It was 10 days ago when I wrote about the irony of being a bed spacer here in UAE. While I was writing something about it, my idea was just to let everyone know how difficult it is working and living abroad like in my case or all the other expats out there. I live in a room with 5 other girls. It’s very much different from the way I live back home. In Philippines, I have my own room, we have a garage, we have the living-dining area, we have 2 other bedrooms, and now we have a music studio. Life is better there but earning is better here. Guess, you just spotted the difference? 🙂
I recall that one for as of yesterday, I was in-hunt of a new nest. My lifetime partner was about to land in 2 week time so I have to search for our own place. Well, I am just looking for a room, for a couple preferably in a family community. I dislike crowded flats. Aside from our tight budget, I need just to look for a place where I could sense that it is worth starting a life there. Plus, I hope to get near my area so that I could still walk my way in and from the office. I am not that choosy but I do have considerations / guidelines for a house which I want to live. Here it is :
- The good vibes. From the façade of the building on the way to the lift up to the flat itself I have to feel that good vibes. I am imagining myself going up and down, in and out from it every day. If I sense happiness just through the power of my imagination, it’s a plus point for me.
- The owner. While I started a conversation just by inquiring through phone, I am trying to get to know the person a bit. How they answer my query, how polite and accommodating they are. Because I believe from there, I could sense if we are going to have a smooth relationship from the beginning of our stay or not. And when I get them personally once I checked the flat, I assess through their appearance. (If they are wearing to many gold on their hands or neck, I could say they are really up for a business. A no-no for me.) I asked their living and I observe how well they could convince me to get the room right away.
- The place itself. I first check the bathroom, especially if it’s for common use followed by the kitchen. How they maintain it as of the current time of inquiring. Then, I checked the bedroom, how big it could fit the two of us. Again, I’ll check my vibes. 🙂 Then, I will ask if how many persons occupy the place and the inclusions of the payment. If there are rules to be aware of. And more often than not, I asked the owner if they reside in the same place they selling. I prefer the owner also resides with the tenants so that they could easily respond for any house problems.
- Lastly, the neighbours next door. Most of the time while I am busy talking with the owner, I’ve get to see some tenants residing there and I always wear a smile without even knowing them personally. When they smiled too and cared to ask, I could say that I have a pleasant neighbour if in case I choose to stay there. So far, from the 1st try of room hunt last night, I wasn’t smiled back. The feeling was so sad thinking that we are of the same race. 😦
Now, if you’re wondering how on earth did I arrive on this “nest-hunt” criteria? I was once a renter. Not the owner of the whole flat but since I lived there and the owner is for plain business deal only, and due to my charitable character, I did all the work instead of her. Every time there would be a vacancy of rooms, she will just call me and ask for a favour to assist the inquirers. For almost 2 ½ years of my stay there, it was like I own the whole apartment. Most of the time, if they would get to meet her, (that is only during the collection of their 1st rent payments) they would approach me with amusement on their face and say, “I thought you’re the one owning this flat?!” Crazy but it’s true. I was the one welcoming new tenants; assist each and every need of the all occupants. Arrange house services for anything that needs to be fix. I post billings and responsible for the computation for all the renter’s payments and miscellaneous expenses. Not to mention that I keep the house clean almost every time. I seem to manage everything to transform that house into a home for everyone. And I did it all for free! But even if I did it, I didn’t even get a decrease in rent so I decided to transfer instead. It’s not practical for me to live in a room which is almost equal to a price of a studio flat so I moved. When I tell her I’m leaving, that’s only the time she offered a good price but I ended up turning it down for I no longer want to be charitable for another year. Enough is enough for me. It’s not mine anyway so why should I care. 🙂
That whole experience of mine was reasonable enough for me to understand every owner –renter’s needs. What I know if you’re the owner, you should be kind to your tenants, for they give you the profit. You have to take care of them so not to lose them. You are selling them your business so you have to provide better service with them. Sad to say, that almost all of the Filipino owners here are only up for the money they could earn by simply renting it out. They are only good when you’re paying. But mind to tell you, not all tenants are good also. It’s hard to see if they are responsible occupants or not. I did have a huge headache before. Renters fighting about computations and so on, especially the ones who don’t want to pay with all that lame excuses. As an owner, you can never get away with those kinds so expect it.
Anyway, as of my writings, I took off for a couple of hour to check another flat. It was of the same building with my good friend Marge. I had love that place since the time I visited her and guess what? I already made an arrangement with the owner and right there and then, I paid the deposit. Yey! I FINALLY FIND OUR NEST! 🙂 🙂 🙂 The good vibes are there ever since, the owner is so friendly and they also stay there. The place is good for a starting couple like us, and I haven’t seen much of the neighbour, but they are 2 ladies which are siblings I guess so that would be enough. All my “nest-hunt criteria” was met so I never have to think twice about it. And know what my friend just texted me? The good thing about us living there is that she can come to me anytime and we can talk all we want till we got tired and sleepy. She even informed me already what she wants to eat during our first breakfast there. (I think she gets the benefit more than me living so closed to each other. hehehe)
Well, Petty is just happy for the hunt. Hope you did a good house hunting too, if ever you are one.