how to find a flat: part 1

Searching for a flat is never an easy task, especially when you move to a city that you’ve never been to and know very little about. My boyfriend Andrew and I were extremely lucky. Despite our limited knowledge of Edinburgh and its housing market, we live in an affordable and beautiful flat in Holyrood Park.

Our apartment is in the upper left-hand corner.

Our flat is on the 4th floor in the very right-hand corner.

I can’t take credit for our accommodations. I fractured my vertebral column in a major car accident right before I was supposed to arrive in Edinburgh. Andrew flew from his home in South Africa to visit me in Seattle before heading off to Edinburgh to search for housing on his own (I really do have the most incredible boyfriend! =)). He spent two long weeks looking for a one-bedroom flat that met our criteria:

Affordable. No more than £600 a month total.

Furnished. Since we knew that we’d probably be in Edinburgh for no more than a year, we didn’t want to invest a lot of money in furniture and appliances. Fortunately, most flats in Edinburgh are furnished.

Internet-Ready. Not all apartments in Edinburgh are Internet-ready. Andrew and I spend more than half our days on our laptops, so having a flat with Internet was vitally important.

Centrally Located. To avoid spending money on the bus, we wanted to be within walking distance from the university and city centre.

Limited Noise. Andrew is very sensitive to sound, so we didn’t want to live in a building with a lot of noise or on a busy street. We especially wanted to distant ourselves from the pubs, bars and clubs to avoid the drunken first years on the weekends.

Good Overall Conditions. Like most people, we wanted a spacious, clean, well-maintained apartment devoid of mold, yellowing walls, weird stains on the carpet, etc.

Our living room and kitchen

Our kitchen and living room

We were extremely lucky to find an apartment that not only met, but also surpassed our criteria. I definitely wasn’t expecting to live in a place as serene and picturesque as Holyrood Park, especially after hearing Andrew’s horrific descriptions of other flats he had visited. According to Andrew, “It was one of the most painful experiences of my life.”

In the next few entries, I will describe how Andrew found our apartment and share the best resources for finding an apartment in Edinburgh.

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