My sophomore year of college I decided that I couldn’t handle living in the dorms for a third year. My group of friends and I decided that we would find a large house and we’d all live together. After a multiple week search and having a house leased out from underneath us we finally found an incredible house in a perfect location and the 9 of us rocked the “purple castle” during my junior year.
Some good times in that house junior year...
Fast forward to the present. I arrived in Motril on Saturday with 5 days paid in a hotel. During those 5 days I had to find an apartment that I would be living in for the next 8 months. Compare these two stories. Multiple weeks to find a place in Ann Arbor that I would live in the following year, versus 5 days to find a place I needed to move into at the end of the week. Awesome.
With this said Michael Lynn and I have been diligent in our search for a piso. It started Saturday afternoon when we walked around and continued Sunday night (see the previous entry) with us seeing a great place in the center of town that was owned by an extremely nice couple that even bought us dinner afterwards.
After walking around both Saturday and Sunday afternoon we had a game plan of which places we wanted to check out and which realtor companies we wanted to visit.
This was our first choice—they had a 3 bedroom, 2 bath place with a garage that we wanted to look at. We checked it out and although it had a nice view of the sea, it was easy to pass on it in terms of its comparison to the place we saw Sunday night. In fact, the place we saw Sunday night proved to be the standard in which we compared all of the other pisos. I am really glad we got to see that first piso before we did our intense searching yesterday. This ended up being the only piso we saw by this company because he was working by himself, so he couldn’t spend a lot of time out of the office on this particular day.
After seeing one piso with the first company we made our way to the second company. This was a realtor I had found online while looking at several pisos on a particular website. They had multiple places with 3 bedrooms and many of them looked really nice. We went inside and I explained that we were three teachers who needed a place for 8 months. We told the guy what schools we were at as well as our price range. He said to return at 5 and we could go check some out. Simple enough.
With a 5 o’clock date with the other company we moved on to the third realtors we’d found. They also had several places posted in their windows and similarly I had found several listings of theirs online. I gave them the same information I’d given the previous realtor and they said to come back in 30 minutes. Perfect. We went and walked around for a short while then returned to the realtor and they were ready to go.
They showed us four pisos, all of which had advantages and disadvantages. However, one really stuck out to me as a very strong candidate because of its size, price and overall quality. We now had a ranking of pisos:
1. The one we saw Sunday night with the nice family
2. The one discussed above
3. All the others….
Number 1 and 2 above were pretty even, and it was going to take a major pro/con list (which Michael Lynn was all over) or a different piso that would blow us out of the water for us to decide.
We told this company (2) that we were going to see some other places and that we would let them know what we were going to do in the next day or two. We returned to the hotel for a few hours to grab some lunch and a quick siesta.
At 5 we left for the third company and this realtor was ready to go. I had high hopes for the places he was going to show us because I knew they had some nice places that I had found on the Internet. Boy, was I wrong.
The first place we were taken to was in an older building. I knew it wasn’t going to work because as the landlord fussed with her ring of keys, trying to find the correct one to open the door, there was a runt of a dog with an extremely high pitch bark yelping at us as in the piso next door. The inside of this piso proved to be as outdated inside as it was outside.
I imagine this is maybe what that dog looked like, minus the American outfit of course...
We eventually moved on to a second piso. If the first one was bad, this second one was terrible. Old furniture, old bathrooms and terrible beds. I was flabbergasted. I had seen all these great places online and these were the two the guy showed us. After leaving the second piso the realtor said that he had one more he wanted to show us. However, the landlord was not available until 7:30. It was now 6 and Michael Lynn and I were tired. We also had two viable choices to choose from. However, we decided that seeing one more place might be worth it so we agreed to meet back at his office at 7:30.
An hour and a half later we made our way over and he was waiting for us. He grabbed his car keys and crossed the street to where his American made Chrysler 300C Tourer was parked. Michael Lynn and I jumped in and we sped off to this last piso.
This was a pretty fun experience: we were driving in Spain, with a realtor, in an American made car. Not only this, he had a mix CD going and one of the first songs played was by Katy Perry. It was America, but in Spain.
We eventually arrived to the last piso, which was in a more residential area of town. The realtor said it was new within the last two years, and it looked that way. We walked up to the building and made our way towards the piso. As soon as we entered I knew we had most likely found our winner. The apartment was new and modern. Nice couches, brand new appliances in the kitchen (all appliances as well: oven, stove top, refrigerator, microwave. This wasn’t the case with some of the other places we’d been in). The bedrooms were all a decent size with good beds. And the best part was the balcony. It had an enormous balcony that was accessible by all three bedrooms as well as the living room. And it looked out towards the Mediterranean! The piso would be 500 Euros a month (this includes the community fee, internet, and television) plus whatever water and electricity would cost (water every three months about 40 Euros, electric every month around 30 Euros, all depending on use). This automatically made its way to the top of our list and we were both glad we chose to see the last piso.
(Note: I feel like maybe this realtor had buttered us up a little bit by first showing us two really bad places and then this third place. Either way, we were blown away by this new and modern piso.)
During all of this a side story was going on. Emily is currently in Sevilla for orientation but because of some worker strikes her trip to Motril had to be sped up to Tuesday night (the strikes begin Wednesday), which was a day earlier then we expected. With that said, she would be able to see these pisos before we had to leave our hotel after 5 nights. So, we agreed with the realtor that we would bring our third roommate with us on Wednesday morning to see this piso and we would decide afterwards. We are also going to go see the other piso on top of our list (the one from Sunday night) with Emily as well. These are our two top choices and hopefully by Wednesday afternoon we will have a winner.
A busy but productive day for Michael Lynn and I. I just can’t wait to have my own place and stop living out of a suitcase. I am tired, sort of like this bear...