Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Apartment Livin'

Apartment living is...different.  Especially noticeable going from a house and lawn I own, to not even being able to have my dog live with me.

New tenants in my house, btw.  Good news on that front.

Anyway - apartment.  The search was...unpleasant.  It was early January and what felt like every single person in the city was looking.  All the people kicked out from their old leases (there was a spate of sellings, apparently) and bloody students.  I started out looking at spare rooms in established flats and it was impossible.  Flats were having ~20 people through each day and the entire process was ridiculous.  At one flat viewing the next viewee turned up when I was still there chatting and turned out to be an old friend (The Financial One).  We decided after that to look for a two bedroom lease together.  A definite improvement, but fraught with its own issues.  The rent prices in Auckland are extremely variable, you pay way more for a flat in summer than you do in winter - the market is that flooded.

But eventually (took a month) we found a place (and got in early enough) that ticked the majority of our requirement-boxes (a kitchen you can actually cook in, two bedrooms you can actually fit beds in, and a car park).  Its at the top end of my decided budget, but is liveable (its actually lovely - I just have issues with the window sitch).

It's by no means perfect (is a 'fully secure building' so the windows don't open), but we were getting desperate to make a decision, and the lease is only for 4 months, so we have time to find something better, and in a better rental climate - which is a win all round.

The agent/building manager pictures manage to make any apartment look huge, but these aren't too bad:

We have a full sized kitchen, which is fairly unheard of, and the bathroom is positively spacious in comparison to some of the apartments I saw through.  Apparently they had professional cleaners through before we moved in, and were told the dark stain in the bottom of the toilet and the murky glass of the shower were permanent - one round in the toilet bowl with duck and a brush took care of the first and some elbow grease and a good cleaner took care of the second.  These so called 'professional cleaners' need to take lessons from my mother.

Took us ages to sort out furniture, though TFO got off her airbed before I did, but her new mattress has yet to acquire a base.  I managed to pick up a rimu bed off trademe (and a set of restored rimu drawers), a lovely low-profile thing which takes up no more space than the mattress itself, which is exactly what you want in such restricted space living-styles.  All of the kitchen stuff I had in storage from Dunedin, and I picked up a new cheap-and-half-cheerful couch for the mean time.  We still lack a table and chairs, and a TV, but don't really feel the lack of either - especially now that we have internet.

From sitting in the lounge, panorama from couch, 'dining area' to the massive window through which we can see many, many weird and terrible things in our neighbours apartments.  (seriously - what have Auckland people got against curtains?!):

And from standing in the 'dining area' (it doesn't deserve to be said without the quotation marks).  Bathroom is in the space behind the couch, my bedroom is immediately to the right of the front door and TFO's room is the one immediately to the right of the 'dining area':

And then my bedroom with last year's gorgeous quilt.  Can't even imagine when I'll have time to make another such.  Pretty tight, but with economic furniture choice - not bad.  The lack of openable window sitch means both of us have fans in our rooms, and apparently this is normal in Auckland in summer.  I found it hideously hot and humid in comparison to Dunedin (and even Ohope), but I've been informed it was a relatively cool and low-humidity summer (it's just started to cool down).  Hopefully by next year I have acclimatised.

The apartment complex according to Google:

My goal is, of course, to make things exceptionally easy for stalkers.  (I kid.  Who would bother?!).

I honestly thought I would hate living in Auckland, but with the exception of boys making retarded decisions, I completely love it.  And I actually love living downtown.  We're so on top of everything, it's awesome.  Britomart is right there, and Queen St is just around the corner.  I have a season pass to the NZSO, the Aux Museum has always been my second fav, the art galleries are pretty fly, there's always something on or a new place/suburb/restaurant to go explore.  Plus all of the theatre.  There are ferry's to jaunt across the harbour for brunch, the coffee is epic and the people are getting better the more I meet.  And of course, flying out to anywhere in the world is easier here than anywhere in the country.  (haven't been out yet this year, but boy do I have plans).

And, for the first time in my adult life, I can feasibly/realistically pop over to visit the whanau for a weekend.

Not bad, Auckland, not bad.

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