The loved-up pair are seeking the perfect love-nest near Kensington Palace - the former London residence of William's late mother DIANA, Princess Of Wales.
And William is determined to find a house before he joins his brother Prince Harry at Sandhurst Military Academy next spring (06), ensuring he can spend weekends with Middleton, while cleverly avoiding the royal taboo of cohabiting before marriage.
A friend of the couple says, "William and Kate want to continue living together as they did at St Andrews University, but they want to have a place of their own away from the royal palaces, where they feel they lack privacy and feel stifled.
"They want to be like any couple starting out on a new life with a place which they can use to entertain friends, throw parties and relax.
"William plans to stay there only on weekend leave from Sandhurst, which is ideal as it means it can be regarded as Kate's home.
"This gets around the tricky issue of living together before they are married, which could upset some church traditionalists."