Did you miss me? I bet you did (blushes uncontrollably). It might sound insane but I love the idea of moving house. The thought of arranging knick-knacks into drawers you haven’t used before, buying rugs that are mostly useless and shoving far too many naphthalene balls around the house gives me cheap thrills.
There’s a famous saying that goes “Bombay mein Bhagwan milna aasaan hai, makaan nahi”. It’s easier to find God Almighty in Bombay but not a house. Well I couldn’t disagree more. In the 7 years I spent in the cramped city, I changed house 7 times. And that is excluding the year spent in the hostel. Finding a house might be tough but there are endless resources that can lead you right to one you’d find fitting.
The first time we I went house hunting my friend and I walked right into a broker’s office, pointed at a building and asked him, “Iss building mein ghar hai?” To our surprise, there was and it was love at first sight. Now the thing about choosing a house has certain rules. The main one is the same as the street-shopping rule. You NEVER show too much enthusiasm. But that is something I learnt by house no. 3. So yes, we did end up paying more brokerage than we should have. Soon after, we were getting curtains, furniture, rugs, utensils, bed linens, rugs, groceries, electronics and of course, rugs.
By the house moving #5 was processing I faced a major dilemma I’d like to call the Roommate. I had found a quaint place in Bandra through a popular website and was determined to move out of then dreary Kharghar no matter who I’d be sharing rent with.
My first offer was to my roommate since I’d lived with her for 2 years and we existed harmoniously together. She had some boyfriend issues and was being indecisive so my best friend jumped on to the offer. Uh-oh, living with a friend can go very wrong but I couldn’t say no to her either. I had witnessed many such cases but it was too late and I had to risk it. We are best friends to date so you know how that worked out. The point is, you have to carefully weigh whom you share the roof with.
You can verify any doubts you have by checking out the said person’s previous bathroom. If you see a dirty toilet, you should probably run in the opposite direction. On the other hand, dental floss suggests a match made in heaven. If you tend to have clashes with a person in general, then living together will elevate them to places of no return and hence ruining your friendship. So choose someone on similar wavelengths and a humble lifestyle.
After the false ceiling fell on my head in the *quaint* Bandra house, it was time to move out! And this time around we hit the jackpot. The next house we moved into was an adorable cottage with a yard out front, a chicoo tree, was fully furnished and was available to us without a broker meddling and the rent was unbelievable for a house in Bandra. We were so excited to move into this house that we didn’t let the previous tenants move out completely. The number of evenings we spent in the yard just lazing on garden chairs (the landlady gave us garden chairs too) hating on our jobs and cursing the men in our lives makes me miss Bombay terribly.
Let me end this with some quick tips of house hunting;
1. DON’T rush when finalising a place and never jump around like an excited monkey if you find ‘the’ place.
2. A million pillows is a good idea, a thousand rugs will give you a thousand allergies.
3. Look at websites such as Sulekha, MagicBricks & 99Acres for options.
4. Try and avoid a broker altogether. If that doesn’t work out, bargain with him like someone from the ghetto.
5. Social media can help a lot, Facebook or Twitter your need for a place or roommate. Your friends would love to share or retweet so spread the word.
6. Living with friends can be tricky so ensure you’re on the same page mentally, financially and have similar hygiene beliefs.
7. Talk to neighbours and stay on the look out for other houses available for rent for the future or for other friends.
8. If you get a chance, speak with the previous tenants of a house to ask why they left, if there are any issues with water, electricity, safety etc.
9. Go the extra bit with the landlord/ lady. They will help with any house related issues, get repairs done and wouldn’t mind if you get a little late paying rent.
10. Use social media to your advantage and spread the word that you’re house hunting. It is believed that 2 out of 10 responses won’t be from creeps
Remember, there is always room for everyone somewhere and I hope these tips help you in some way or the other. Now come on, give me some love with shares and comments.
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