Friday, June 15, 2012

House Hunters International

My one update from our Sydney house hunting trip..

I had all intentions to write a few posts to send updates on the search, but it has been pretty crazy around here.  I think it has been combination of jet lag, only having internet access in the hotel room, and running around the city like mad people!

Wow, they weren't kidding when we were warned how tough of a rental market it is in Sydney.  I mean, it is NOTHING like renting an apartment in the States.  First of all, cost of living is literally double (we thought we paid a lot in Uptown Dallas haha).  Secondly, you can't just walk into an apartment complex and inquire about open units in the building or contact one realtor to help you find a place.  All of our searching was done online on a website that basically lists all properties in Sydney..then we had to contact each property manager for each listing and schedule an "inspection time".  Each inspection lasts 15 minutes and sometimes other people will show up to look at the properties at the same time.  Once you do the walk through and decide if you want the place, you must submit an application which consists of drivers license, passport copies, proof of income, references, previous tenancy record, etc. and a deposit.  Omg, breathe.  And don't even get me started that you must be accepted by the property manager and then the owner of the property (which is a big shot overseas a lot of times).  So much room for rejection hehe.

Basically, we made all the rookie mistakes.  We had everything going against us in the search due to several factors. Numero Uno: Sydney is not a pet friendly place if you are trying to rent an apartment in the city.  Only 2% of properties allow pets overall, and literally nothing in the heart of the city.  Many of the places we looked at didn't specify until you fell in love with it and tried to submit an application, only for it to get rejected.  Numero Dos: Most of the legit, modern city flats come fully furnished...too bad we already shipped furniture to fill a 2 bedroom place about a week ago!!  And it was a pretty that narrows it down even more.  Hehe, are you sensing my frustration?!

I guess overall I can't complain.  The opportunity to live in this amazing feel of New and mind of Europe..and gorgeous water views of... well Sydney I guess.

After seeing around 12 properties, 7 of them not livable, we finally found The One!  We lucked out for sure.  If you don't believe me, just look at the view from our balcony.

True waterfront property. Privacy and safety (The Prime Minister literally lives 3 doors down..lots of guards around). Grass below for Teddy. Perfect spot for New Years fireworks.  Close to ferry into city (5 min ride). Walk across the bridge into city (1 mile).  Quaint neighborhood called Kirribilli with cafe and shops.
Also, it was important for us to have a second bedroom so our guests will have a comfy place to lay their head.  So, you all better come visit us and get use of it!!!  I think I will pinch myself every morning waking up to the Opera House.  Still getting used the idea of being in a "foreign" place alone though.

We haven't done a lot of sightseeing things, but plan to the next two days while I'm here.  Ronnie will be staying an extra week for job training after.

We found Ronnie's office in the heart of the city, aka the CBD (Central Business District). To pronounce it in an aussie accent.."Sea-Bay-Dee"

Trying to fit in at a sidewalk cafe, drinking our lattes and no sense of urgency. A flat white for me and a fancy hot cocoa for Ronnie.  And I couldn't resist the strawberry pancakes with ice cream on top. 

The rain wasn't going to stop us!! It rained for the first three days straight..not ideal for trying to explore the city and neighborhoods. 

Our one tourist stop, The Aquarium!  My fear of sharks was in high gear.  Didn't ease my mind when we saw a GPS map that tracked great white sharks up and down the coast line...

We are meeting Ronnie's co-workers for a dinner and a movie tonight.  They are all really close and we can't wait to join the crew!

Should be a fun weekend!!  


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Shipment Day

Today is shipment day..hooray!!  
Our relocation specialist (yes, we have one of those hehe) has hooked us up with an awesome team to make sure our goods are delivered safely.  I must say, this is definitely the way to move..VIP style.  Guess I better not get used to it, as Ronnie's company is paying for this one.  They are a full service team, so all we had to do is sort through what was being shipped, what was staying  for storage in Dallas, and what we could donate.  No packing boxes, wrapping breakables, or heavy lifting for us...they have a special way of packing everything up for international moves.  The hard part was deciding what we could live without for 8-10 weeks, as the freight shipment takes that long to arrive at port.  Also, we had to inventory EVERY item we were taking, picture and dollar value amount. 




See you on the other side yellow crate!  

Needless to say, I am sitting on the hard, cold floor with dust bunnies and echoey walls surrounding me as I write this post.  Should be interesting for the next month or so...bumming a mattress from a dear friend, one pot to cook with, and 2 suitcases each worth of clothes (how is it fair that my husband gets the same amount as me?!..hmm..). 

We leave for our house hunting trip on Friday night, the 8th, and arrive in Sydney on Sunday morning.  I hope we can find something while we are there for 2 weeks!  I will check in with updates from the home/apartment search front once we get there.  Eeeekkk this is all too real now.  Super anxious and just ready to get there so I can picture where our life will be for the next 18 months!!