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!!  



  1. Hi Kels!! Looks like you're getting used to the land down under! Your new place looks great! Miss you already here in Dallas. Thank goodness for the internet! Hope to keep in touch! Take care!
    Kim K. (BUMC)

  2. Kelz! I miss ya! Cant wait until you trip back so much to fill you in on if Val hasnt told you lol!!

  3. Kelsey! I am so excited for you! Your place looks awesome! I can't wait to visit! Miss you!

  4. Sounds like you're having fun so far. The view from your place is gorgeous! Congrats on the new place. Tell Ronnie I said hi and congrats! Oh and save me some of those pancakes lol! Keep us posted :-)

  5. I love reading your blog! Miss you girl!! Looking forward to reading what yall are up to! Love you!

  6. That’s true. The process of house hunting is different in every country. Some are easier, but there are also those who are not. Sydney is one of those easy ones, since you can do most of the search online, and you can get a property manager to help you manage a visit. And when you do end up choosing a property, they will help you on the process of buying and negotiating. Anyway, thank you for sharing your experience. Others will surely find these helpful when they consider buying a property in Sydney.

    Jerald Weaver @ Blue Harbour Property Management