Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Tussles with the estate agents

In any metropolis, i guess the biggest hassle when moving in is finding a house.
Property hunters Murphy's Laws apply here

(1) All good apartments are taken
(2) Nothing is within budget, at the right location, and the right size
(3) If everything seems fine, then there is sue some catch.

I totally swear by these (could surely call them Kanodra's Laws after myself)

anyways with my employers giving me accomodation only for a week, I had to find a place for myself real soon. and then with time running out, i was soon left with no place to live.
The estate agent i contacted, showed me a couple of apartments which were real crap, (not that we had great expectations, simply a separate bathoom per person) but seriously non of the properties remotely interested us, or were way out of our budget and these two satisfying were extremely far away.
Damn when everything was fine, we realised the area wasnt the best one, and well not even a safe one.

And then when you read classifieds and look up the websites, the cheap ones are all ex council houses (apartments given to people with no income, as dole to the unemployed)
Man visiting such a place would give me shudders, leave alone living there)

luckily Jamun and Vishal agreed to host nippo and myself for a week. (Which i tuned into two till i finally moved out)
Vishal being the generous soul was also giving shelter to one more colleague from work (Rohit from IIMC) and he called upon his friend to stay over from manchester, and he invited his friend from birmingham. So in a 3 bedroom apartment, we were 7 people, and with only 2 bathrooms it became a little too nervy early mornings when we had to reach office at the same times. another funny incident would be the musical chairs at dinner time. With 7 people in the kitchen there wouldnt be enough chairs for all of us, and thus i was standing up, i earnestly asked Rohit to get me another helping of rice, and then quitely grabbed his chair. Once the ploy was seen by all, whenever a person got up (even at times to answer his phone) his chair was soon lost.

All this made me all the more desparate to find a place of my own.

All this time in parallel, we were hunting down apartments with different estate agents, work til 7 PM and from 8 to 10 go for apartment viewings in different obscure corners of london city. And being made to wait in rain, cold weather till the estate agent turns up late and apologises profusely and shows you another bad apartment.

After many frustrated viewings later, we were told, "You need to stretch your budget a little bit" And damn, i was willing to strecth it a 100% (in the downward direction). Many frustated viewings later, (and being told the advertised flat on their website just vanished a couple of hours ago) we finally saw a wonderful apartment, and obviously with no catch this was a little outside our budget. (you cant get everything right)
After a lot of squeezing and haggling and what not, we finally managed the house, but as i said nothign in life is so simple. If everything falls right there has to be some catch. And Catches there were plenty.

First we couldnt fax our letters of employment to the landlord,
then one of us was in India till then (Paldy) and when their 3rd party evaluators said our income levels werent sufficient to pay this rent, and then the apartment was being refurbished, and thus after paying 6weeks rent as deposit, a month (4.33 weeks) rent in advance, 1 weeks rent as brokerage, our joining bonus was soon sitting in the letting agents bank account. And after all this we were told to wait for a week to move in.

Add to it the controversy we had over the contract, and on the night we moved in half of the bulbs werent working.

Damn inspite of all of this, finally alls well that ends well, the apartment is not only spacious, is well equipped, near work, has 3 independant bathrooms for 3 of us and good ventilation.

One year this should be our abode, and hopefully with increased incomes next year, we will only move upwards.

(P.S. finally did discover a catch here as well, the property is on the borders of a strong immigrant area, with a majority of people being of bangladeshi origin. Thats why not a lot of whites and europeans would want it, lucky for us, who couldnt care less, as long as its safe)


Navneet Sharma said...

With the kind of experiences u have had, I am sure ur second billion with the book wont be difficult...

Good going!!

nirav said...

Damn lemme make the first one. As you said thats the tougher one.