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Buying in London: 'should I base my house hunt around my favourite pub?'

A colleague based his house hunt around a 2-mile radius from the Coach and Horses (Fullers Pubs)
A colleague based his house hunt around a 2-mile radius from the Coach and Horses (Fullers Pubs)

Like many renters one thing I’ve not yet had to make a major compromise on is the areas I’ve lived in.

Some locations will always be over budget, sure, but until recently most young professional tenants have had more or less our pick of commutable spots with aspirational urban village character.

When renters turn into first-time buyers they often get a shock when they find their budgets will stretch only to some far-flung place they’ve barely heard of.

With my dream area (where I currently rent) out of reach I’m finding it hard to narrow my hunt to one place I care about more than others, no matter how much easier it would make my life, not least by streamlining the number of estate agents with whom I’m in close contact.

A (similarly spoilt) colleague offered up a slightly different approach that had proved successful for him.

Rather than picking an area he wanted to live in, he chose a spot he wanted to reach easily and set his search at a two-mile radius around that.

Being a truly ridiculous person, his nucleus was the Coach & Horses in Soho but it could be anything you expect to frequent: close family, the office, a particular school, your five-a-side football pitch…

You’ll still have to deal with multiple estate agent offices but at least you can circumvent the trap of becoming fixated on a hype postcode where homes are scarce, competition fierce and prices always rising out of reach.

You might even discover a new dream neighbourhood you had never considered before. I’m game to give it a go. Let the adventure continue.