January 29, 2012

the hunt

It’s a jungle out there. A concrete jungle in fact, made of winding streets, lane ways and non-existent parking. It’s in this congested area we look to call home and for the past few weeks have been spending every Saturday on the loathsome, torturous exercise they call apartment searching. The word ‘search’ implies a delightful day of discovery, seeking out the cities lesser-known nooks and crannies but this couldn’t be further from the truth.  What actually happens during those few hours on Saturday can only be understood by those that have experienced the seedy underbelly of Sydney’s rental market, when seemingly normal and courteous people turn into ugly, vicious rental warriors, its not an apartment search at all – it’s a hunt.
I’m not one for violence but put me in the middle of 50 other people lining up to look at an overpriced, run down, one bedroom unit in Surry Hills and something dark inside me comes out. It’s a real estate version of Lord of the Flies. As the agent arrives and begins to slowly open the apartment door for the 15-minute window that will determine your fate, you can feel the tension in the air, sweat begins to bead up on everyone’s forehead in anticipation. This unit comes with a parking spot – the stakes are high, no one is safe. 
Without fail there is always one idiot chatting up the real estate agent (admittedly that’s sometimes me) but that person is normally pushed aside as the crowd of people throw themselves into the cramped space, eyeing up every square metre trying to determine if their IKEA furniture will fit (it wont). Last week one very excited man screamed (literally) “I’ll take it!” before I even crossed through the doorway and I swear the crowd almost attacked him, trying to tear up his already filled out application form complete with references.  It gets ugly and I’m not proud to admit that I’ve pushed (okay shoved) women and child out of the way just to get a better look at the storage in the built-ins. This shit is serious and it’s not for the weak at heart. J and I have become quite good at sizing up a unit in a matter of mere seconds, acting in tandem like a team from the Amazing Race, we communicate without speaking and nod silently to each other when the checking the shower water pressure or making sure our fridge will fit. 
We haven’t yet found what we’re looking for (or been accepted to those units that ticked all the boxes) but we won’t give up, the war isn’t over just yet. So if you know of an available unit in the city let us know or if next Saturday if you happen to be driving around the city and see a crowd of defeated looking zombies lining up to look at another unit honk your horn in support, we need as much as we can get.


Lorraine said...

Even more reason to move back to the USA!!!

Georgia said...

I SO know what you're talking about! We've been spending our Saturdays in much the same way.
Even seeing that tenancy application form gave me the shudders. As a fellow house hunterer, I wish you all the very best of luck, it is, as you say, a jungle out there but you'll find something great!

Tess said...

Ugh, just the pic sent my heart into palpatations a little bit! It's almost like a visual version of applying for a job knowing you have the experience (re: rent money) and would be a fantastic employee (read: neat & tidy), if only they would just hire YOU! (read: accept your application)!

Good luck! I hope it doesn't result in a bidding war...

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