Sunday, December 09, 2007

More freaking houses

Places we have viewed since then.*

1. Extremely elegant building that simultaneously managed to be right in the centre of the city, and surrounded by a leafy heaven that dripped serenity. Wrought iron and stained glass everything. Extensive gardens with peaceful places to sit. Apartment on the top floor with a beautiful view, peeling paintwork, sagging, mouldy ceiling, and cat-pee flavoured carpets. $370 per week. Approximately 10 people at the showing.

2. Brand new apartment building a block and a half north of our current location. Two bedrooms, middle floor (so neither security problems nor leaking are likely), slightly larger than our current place, lovely balcony, brand new appliances, central heating and air conditioning. Swimming pool and underground parking. Nothing to dislike. Two apartments available: $360 and $380 a week respectively. 15-20 people at the showing.

3. Older apartment in a large complex, a bit further north, but still within cycling distance to university. A little smaller than our current place, but acceptable. No air conditioning and some windows face the busiest street in the city. This could make sleeping difficult in summer. $320 a week. 12 or so people at the showing, but most of them seemed to belong to the one family. Not sure what was up with that.

4. Gorgeous, extremely modern, brand new building just around the corner from us. Very large two-bedroom with all the pros of #2, except that it was on the ground floor, and had evidence of water damage. (Already! The builders haven't even quite finished yet and the freaking place is leaking!) The rent was listed as "negotiable", which is apparently illegal in this state. People at the showing: 3, presumably because they were confused by lack of rent prices. Other places in the same building are all over $420 a week, though.

5. Tiny ground floor two bedroom in a large complex opposite the shops two suburbs north of here. Security bars on windows and doors. Reasonable condition. Kitchen and bathroom are nice. Lots of storage space. No heating or air conditioning. $315 a week. Only one other couple at the showing.

We've applied for 1, 2a and b, and 3. We really want 2a, so we aren't quite sure what we'll do if the agent for 3 calls us before we've heard about 2. Or if we get offered 2b but not a. We would almost certainly turn down 1, but when we put in the application for that one we hadn't seen anything else yet that was even vaguely suitable and were getting nervous. If we don't hear from any of them by Tuesday, we'll put in an application for 5 as well.

We are a little bit frightened by the fact that a guy we spoke to at the showing for #3 said he and his partner had been looking for more than three months. But we suspect there may be discrimination at play there, since they were a gay couple and clearly not Australian in origin (maybe Indian?). It would suck to know that you might be rejected on either count.

Our applications for #1 and #2 look good on paper, although I couldn't provide proof of income. The application for #3 is a bit dodgier, since they required phone numbers for all our landlords going back ten years, and we couldn't remember most of them. (Plus half of them are overseas.) The form said forebodingly: "If full details are not given in this section, including phone numbers for EVERY landlord, we will not process this form."


*I realise this may not be the most scintillating of blog posts, but as much as anything, it is for my own benefit so that I have a record of the places we've been looking at.


Badaunt said...

Looking at these prices I realize I have been here too long. It used to be that rent in Japan was really expensive. Now it's not much different from Australia, apparently.

The places you are looking at are much bigger and nicer, though.

StyleyGeek said...

This city is pretty much the worst in Australia for rent prices at the moment. And we could find something a little cheaper (e.g. $280 or so a week) if we were willing to drive in to university every day rather than wanting to cycle). But we figure that would cost more in parking, wear and tear on the car, and petrol.

It seems that every place I've lived, the rents have been frightening compared to the place before! I thought Frankfurt was scary, coming from NZ. But no, Denmark was even worse. And then this city wasn't any better. Gah.

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Don't apologise for chronicling all of this! Of course, I watch a lot of Home and Garden-type real estate shows (and especially non-North American ones) and so I'm mesmerised by the whole process.

JustMe said...

ok, clearly i am stupid because i just realized that the rent you list is per week! man, that is insane!

Anonymous said...

Yuck. Moving house sucks. But at least you aren't trying to rent in London, England. And if you can afford to buy in any, way shape or form - wow. Good luck...

New Kid on the Hallway said...

Please tell me you did NOT actually TASTE the carpets in #1! ;-)

I remember having to figure out that they rented by the week in London, too. I'd mentioned to my aunt and cousin that I didn't think the rents in London were really that bad compared to the big midwestern city where I was living. Then I figured out that what I thought was a reasonable monthly rent was WEEKLY. They laughed at me.

Anyway, good luck! I hope you find something soon!

Bardiac said...

Cheap housing is one of perhaps two good things about living in the upper reaches of the US midwest :(

I haven't figured out the other, yet.