1 week/$100 (Day 6)

The Challenge?

Just bumped into the kid who’s currently playing the role of acting landlord of my old flat I’m squatting in… CRAP. Met on the bridge and I stopped to say hi. No point avoiding the obvious. Said he was doing well and told him I was looking to catch a flight to Melbourne. He wished me a good trip and we went our separate ways. Phew.

Everyone on the dock’s looking up right now…

*** 

A couple of nights ago I met up with R, an English lad I was supposed to hang out with before leaving home for Xmas. We had a really great night. Walked along the harbour, went to a cheap Irish pub and then ended up at a backpacker’s dive and danced it out. Really fun night. He’s sort of a male version of me (education, hobbies, interests etc.) except machine-version. Works non-stop and looks to be a social effing animal. I’d like to hang out again… we’ll see. Also… didn’t spend a dime!

***

3PM-ish. Sitting on a patch of grass in The Rocks. Went to watch The Hobbit this AM. I enjoyed it. I’ll stay tuned for the next installment. Young Bilbo Beggins’ sarcasm definitely made that flick. I’ve coined him my next husband. I could hack the shire nooooo problem. 🙂

View from the Rocks.
View from the Rocks.

***

Saw an awesome balloon ARTIST on my way home today on Pitt Street…

***

6:45PM. Went to see M and O today. M definitely remembered me… it was great. J Changed soo much in 2 months. I brought M a few shirts from home… one with a moose holding a hockey stick. Doesn’t get more Canadian than that! Went to the park for a couple of hours and had a chat with O about other uptight moms—good times. I want a chocolate chip cookie.

***

Bought two fresh cookies from Subway but didn’t feel like eating them. Dropped them off with a homeless beggar on Pitt Street. He shot me a smile. 🙂

***

A Finnish girl moved into my old bed today. She’s so nice I can’t even hate her. Parkin’ it on the couch tonight. Also decided that—for now—Thailand is a no go. No point in spending money I don’t have.

Track of the Day:

TOKYO POLICE CLUB– Nature of the Experiment

Coin:

Movie: $16

Cookies: $2

Groceries (tuna, alfalfa, water): $3.82

TODAY’S TOTAL: $21.82

WEEK’S TOTAL: $132.88

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Choosing the right apartment in Sydney/anywhere

I can be a tad impulsive when it comes to making decisions like these. If like myself, you’ll eventually learn through trial and error. Or… you can just read this!

1. Stay in the city for at least 7 days before moving-in

  • Get to know the neighbourhoods. You’ll find out what areas appeal to you, where would be most convenient (ie. close to grocery stores, public transport) and the difference in rent between communities (by the beach: $$$).

 
2. Decide who you’d prefer to live with

  • My dearest female readers: men are the EASIEST to live with. Just look for a clean and reasonably-organized bunch.

 

3. The area

  • Is the place on a busy street or close to train tracks? Yes, I love my sleep.
  • Is there parking?
  • Where is the closest grocery store, post office and bank/ATM?
  • How far is access to public transportation?

 

4. Snoop around and get these questions answered

  • Is there air-conditioning?
  • Is there a washer AND dryer (during the summer you could pass with a simple clothes-line)?
  • What room would you be moving into and what does the mattress look like? No one likes bed bugs.
  • Have there been any cases of bed bugs in the last 2 years?
  • Would you be sharing a room? If so find out about your roommate. If they happen to be there then get a feel for what they’re like. Is their side of the room organized or a mess? Does he/she work? What are their working hours like (9-5, overnights etc.)?
  • Is there a security system in place and/or is there a lock to your bedroom?
  • How are household responsibilities shared?
  • Does the place itself look clean? You’re aiming for cockroach-free. 🙂
  • How many people share one bathroom?
  • Does the bathroom have a window and proper ventilation? Mold is NOT your friend.

 

5. Financials

  • Rent… obviously.
  • Is there a bond? How much?
  • How does the landlord insist on receiving rent (electronically, funds transfer etc.)?
  • Is there a contract? For how long?
  • How much notice is needed before moving out?

 

6. Your landlord

  • If you have the chance, ask one of your potential roommates what they think of the landlord. You’re looking for a landlord that is prompt on getting back to you and quick to address concerns you may have.

 

Anything you think I should add? Comment below and spare others the trial and error. 🙂

Where to look for apartments in Australia

In a previous post I mentioned that I’d be comfortable making a minimum of $1000/wk….. baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! It’s lookin’ like that minimum’s turning into a need-be guarantee.

You could get by making the bare minimum while travelling, but it looks like Sydney’s going to be a tad more expensive then originally planned.

I’ll be getting everything together when I arrive in my first week, but I figured now’s close enough (to my departure date) to check out a few listings for apartments. Here’s where I’ve been lookin’:

AirBnB is great site. You’ll find listings for hotels, hostels, vacation rentals and apartments with pictures, the property’s available amenities (Wi-Fi, kitchen, washer/dryer) and more. You also have the option of emailing the property owner directly to work out the exact dates you’d like to make a reservation, or for any other questions.

GumTree is equivalent to Canada/US’s Kijiji or Craigslist. Property owners are free to share as much or as little info as desired. You’ll need to poke around and ask a few questions. You’ll likely find more ads here (compared to AirBnB), which also means more to filter through. GumTree also gives you the option to search under specific headings, such as ‘couch surfing,’ ‘short term,’ ‘shared accommodation’ and more.

Realestate.com is specific to Australia. You’ll be able to filter your search by how many bedrooms, bathrooms, min./max. budget, car spaces etc. You can bank on this being a more established site as well. And for those looking to buy properties, you can search this site too!

A note of caution: Make sure you’ve seen the apartment and signed a legitimate contract with the property owner/manager. NEVER…. EVER agree to an apartment before seeing it or departing from home. There was an awesome looking apartment on AirBnB, and after talking to the contact, she informed me that she’d need a deposit, that she’s working in the UK and that she could mail the key over to me in Canada. Sorry… no dice there woman. Should’ve figured something was fishy… this was a 3-bedroom apartment, each room with an en-suite bath and cheap rent.

Any tips or something you’d like to add? Need not be Australia-specific. 🙂