Deal or No Deal: househunting at high speed
As well as being unemployed and having a disturbing lack of shame and/or dress sense, to appear on Deal or No Deal you’ve also got to be able to make important decisions very quickly.
‘Do I go with the £8,000 or am I risking missing out on £10,000? What if my box only has £1 in it?’
Now apply this dilemma to something that’s actually quite important, and you have a vague idea of what its like trying to find a place to rent in London.
My 3 new housemates and myself have been ‘on the market’ now for 3 weeks, popping into London whenever we have a free day. We’ve visited every estate agent south of the Thames and in each, the answers been the same:
“Oh, there are no 4-bedroom places available at the moment…but as soon as something comes up, we’ll get in touch with you straight away.“
Yes, of course you will dear.
But the sparcity of buildings with four bedrooms and a roof in one of the largest cities in the world is the least of our worries. For when one does become available, we enter a high octane game where every second counts and a single hesitation can cost you dear.
We must have viewed about 15 places by now, and 5 of them have been just what we’re looking for – great location, decent price, no rats. But they’ve been bought out within seconds of us stepping outside the house – once you’ve seen a place that you like, you literally have seconds to decide.
It’s as if a little clock appears at the corner of your vision, getting louder and louder until…you’ve missed your chance.
This is all fair enough – I mean, when the demand on the market is so high, it’s understandable. But how are you supposed to make a sensible decision about something as important as your home in 10 seconds? Oh how I wish I had Noel Edmunds on standby to keep the Agent on the phone to give me just 1 more minute to think…