Mouthy Money editor Edmund Greaves meets author and entrepreneur Robert Gardner to find out about…Read More →
Hi, I’m Andrew. I’m what might be termed a young professional and like many others of that ilk, my dream is to find a home to call my own. I earn a good salary, I have no dependents, and aside from a crippling addiction to coffee and soft furnishings, no real drains on my finances. But even so, home ownership remains a dim and distant prospect. Oh, did I mention I live in London? Yeah. So that makes everything roughly a hundred times more challenging. I don’t have wild or unrealistic expectations ‐ a roof, four walls, and adequate plumbing are the limits of my ambition. Room to swing a cat would be nice, but after 18 months of trawling Rightmove, I’ve had to temper that expectation somewhat.
Oh, did I mention I live in London? Yeah. So that makes everything roughly a hundred times more challenging.
I live in South London, in a lovely flat. I’ve been here for seven years. Seven YEARS. And I’ll tell you what, renting is shit. My landlord recently decided he was going to change the windows. Very nice you might say. Double glazing, lower heating bills, no longer the fear of a rotting frame giving way leaving a gaping hole in your bedroom and a million shards of glass all over your NIKE trainers. But, here’s the pinch. Landlords don’t care what level of disruption and carnage extensive works, performed by cowboy builders, might wreak on their tenants. And once the windows are in, that’s the job done. Never mind replacing the blinds and sparing neighbours the indignity of seeing me in the altogether dancing around the room to Eternal at 8am (it’s an integral part of my morning routine). I feel like I’m living in a bloody goldfish bowl. When I tried to point out the flaws in their project management skills, they replied by saying that they were spending a lot of money and that I would have to accept a certain level of inconvenience. I pointed out that my flatmate and I have paid him over £100,000 in rent over the time we’ve lived here, and that a degree of consideration wouldn’t go amiss. That went down a storm, obviously.
Anyway, I digress. I suppose all I’m trying to say is, I’m tired of living in someone else’s house. I want my own place, where if the windows are replaced I get to decide who does it, and when. That’s my dream for 2016. I want to be in charge of my own life. Is that too much to ask?