Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Pleasantly Surprised - Apartment Hunting in Bako

Good people, it is official. Christian and I put a deposit on an apartment and I got an interview for a really cool job with the Girls Scouts. Yes. The Girl Scouts. 

But instead of telling you about the job, which may or may not happen, let me delve into the beautiful world of rental properties in Bako. Like many ignorant bright eyed prospective renters, we scoured Craigslist, Padmapper, and the various free periodicals available in local Bako supermarkets. We came upon several initial options which we called last Friday in order to visit yesterday.  The phone calls went like this.

Apartment complex 1: "We don't make appointments. Just come by."

Apartment complex 2: "We don't make appointments. You need to come by and fill out a form."
"A form? We're not planning on renting, we just want to see it."
"You need to fill out a form."
"Okay, thanks...."

Apartment complex 3: "We have 6 pools, 3 BBQ/picnic areas, a community area, and hold parties for our tenants once a month. We don't have appointments, but you're welcome to walk in and we can show you the place right then!"

Apartment complex 4: Recording "We have espacious estudios, 1 bedroom, and 2 bedroom apartamentos for rental. Pleaze leaf a message an we will call you back..."

Needless to say, we wanted to check out #3 first.  Unfortunately, that complex had income maximum caps. The owner gets tax credits for providing low income housing, which meant we were out.

So we checked a few more places on the fly which sent us on a wild goose chase until we found a place in the middle of everywhere with a month to month lease for a reasonable price. Lucky for us, the manager of the property was super awesome and helpful. She even put us on the priority list to get all of the paperwork through as soon as possible.  And then when we went to lunch we discover the cheap theater (1$ matinees, 1.50 night, and .75 on Tuesdays! AND they have 3D!)! It was one good thing after another.

I say this because anyone who has searched for an apartment knows, it's not easy.  When we looked for a place in East Bay, we checked out over 17 different properties before settling on the apartment where we lived in Hayward. Assuming everything goes through well (and as expected), we will have only seen a total of six apartment complexes.  So, I'm going to cross my fingers and hope everything does just that - go exactly as expected.

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