Monday, October 23, 2006

In Summary...

Barring any unforeseen disaster, I will be signing the contract on my new apartment tomorrow morning.

It's over-priced and much smaller than I prefer but it is well taken care of, gets lots of light, is an upgrade neighborhood-wise - near Tel Aviv's Opera House overlooking a sprawling park as opposed to our current heavily trafficked main thoroughfare - and ... we were running out of time, weren't we?

I am exhausted, spent and over-baked. To describe the past month's search mission as unpleasant is like saying emphysema is just a wee cough.

I still don't get it. This is not Manhattan. Or Paris. Or London. So WTF? And I don't buy the whole "the French moved in and snapped up all the property creating huge demand" blather, either.

I must've seen at least 50 apartments. I regret not grabbing one in particular but I wasn't savvy enough or ready.

The others? Well it has been an experience in learning to negotiate and let go, knowing when to bend and when to hang up the phone, when I should plead my case, change my visions and ideas and mostly about learning to compromise. It has also been a window into a nasty market filled with some pretty skanky, unpleasant characters. Others are gracious, forthcoming and surprisingly pleasant - but they are the minority.

A few precious tidbits which, when I've simmered down, will make for humorous dinner table shares:

Current tenant showing apartment: You know that part of the deal is buying the air conditioning unit from me for $800.
Moi: But I don't need it. And I don't want it. And I don't have the cash flow to tie up in an air conditioner. But I definitely want the apartment. It isn't new. $800? How'd you come up with that price?
Tenant: It's what I want for it and that's the deal. Take it or you don't get the landlord's number. It's all about cash flow. You should remember that.
**it took every iota of self control not to ring up this guy and tell him I was rooting for the ass wallopers who will inevitably trounce him in London when he relocates there next month.

Landlord over the phone: Who's the place for?
Moi: Myself and my son
Landlord: Oh no. Too big. I mean what are you going to do with all that space? A bigger family with more kids should live in the unit.
Moi: How many kids does it take to fill up a 2-bedroom apartment? Wait. I can't believe I'm having this conversation. What do you care what my space preferences are?

Owner: We want an $8000 U.S. cash deposit plus 2 guarantors plus a bank guarantee plus one year's rent in advance

Owner: We'll fix the holes in the ceiling. The broken window? No worries. Taken care of. Sure sure sure. Just sign here.

*sigh* I'm glad it's (almost) over.


Savtadotty said...

Good luck tomorrow! If it happens, we'll be almost neighbors.

John said...

UGH! I feel your pain!

Tamar said...

Wonderful news -- and location. And, you'll be close to Beit Ariella!

Nominally Challenged said...

Mazal tov, Stef!! That's a wonderful area to be in, so I'm sure it's worth it.

If it's any consolation (and I'm pretty certain it isn't), I went with a friend yesterday who is apartment-hunting, to see a two room apartment in Kerem Hatemanim. The open house was from 5:15 pm. By the time I got there at 5:20, the current tenant hadn't arrived yet, so the place wasn't open, but there were at least 50 people (I kid you not) waiting outside. The guy finally turned up at 5:30, 50 people stood waiting on the stairs hoping that they hadn't been designed by the guy who built the Maccabia Bridge. The first couple went in, the current tenant apparently said to them "so, are you taking it? if not, leave". They said "yes", so the tenant (and not the landlord) announced that the open house was over, and that that was the couple who would get the apartment. Everyone else was told, in no uncertain terms, to clear out. He simply decided that he didn't want 50 people traipsing through "his" apartment.

I had never before seen 50 people trying to look at an apartment at once. Whatever the causes of it, there is an absolute under-supply and an absolute over-demand. But don't forget, this is the worst season to be looking, because university has started again and many students - who are the lion's share of the rental market - move in September and October.

Stefanella said...

Thanks to one and all..for being there, listening, reading and offering advice and information. Soup kitchen perhaps the 1st Friday in November...steph

Liza said...

Oh my god! You just don't know whether to laugh or to cry, do you?! I'd offer to cross fingers, but do we really want to go through that again? ;-P

I really hope this works out for you, and that you can finally put this whole, nasty housing saga behind you.

Idan said...

Mazel tov! We're keeping the champagne ready...

Hopefully this will be one of those "look back and laugh" experiences.