Now that property prices in major cities, like London are increasing after the uncertainty caused by the run up to the 2015 UK General Election is finally over, buying a property in those cities has become more challenging for those who are just starting out.Most people in this position come to the conclusion that renting is really the only viable option but, when supply is limited and demand increasing, even that option can become prohibitively expensive especially in areas where the demand for rental property is at its highest - and its a fact that usually that's where the best jobs are located.
Rental Prices Are Rising Too
As I write this, there is plenty of evidence in the estate agent's windows that people are happily paying more than £2500 monthly for a modest apartment. Now everyone knows that London is not a low cost place to live, and probably never will be, but it remains a fact that within a few minutes walk there are lots of jobs on offer, all paying top salaries and offering huge potential for personal development to the successful applicants.
That does, of course, create an ongoing demand for residential properties like there has never been before.
The Commuting Option
Many people in this situation will, no doubt, opt for the other solution which is to live in a lower cost area, out of town, and make a daily, difficult, commute. Although many people do this, it's an option that many don't wish to take.
Now, I travel on the Underground regularly and Transport For London certainly do their best to get everyone to work and back again with a system that is oversubscribed and difficult to expand.
What I do not do, unless there is no alternative, is travel the Underground during rush hour on a weekday morning. Why? Because it's chaos; too many people crushed into carriages, everyone unable to move, breathing someone else's second hand air and being confronted with smells you don't find anywhere else. No, I would go to great lengths to avoid that, and I am lucky in that I am able to do just that on most days.
So do you decide to take your chances on the train, or perhaps drive in to work and sit in a traffic queue for hours and then fight to find a parking space that doesn't cost a day's wages?
Don't Want To Commute - Neither Would I
Some do choose to do this, many do in fact, but many also choose the more civilised, albeit expensive, option of finding somewhere to live that is closer to the job and involves only a short walk or bus ride to work each day.
Given that it's a fact that many people just cannot afford to rent a home in a major city on their own they decide upon the only other option that may be open to them - they decide to share.
Let's face it, most people only need one bedroom and resources such as a kitchen and bathroom are easy to share as you need them for only a short time each day.
All in all it seems that there are perfect conditions for the house-sharing and flat sharing market to flourish - and it certainly seems that it is doing so.
Specialist house sharing websites and letting agencies have sprung up to cater for this trend. It's now relatively straightforward to find potential house or flat sharing opportunities and, after a few viewings and credit checks, you could be in a shared, home with your as yet unknown, housemates or flatmates.
So is that "problem solved"? No, not by a long chalk, in fact the fun is really just about to start.
Bill-Sharing - Much More Than Just The Rent
When sharing a home with others there is much more than just the rent to pay. You have to work out a way to equally, and fairly, split the bills that are involved in such an arrangement.
As many no doubt do, you could try to muddle through this by yourselves, hoping for the best, or you could be lucky and find yourself a landlord that offers a bills-inclusive rent, an arrangement which makes life so much easier for all concerned.
Alternatively, you could be one of the many shared house tenants that have to come to some mutual agreement with their housemates about how to share the bills and make sure everyone pays their share.
You could, of course, draw up an agreement on the back of an envelope but. if the worst happened and one or more of the sharers decided to abscond without stumping up the cash, who does that leave to make up the shortfall?
You, of course, and any other remaining housemates, that's who.
Make Life Simpler - Share With Glide Utilities
In order to make life simpler for all concerned and to help avoid the above nightmare scenario ever taking place, there is a useful facility offered by a Birmingham-based utility company called Glide Utilities, (they do cover the whole of the UK), who will combine all of your shared utility bills other shared costs and produce a formal agreement, binding on all parties - equally and fairly.
So, in the event of an absconder leaving without paying you don't have to worry, Glide Utilities will see to all of that whilst you continue to pay just your fair share.
Moving into shared accommodation and sharing the bills with strangers is traumatic enough without also having to deal with finding utility suppliers so why not make life easy for yourself and contact Glide Utilities who provide Gas, Electricity, Water, Telephone TV Licence and Broadband, all in one package, divided equally between you and your housemates.
When life is hectic and time is in very short supply why not give yourself the peace of mind that comes with knowing that all your shared utility bills are covered by a fair and formal bill sharing agreement from the bill sharing experts, Glide Utilities.