A dash of Pepper…

…with a splash of Mint

Archive for May, 2013

New beginnings.. continued..

Posted by Pepper on May 4, 2013

So, where were we? Yes, house hunting. The process was a little too chaotic, and since I do not remember the events sequentially, I will go ahead with random bullets points  for this post.

– We started by getting numbers of a few brokers/agents that operated in the areas we were looking to rent in. My dad connected us to some of his friends, who in turn passed on some numbers. Mint’s batch mates from his MBA program who have recently moved to Mumbai also referred a few agents. Other than that, we looked up a few agents online.

– We were confused. Should we rent a 1 bhk? Or should we go ahead with a 2 bhk? Considering it is just the two of us, we didn’t really need more than 1 bedroom. Also, my family lives in the same city and they have a house of their own. Mint’s parents wont be visiting us that often. But, my friends kept saying they wanted us to get a home with 2 bedrooms, so they could stay back. Also, I thought an extra bedroom would be nice. My parents could stay back often. Anyway, since we were so confused, we decided to take a look at both the options.

– We decided to commence the hunt on a Saturday morning, starting with the agent we had found online. It was scorching hot. He connected us to another agent, who had the keys of the house to be shown. That was the first house we saw. It wasn’t bad as such. But boy, it was loud and gaudy. It had mirrors on the ceilings. Loud interiors. Fans with multi colour streaks. My mind screamed a ‘No’ the moment we saw it, but the agents were all praise. They said this was the only  furnished house available in that price.

– That was only the start. Post that, we went on to see about a hundred houses. It was a very tiring experience. We saw homes with a single bedroom, and two bedrooms both. The homes I seemed to really like crossed our budget by a huge margin. Some homes we saw were ugly. Some houses were in bad locations. Some homes were perfect, other than possessing that one wrong thing we couldn’t ignore. Like a fluorescent green kitchen counter.

– We were beginning to lose hope. We contacted other agents. What I didn’t realise was that this was a well connected network. Each agent having the same list of properties to show. Also, the agents seemed somewhat.. err.. like thugs to me. Their talks were on the lines of ‘Party ko apun ne B wing ka flat dikhayla hai’

– We had strange encounters along the way, with society owners eyeing us suspiciously. A particular manager from one of the housing committees even went to the extent of telling us they do not rent homes to couples who are living in together. We’re married, we told him. He said the society will want to see our marriage certificate. That is not a problem, we said. But his tone seemed so full of accusation, it amused me. As usual, with my sleeveless tee and casual jeans and no visible signs of marriage, we didn’t look married to him.

– We finally met an agent who spoke fluent English, was understanding and didn’t chew paan. Just talking to him made me regain that lost hope. I could see a remarkable difference in the kind of houses he was showing us. All the same, I was tired and wanted to end the process soon. Mint, as usual, was in no mood to make a decision until he had seen every single place there was to see. I couldn’t afford to take any leave. So I would drag my tired self after work and we would see apartments late in the evening. I was getting impatient and cranky.

– Since we realised finding an apartment we loved was not realistic, we decided to shortlist apartments, in order of our preference. These were apartments we could merely tolerate. I am glad we didn’t go ahead and finalise one of those.

– And then, one evening, we walked into a place that I knew would be our home. Just like that. It had wonderful vibes and I knew this was it. It also met most of our criteria. It was walking distance from Mint’s office. It wasn’t too far from the station. It had plenty of sun light. It was fully furnished, with 2 bedrooms, and an AC fitted in all the rooms. My favourite part – it had big windows and lovely seating around it. As expected, it seriously exceeded our budget, but never mind.

– The sister had seen the house when we saw it. We took my mum and dad to see the place, and they gave us their approval within minutes of seeing it. My dad and Mint scheduled a meeting with the owner. They were lovely people and we felt at ease interacting with them. We signed the agreement almost immediately.We’re yet to get the keys, since the home is getting painted, but knowing we have our new home in place makes me so relieved and happy..

– And now, we officially move on to the next task. Selecting and buying a car. Reviews and recommendations are welcome.


Posted in Euphoria | 51 Comments »

New beginnings..

Posted by Pepper on May 1, 2013

A lot of you in the comments section asked me this one question that I kept dodging – ‘Which city are we moving to, now that Mint’s MBA is over?’ I didn’t have an answer to that question for a long time. If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you will know how much I wanted to live in Bombay. Unfortunately, the offer that Mint had through his campus placements was not based in Bombay. Also, due to a sudden change in their placement rules, he was allowed to hold only a single offer. Which meant, he was pulled out of the placement process and was not permitted to apply to other jobs anymore. We kept applying for  jobs externally, but almost everything that came our way was based in Bangalore.

The jobs were not bad. At one point, we had quite a few job offers in hand, all of which were based in Bangalore and Pune. Just when I was about to lose hope and resign to living elsewhere, things worked out. And how! This happened a few weeks ago, and I was dying to put up this happy news on the blog, but severe shortage of time made it impossible for me to open this page.

A job in Bombay happened. It was the industry we were eyeing. The role was of Mint’s choice. The money was pretty damn good. It all seemed too good to be true. Ever since, I’ve been living in a happy bubble. Moving back to India now makes complete sense to me. I will be living the life I had envisioned for myself. With my family in the same city – visiting each other every few days and sharing life’s joys with each other. Let me say a little thank you to God for making it work for me, just the way I wanted it.

Anyway, since the time we finalised our stay in this city, we’ve been furiously hunting for an apartment to rent. This was our criteria:

– We wanted the house to be within our budget. Spending too much on rent does not make much sense to us. If we want to buy a home eventually, we’d rather save for it now. But alas, the words ‘budget’ and ‘Mumbai’ do not go together.

– I wanted the house to be close to Mint’s office. If one of us has to spend time commuting, I’d rather it be me. I want this to be as easy for Mint as possible. This will be Mint’s very first job in India. He isn’t used to the work hours in India. He isn’t used to the crazy Mumbai travel. In order to cushion the impact of the upheaval, I thought we should get a home from which he can walk to his office. Again, that didn’t go too well with our ‘budget’.

– We wanted the house to come with a parking spot. I thought this was a given. Turned out it wasn’t. Many homes came with no parking. We had to eliminate them. Spending hours finding a spot on the road every day was definitely not how we’d like to live.

– We wanted a furnished or a semi furnished house. Since we’re only just starting our life in this country, we own no furniture. Renting an unfurnished home would mean buying everything from scratch. We thought we’d rather do this after we own a home, so we can buy furniture that will fit the home and its style.

– I wanted there to be adequate sunlight in the house. Dim and dingy homes are not conducive to my mental well being. For me, home is a place that is bright and airy. Ofcourse, I might want to draw the curtains and dim the lights on certain days and enjoy the cool darkness, but living in that environment should be a choice, not a compulsion.

Other than the basics, I would have liked a few other things – a building that is not too old, a big enough kitchen sink, good pressure in the shower, no gaudy interiors, etc. Thankfully, we were brought back to earth on day 1 of our house hunt.

To be continued..

Posted in Euphoria | 45 Comments »

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