First Day of Apt. Hunting: Ugh!!

mini

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(OK, let me try this again. I wrote another post about this but I can't find it. Maybe it didn't get through )

Yesterday, we went on our first home hunting trip with the relocation agent. I have to admit, we were quite disappointed. Most of the apartments didn't even meet the minimum criteria that we laid out plus they were in such bad condition. It was rather shocking the prices that were being asked for the low quality offered. These apartments clearly have been empty for some time.

Just for background, we are looking for a long term, unfurnished apartment and we have a limited budget, but it's by no means a low for Argentine (not expat) standards. There many gorgeous, beautiful furnished and decorated (not to mention expensive) apartments out there, but this is not our reality.

So, now, we are a bit confused & don't know what to do next... eeks! Frankly, I'd rather do the search myself & dump the relocation agent. I really believe that no one else can pick your home. But, how do I work with them going forward?

I really need some advice, cheering up & probably a shot of vodka!! ;)

Help!

Mia
 

mini

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Yes. I have been doing that & we certainly expected to have some of the ones we saw, liked & fit our wish list on our schedule of ones to visit. But we were disappointed that none were. & in fact, the ones that were proposed, most of them didn't fit our criteria. Personally, I wouldn't bother with a relocation agent, but the company is paying for her. I've never worked with a relocation agent, so how do I get the most out of this relationship is something I don't know.
 

syngirl

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My friend's company only worked with specific properties and inmobilieras on their list. it's possible that your relocation agent is the same -- she has a fixed list of whom she'll work with and therefore will only show you properties from those agents.

I think you pretty much have to wear your agent down. ie just keep saying no to the places they show you, eventually they'll get the idea. That's what happens with most estate agents here as well! They'll show you all the crap they've got in their book until they finally get sick of it and show you something acceptable.

Also, be prepared to face the reality that the MAJORITY of apartments in Capital and surroundings are crappy, they are old, they are small, they have tiny windows in odd places, the plugs are oddly positioned, the layout is poorly organised, closet space is limited -- or at times the opposite, a tonne of closet space and teensy bedrooms. If you're coming from Europe you will be used to the idea of small, if you're from the States you'll have to wrap your head around the idea that a family of 5 lives comfortably in an apartment of 1100 sq ft or less.

Furthermore you'll need to get your head around the prices -- they really do overcharge for what you get. Unless you've got a DNI and a garantia (which your company may be providing??) you'll be shut out of a huge portion of the market.

You don't state your budget -- most companies that pay for their foreign employees' housing pay USA level rents, and they get pretty nice places. My friend's company paid his $2000 USD (6000 pesos) rent on his place and it was nice, but again odd layout -- enormous dining room that could seat 20, a bedroom that just barely fit a double bed. However the company fixed that rental rate 3.5 years ago. Now my friend is moving on and the owner is bumping the rent up on the place to $4000 USD! (12000 pesos a month).

Anyway the long and the short of it is keep looking. Hopefully you have a month so you can really get what you want. If you've only got a couple of weeks you're going to have to hit the street everyday.
 

mini

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syngirl said:
I think you pretty much have to wear your agent down.
Picturing that made me laugh so hard!! :D


Also, be prepared to face the reality that the MAJORITY of apartments in Capital and surroundings are crappy, they are old, they are small, they have tiny windows in odd places, the plugs are oddly positioned, the layout is poorly organised, closet space is limited -- or at times the opposite, a tonne of closet space and teensy bedrooms. If you're coming from Europe you will be used to the idea of small, if you're from the States you'll have to wrap your head around the idea that a family of 5 lives comfortably in an apartment of 1100 sq ft or less.
I can tell you I had very little expectations and am certainly not an extravagant person, I'm not difficult. Many of the apartments were light, with those big floor to ceiling sliding doors, but... yuk! They were just.. yuk.... There was one in the bunch that was nice. We had 12 appointments, 8 didn't fit the brief at all. We canceled most of them & saw 6 of 12, 1 of which was in good condition, but still not acceptable for other reasons.

110m2 would be a dream, but was are looking for something about 80m2.

Furthermore you'll need to get your head around the prices -- they really do overcharge for what you get. Unless you've got a DNI and a garantia (which your company may be providing??) you'll be shut out of a huge portion of the market.

You don't state your budget -- most companies that pay for their foreign employees' housing pay USA level rents, and they get pretty nice places. My friend's company paid his $2000 USD (6000 pesos) rent on his place and it was nice, but again odd layout -- enormous dining room that could seat 20, a bedroom that just barely fit a double bed. However the company fixed that rental rate 3.5 years ago. Now my friend is moving on and the owner is bumping the rent up on the place to $4000 USD! (12000 pesos a month).
Yeah, the prices are very high and I would say over priced since only one apartment we saw had been lived in in the last decade! If the place is empty surely it's over priced, no?

The company is providing a garantia and we will have DNI number so that is not a problem. Since, my taller half is on a local contract they do not give us a housing allowance. So we can't pay what others can. We are looking between A$R2500-2800 including charges.

Anyway the long and the short of it is keep looking. Hopefully you have a month so you can really get what you want. If you've only got a couple of weeks you're going to have to hit the street everyday.
Thanks for your encouragement! Of course, we have to keep looking. I just need some "reality check" and encouragement. Wednesday was really a grim day!!
 

nikad

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mini, you can certainly find a nice apartment for 2800$ we rent in Recoleta a 3 br penthouse for less than that... Are you looking to rent trhough a RE agency and are going to pay the commission, deposit, etc? Which neighborhood are you looking for? I fyou want I can give you a couple of urls and/or the address of the real estate agency we rented through, send me a private message if you like.
 

mini

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Hi Nikad, Any and all help is appreciated!! When did you rent your place? It could be prices have gone up since then? Also, we have two small dogs which could be the/a problem.
 

nikad

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Hey Mini, pets are not a problem for long term rentals of unfurnished properites. Our contract gets adjusted every 6 months. I sent you a PM.
 
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