extra basement room that could be used for a play room or guest room. The master bathroom was large and opened onto a small courtyard. While the courtyard was private and quiet, it was very small, and there was no other outdoor space.
Exterior (flat covers just the main floor):
Master bedroom with access to a private little garden:
Basement extra room:
Option 2 is in a historic 18th century building and retains some original features. The flat boasts large rooms throughout. While it does not have an open floor plan, the kitchen does enter onto a semi-private garden, and there is a large park right across the road. It is located near the darling Wimbledon Village, but is farther away from public transit than they'd like to be. The decor was largely shabby chic, which isn't their preferred style, but it had a certain English cottage charm.
Exterior (flat on bottom floor):
One of the bedrooms (fun chandeliers in every room - bonus!):
Option 3 is located near Kew Botanical Gardens. While it is the largest and newest property on their list, it is the farthest from the train and will involve the longest commute. It is located in a little community that has pretty grounds, great areas to play outside, and easy access to a trail along the river. However, it's a tall and skinny townhouse, spread over four floors. This means that the kitchen is on the ground floor, while the living room is one floor up. It does include a garage (which is pronounced similar to "carriage") which is rare and would be helpful.
Exterior (notice FOUR floors):
Josh walking out of the family room:
Option 4 is located just across the Thames River from charming Richmond. The flat is located on the second floor of an old mansion that has been long since been converted to apartments. They liked the updated feel of the place and proximity to parks, a river trail, and a playground. While the kitchen is a bit closed off, the entire flat seems open and bright due to light paint colors, high ceilings, and lots of windows. A major drawback, however, is the fact that tenants aren't able to keep anything on the main floor, and any trip outside for us will involve lugging a stroller (aka pushchair or buggy) down a flight of stairs.
Exterior (it's the on the left side, middle floor):
Kitchen (and what a fun light fixture! I'd never be that bold, but I do like it)
Odd middle-of-the-flat room which connects all other rooms.
So which one do you think we chose?