It’s been almost a month since I received the letter from the apartment building administrator. That means that I only have about 5 days or less before my contract ends. And if my contract ends, that means I will be homeless if I still don’t have a place to move to.
A month is really not enough to find a suitable place to live in in the big metro. You have a lot of things to consider: environment, flood-free area, residential feel (for me, that is), security, convenience and comfort. I mean, you don’t want to live in a place that is too noisy or gets flooded with just a small drizzle or a place where you always worry and install multiple lock mechanisms because you fear that you will get back home with all of your stuff taken, now, do you?
For the past 5 years, I have felt very secure in my current apartment. While it may be small (tiny, even), I don’t worry that my neighbors would rob me of my stuff (since they have a lot more expensive stuff than I do in the first place). The location is relatively quiet and has that residential feel even if just a few feet away are all commercial buildings. It is also very convenient since there’s a grocery nearby, 24/7 convenience stores, drug store, banks, massage spas, laundry shops, and other what-nots, and they are all within walking distance. The malls are also a few minutes walk away from here (about 10-20 minutes, depending on how fast you walk).
And since I am no longer wanted as a tenant (huhu me), I have tried my best to find the next best place to live in for the next year or so. I scoured the internet for apartments for lease, walked around the neighborhood to check for unit vacancies and I asked friends and colleagues if they knew of a unit for lease. I was already losing hope and planning to beg the building administrator to extend my contract and not throw me out (not literally, but you get what I mean). Until last week, I found some glimmer of hope in my current situation.
I am not going to name the places for my own security so I will be labeling them as Unit A and Unit B. Last Monday at dawn, when I just arrived from the mountain city, I browsed the cyberspace, hoping I will find something. And lo and behold, I did. Not only one, but two options that I am now considering. I called both numbers, scheduled for viewing, viewed the units, and now, I am in a small dilemma because I cannot decide which one would be better though I am already leaning towards Unit B.
So, Unit A is actually just around the block from where I am currently staying at. It is a 1-bedroom loft type unit, 38 square meters. Bedroom and toilet and bath are located at the loft, kitchen area by the entrance and quite a spacious living space for myself. Amenities include use of swimming pool (and they have a nice looking pool as well), kids playground (though I haven’t had the chance to check) and I am not sure of the others. The place is convenient, comfortable, secured, and the location in general is quite lively and warm. I have a few contentions though: given that it is loft type, I find the space having quite low-ceiling (since I really cannot install a ceiling fan if I want to) so it is a bit warm (especially now since it is already summer), the windows are facing the other building and while it may be cool some days, the fact that there’s a building blocking the air flow is not as appealing to me as it seems to others. Also, the biggest contention I have is the laundry area. Or lack thereof. There’s no provision for laundry area. And I am not planning on sending my clothes to laundry every single time. There’s a reason why I bought my washing machine years ago.
Option 2 is Unit B. The location is about a couple of minutes away from here. So technically, I am going back to the general area of where I have lived before I moved here. Unit B is actually large. It is a 46-square meter 1-bedroom flat with very spacious living area and bedroom. Kitchen area is a lot larger than Unit A and it has a provision for laundry area. Windows are facing air space so there’s no building blocking the air flow. The unit is airy, bright and with high ceilings, making the place a lot cooler. Amenities include use of swimming pool as well (though I think their pool is smaller than that of Unit A’s area) and I think they have a kid’s playground, too (though again, I was not able to check it out). The location is relatively quiet (once you’re within the gated area, that is), it is beside a school, there are banks across the street as well and some other shops. I just find the area in general a bit boring compared to the area of Unit A. A few contentions though very minor are some repairs that the unit owner needs to fix before I move in. And I am a bit worried about the elevator malfunctioning since the unit is located at the 7th floor. Hopefully I don’t have to climb the stairs if that happens. :P
Price-wise, both are within my budget limit, just having Php 1K difference and that includes association dues already. Both areas are in a flood-free area so that takes the worry of getting flooded once it rains. Both locations are convenient and relatively near my work location, too, so that’s good. And I found out that both areas are under the same development firm. :P
Up until this afternoon, I was quite having conflicts with which I would pursue. Now that I have written it all down, I think I already have a winner. Having a larger space will also give my little Z more space to play whenever I bring him to the big metro. :) And since it is flat, we don’t have to worry about him falling down the stairs (and Z just loves climbing stairs now). But the greatest deal breaker for me is the laundry area. I may not do my laundry often but this is something that I really need since I need to save on laundry expenses. And of course, I made the decision with Z in mind. What will be more comfortable and safer for him?
I am just waiting for a sample contract now so I can review the terms and conditions as well so I can ask a few questions if I need clarifications. I will be requesting one from Unit A as well for comparison. Since I haven’t finalized anything just yet, I’d still like to keep my options open. Just for back up, in case.
So within this week, on top of a busy work schedule, I have to go to my building administrator’s office to ask for extension (probably until the end of the month or so) since I am still finalizing the contracts of the new place. Go to my internet provider’s office to request for relocation of connection (or to inquire how the process will be since I still have to coordinate with the new place’s administrator), start packing (ohwemghee! where do I start??), find friends to help out with the move, oh and I am going to need to probably hire someone to move my things to the new place (aka, manong jeepney driver, magkano arkila mula dito hanggang dun? LOL!).
This activity actually brings me back to the last time I moved from one place to the other. It is almost the same situation but that last one was more brutal. I would still want to bash the landlord in the head, if only I could. But that will be for another time.
For now, I’ll take this one step at a time. Find a place – check, make a decision where – on going and hopefully I get to finalize everything this week. Well, I have to finalize everything this week. I have to treat this new place as something transitional. Maybe stay for a year or two while trying to find (and saving up) something more permanent. I no longer want the hassle of moving from one place to another every few years. I’d like to settle down now.
Yeah, I am indeed getting old. :P
More on the crib-hunting-moving-to-a-new-place saga soon. Wish me luck! :D