Apartment “Hunting” with hunting being the operative word! Finding a flat in Sydney is like stalking a lion in the wild – you have to be stealthy and cunning and oh so very patient.
Back in South Africa, you would more than likely phone up an estate agent, reel off your requirements and they would leap up from their paperwork to escort you through the suburbs until you find the place of your dreams. It’s all so very easy.
In Sydney, it’s way more cut-throat. What you need to do is register with an online real estate database (I reckon domain.com.au is the best), do a search on the areas you are interested and isolate the apartments that “look” nice” (I put look in inverted comma’s because as I found out later, the pics can be VERY deceiving – based on the photo’s, I was ready to put my deposit down immediately, until I saw the real thing – ugh!!!).
Anyway, once you have a list of apartments for rent, you then join the throngs of other flat hunters on the Saturday Runround. Each apartment is open for view for 15 minutes – I am not joking – 15 minutes!!!! So I would end up with a list of let’s say 6 apartments in different suburbs and would have to draw up a precise spreadsheet listing my route. And then rush from one flat to the other. It felt as if I was on a solo Amazing Race.
Then once you arrive at the apartment on view, you’ll be joined by at least 20 other people all looking eachother up and down, trying to measure up their enthusiasm. And then it’s a race to grab an application form, rush to the estate agency and put down a deposit – pshew, exhausting!
Well, thank goodness, out of the 20 flats that I saw (ranging from disgusting, horrific to slightly less disasterly), I managed to find an apartment in Rose Bay in the Eastern Suburbs, which suited my needs. It’s a one bedroom place with a lovely kitchen and balcony (for all those barby/braai days). It may be a little small for me but it’s only a 6 month lease so I can move on if I want.
The big move is on Friday, so wish me luck!!!!