Friday, August 24, 2012

Let's Talk Housing

I’m not sure where to start with posting.  I guess that I’d first say that this is all going more smoothly than I had anticipated.  We have spotty internet and cell service, the kids have gone to school orientation and we are learning enough words to get a taxi to take us where we need to go. The only problem with taxis is they don’t like to take people to our neighborhood. The hill is steep, the traffic is heavy and they don’t always find a paying customer for their drive out.

We’ve focused our time before school starts on finding a good and reasonably priced place to live…the furnished place we’re in now is more expensive than finding a good unfurnished place. Unfurnished here means you are renting a place with walls and doors. The previous You have to buy and wire the light fixtures, hot water heater, get curtains, stove and fridge. In our case, the place we want was vacant for 6 months. This means it became the place for garbage to be tossed and windows to be smashed. So, we had a friend of a friend do a walk through with us today and give us an estimate of the cost of repairs. At the end of the walkthrough, you sit down with the neighbor showing the flat, he serves you soda, you talk about the minutae involved with plumbing and water spots and how much repairs will take off your rent monthly. This conversation takes an hour and a half. This is the way things are done here and luckily through our other travels I was prepared for this sort of back and forth. So, the next step is for the friend of the friend to talk to the landlord and see if he’s willing to take the cost of repairs out of the monthly rent and also to lower our overall rent. Hopefully we’ll know if it’s ours to take on by next week.

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