Is there anything more disheartening than jobhunting? Oh right, househunting

Inertia. How often does that dictate the course of your life? It is easier to stay put than to make a change, so you do.

T has been wanting to move for a while. I haven’t. But now that our rent is going up, I’ve told him I will be happy to move when we find the perfect place. Because quite frankly, we have it pretty sweet here.

$280 (or $560 a fortnight, as we pay it) is not a huge number, I suppose, but it’s still pretty significant. The thing is, we already had a ridiculously great deal – even at the new price, I’m not sure we’ll find a better rental. We don’t have neighbours surrounding us on all sides, we have off-street parking, and are close to everything.   Househunting in Auckland is also practically a full-time job in itself; it takes dedication and LOTS of time if you want a shot at anywhere half decent. It’s why LLs can get away with never renovating, having showings at 3pm on a work day, and not posting photos or addresses on listings. I shudder thinking about how religiously I checked TradeMe over the months it took to find our home before this one.

Anyway. I just can’t bring myself to take that on just yet. If I magically stumble across the one, great, or if T does, even better (though it’s doubtful – he doesn’t have the obsessiveness it takes). Dabbling in real estate listings has already got me down.

Here are a few examples of what we would get for our rent

$280 a week  (T, excitedly: They’ve done up everything but the kitchen and bathroom! Me: So…they haven’t actually done up anything at all. A yard’s no good to me if there aren’t mixer taps)

$265 a week (Cheaper, but again, ancient facilities. Also stipulating one tenant only).

$290 a week (Cinderblock!!!)

Here’s my dream housing situation for now: a standalone one-bedroom with garage, gate, deck and full pantry.

More realistic: a one-bedroom that’s part of a house, or at the end of a block, with carport (maybe).

I will admit – our place is tiny, but I don’t need a lot of space. I would like a bigger kitchen (one that’s not the same size as the bathroom), and a lockup garage would be nice (dream on!). I guess an actual living room would be handy too, although we wouldn’t have much to put in it.

To find somewhere that ticks all the boxes, including being close to my work and bus routes (remember I don’t drive) just won’t happen. If we increased our budget, possibly, but I’d rather funnel money into my Europe/US fund than into more carpet to vacuum. And with the Rugby World Cup in full swing, it’d be insanity to go househunting for the next couple of months; we are, after all, right in the middle of it all, jacked-up rents and all.

There’s also the matter of agent fees. A week’s rent plus GST, because landlords these days don’t want to do their own dirty work. I’ve never paid an agent fee before and I’d like to keep it that way if at all possible – that’s a fair chunk down the drain.

7 thoughts on “Is there anything more disheartening than jobhunting? Oh right, househunting

  • Reply Insomniac Lab Rat August 2, 2011 at 14:37

    Ugh, I hate househunting too. Good luck!

  • Reply Financial Samurai August 2, 2011 at 16:51

    $560 a fortnight for 2 is pretty cheap! Stay and simplify!

  • Reply Sense August 3, 2011 at 00:46

    DON’T DO IT. Two of my friends are looking for places right now and it is INSANITY. World cup, new semester starting, and people still moving up from CCH are making it really difficult. My friends said that even if they could get an appointment to view, there would be at least 2 other people there vying for the spot, with them, and the landlords would say they were getting 40-50 inquiries on the first day of the listing! WTF!!! Wait until RWC is over, that should help a little bit…

    Plus, moving sucks and is expensive. 🙂

  • Reply Miss J August 3, 2011 at 12:44

    Good luck – hope you find what you’re after! Maybe your next place will have a bigger pantry too! 🙂

  • Reply Nicky at Not My Mother August 19, 2011 at 01:04

    They make the tenants pay the agency fees in NZ? that’s ridiculous. We have to pay our agents the equivalent of a week’s rent when they relist a place, but as the landlord they’re working for us so it’s fair. It’s not fair for that to come out of the tenant’s pocket! (especially when you see how crappily most agents treat their tenants.)

    • Reply eemusings August 20, 2011 at 16:38

      Yes – fewer and fewer LLs do the job themselves, they farm it out to property managers, whose agencies charge a week of rent plus GST for the letting fee. Money down the drain…to say nothing of the other hoops they make you jump through in the application process.

  • Reply We found a new flat. | Musings of an Abstract Aucklander November 1, 2011 at 16:38

    […] The hunt didn’t actually take anywhere near as long as I’d thought. I think our current place was the first or second we looked at, but in 2008 I literally lost count of the number of rentals I viewed and applied for (didn’t help that I was a student at the time). T and I literally pulled up outside this house and were underwhelmed, but seeing as I’d dragged the agent out there, figured it wouldn’t hurt to give it the once over. And know what? It was surprisingly A-OK. […]

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