Not sure if I’ve mentioned it but I’m one of those people that can pick up and be at home somewhere in a couple of weeks. In other words, I have shallow roots; well pretty shallow in all things !
In the last few weeks, I’ve been on Rightmove and Zoopla looking at homes, mainly retirement properties. I even put an offer on one that fell through.
I’ve been all over the place both in location and type of home. I’ve looked at studios, 1 bed, 2 bed and even a couple of small houses all over the Greater London area.
I’m still no closer to getting a place now than when I started.
When thinking about where I want to live, there are a number of critical things.
1. Safety. I want to be able to go out and not feel that I’m going to get mugged or worse when I come home somewhere between 10 – midnight after being out for the evening. Equally, I don’t want to be worrying if my home is going to be robbed while I’m out or while I’m in it.
2. Public Transport. It needs to be near to a Tube Station. Ideally it would be on the Piccadilly line as that line has the most places I want to go to on it. (Museums, Theaters, Family, etc). And not more than 60 minutes away, by public transport, from any of my favorite places.
These are the most essential, the others are important but more negotiable.
3. Local Stuff. Shops, a park, library, Dr, couple of restaurants.
4. Private Outside Space. A balcony where I could put a small table and chair. Or, a small garden, emphasis on small.
5. Close to the SGI center in Acton. My religion is important to me and it would be good if I was close to the center as it would be easy for me to get to it and volunteer at it.
6. Size. While I could live in a studio, and may end up in one, I’d rather have a 1 bedroom. I love that studios cost less to buy and to run but would need one with a bed alcove so I could disguise the bed. Also, a separate kitchen.
7. Separate Kitchen. I don’t like a place where the kitchen is part of the living room. It’s ok if the kitchen is a distinct space in the living room but it can’t be where the kitchen units are along a wall with no separation.
8. Bathtub. I love being able to soak in a tub. Shower are great for getting clean but don’t cut it for relaxing and pampering yourself.
9. Social activities. One of the reasons I’ve been looking a retirement communities, even though I think I’m a little young for them, is that they have social activities. I’m not a very social person and will be coming back knowing very few people and so moving somewhere that has some social activities would be a bonus.
10. Storage Heaters. I’d rather have a place with storage heaters rather than gas central heating. They probably cost a little more to run but there’s less maintenance.