02/05/2014 11:53 BST | Updated 01/07/2014 06:59 BST

The (Not So) Secret Diary of a London First Time Buyer; Aged 34 1⁄4 - Part V ... Meet The House Hunters

March 2014:

It's unsettling how easy it is to become a solipsistic shithead when you are trying to buy your first London property in this market. My weekdays have been spent wading online through a succession of rip-off bedsits and eye-wateringly small one-bedders whilst Saturdays are set aside for grim launch days. (If Kafka were alive today, I can't help but think he'd donate at least a chapter of a book to the existential nightmare of a Zoopla organised 50-person flat open day. They are that grisly and bleak...) My scant relief comes on Sundays when I grab the chance to offload nuggets of flat searching horror on to friends and family. They tend to grimace and nod supportively at my forlorn travails...and then, I imagine - when safely out of earshot - silently fist-pump that they bought in 2010 before this current property mentalness took hold.

I can't be the only one whose life now follows this bonkers pattern, I started to think. There are many thousands of people looking to buy a place in London right now. I imagine deep down that most share my rather basic ideal; to work hard. Save harder. Use any money that happens to be left by relatives. And move into their first home of bricks and mortar. That's the dream, isn't it?

I wanted to find out, to hear their stories. And so I set off to meet some where I wanted to live. They simply HAD to be suffering less flat-hunting invoked neuroses than me. At least, that's what I thought...