This may be my new home
5/25/09 – UPDATE – I signed my “Memorandum of Understanding” today, paid my deposit and look to move in on June 10th! Woo hoo! I will do another inspection on June 8th to make sure all is well, but I found the owner very agreeable and flexible and willing to provide a long list of furniture. I’m excited to move-out of the crappy apartment and into this new, rather cute one! I’ll keep you posted!
So after all these problems with my current apartment, I’ve been out searching for a new home. To say that I am less than thrilled about this is under and understatement. It’s a time-consuming process, but at least this time I have a solid check-list of what to look for.
I’m lucky that my compensation package includes a generous rent allowance. I would think that with that, I would find something in that budget. But I have been hard pressed, on both occasions of hunting, to find something within that price range. In the end, we are talking about rentals in Hanoi, Vietnam, not San Francisco, California! I cannot get my head around the housing costs!
I was first set on finding a house to rent, but there is a strong lack of 3 bedroom houses. Vietnamese houses, the traditional ones, anyway, are typically small and tall. Many are four or five stories. And with an influx of foreigners, many older and smaller houses are being torn down in favor of building new ones which come with much higher rent. So the house idea quickly fell flat. They are either too old, too big or too expensive.
Considering the suckiness factor of my current apartment, the shotty construction, the lazy and scummy owner/manager, the fact that the four apartments below me contain a total of 7 Ericsson employees, I felt hesitant to wind up in an apartment.
But I may have found a good one. I’m currently looking at a 2 bedroom, 1 bath, fully furnished apartment. It’s a brand new building, well designed and constructed, in a decent neighborhood, has a nice view of West Lake from the two roof-top terraces, only 3 units in the building. I’m negotiating down to $1000 a month. This is a little more than my allowance, so I would have to chip in a bit of my own money. But I’m attempting to negotiate as much furniture as I can, to make up for the lack of a 2nd bathroom and what I consider high rent. I even requested potted plants! The agent is the most competent one I’ve met and the owner seems very kind and responsible.
The really “fun” part of this will be giving my 30-day notice to my current apartment manager and demanding my deposit back. I am sure that he will object, however I have some good leverage. All the evidence I have showing what problems the place has had won’t mean squat to him. The fact that I changed the locks and am the only one with a key may perk his interest. I will essentially hold the keys to the apartment hostage until I get my deposit back. Plus, I’m sure Ericsson will take the last apartment and cram two more of their IT staff into one flat. Let them all battle over the one washer/dryer for the building. I am SO outta here!
On the Bright Side,