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.