All things real estate

Turns out, you need a car to do most things over here. I don’t have a car.  And if I did, I would most likely be too scared to drive it.

I do enjoy walking, don’t get me wrong. I’ve completed two walking marathons and one 50km walk back at home. 

But the pavements here (where we are) aren’t really designed for people to walk on. Mostly because they finish at an extremely busy highway with no way of crossing. 

This is massively sweeping statement – I believe that we are currently staying in a pretty industrial area. When we move in three weeks (fingers crossed) all that will change (fingers crossed).

Because – seamlessly linking there – we have found our home! Yes! We don’t hang around.  Day two and we are home-d. Does that count as a word to describe no longer homeless? 

I feel that we were probably quite easy to home. 

In England we lived in a very beautiful and – estate agent speak – “much sought after town”. 

Because of this, the house we lived in was a small box, jam-packed into a terrace of small boxes. And our garden was a concrete square that probably measured 6ft x 6ft.

So all we needed to see was a house with a proper garden and we were sold.

So, we are officially sold.

And here are some things we learnt along the way.

1. *bonus prize* in America you don’t pay council tax!

For my American friends, in the UK we have to pay (in addition to rent) about another  £1,000-£2500 a year to the local council for road maintenance etc etc. Our amazing real estate guy thought we were kidding.

2. He thought we were kidding even more when we told him about our TV license fee (yup Brits who are moving out here – none of that either). This is basically a monthly fee to have the privilege of owning a TV.

3. The fee structure is different. In the UK, a landlord puts a house up for rent with an estate agent. They advertise it. A tenant sees it online or in an estate agent shop window and BOOM happy tenant, happy landlord,happy estate agent. The tenant pays one months rent and 1.5 months security deposit. All done.

However, over here you also pay an additional one month as a fee to the realtor – a kind of admin/finders fee if you like.

Brits – pay attention to this as it caught us out. It’s not hidden, we just didn’t expect it.

4. Once you become a tenant, you are fully handed over to the landlord. In the UK we continue to do everything through the estate agent, however here you best build a good relationship with your landlord as there will be no buffer.

5. Tenants are king. This is music to my ears. Not because I plan on taking the piss, but at the moment we are having a battle getting our full security deposit back from our UK home because of some maintenance work we had done on the house. 

Maintenance work, I hasten to add, that was done out of necessity because the house was shambolic, done via the estate agent, and done using the estate agents maintenance guy (ps, the job was never completed!) 

In the UK, landlords rule all. So, to hear that this isn’t the case over here is a joy (speaking as a tenant)

6. Oh and one final thing – there is a rental season. Try and rent after September (once the kids go back to school) and you will be hard pushed to find anything. Take note. We are trying to rent in August *groan*

So there you go – on the whole the process is pretty much the same but there are nuances to be aware of if you’re a Brit moving over here.

Take care and stay safe.


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