Housing serendipity

Hello again my dear reader,

I will start this post by saying that we won’t be moving into that beautiful cottage in Southampton. We loved the cottage and the idea of having a large patch of land to grow vegetables but it wasn’t to be so we pulled out. The surprising thing is that we have already found an alternative and what an alternative it is!

The alarm bells started ringing when it comes to the lovely cottage in Southampton (Shrewsbury Nook) when we realised how different the place would be on moving day than when we saw it and fell in love with it. It turns out that the advert on the real-estate agent’s website was vastly misleading. The place was supposed to be air-conditioned and partly furnished, including curtains and curtain rods. But, as it turns out, the only fittings that were going to stay in the place were the dinner table and 4 mismatched chairs and an ugly piece of furniture that was attached to the wall in the main room. The AC unit and curtains belonged to the previous tenant. He tried to sell them to the landlord but he didn’t seem too interested. So, I called the previous tenant to see if I could buy them so the house would at least have an AC unit and curtains. He said that he would not go below $1,000 for them (no, seriously, a thousand dollars for a used window AC unit and 3-4 curtain rods and curtains) for them and I made it clear to him that I would not be interested in these items at this price. I had a quick look on emoo.com (the local second-hand shop) and I could definitely get AC units for less than $200. There is no way that the curtains were that expensive. They were just normal linen curtains in off-white or white colour. Unbelievable… So, I told him to get the things out before we were going to move in.

Then, the alarm bells got louder when the landlord insisted on a 2-year lease. He said he’s only go down to a one-year lease if he raised the rent and forced us to paint the place if we were to move out in one year. We put everything together and decided that we didn’t want to have such an unreasonable landlord, especially if we were going to be his tenants for 2 whole years! You just can’t know if you’re going to like a place when it’s your first home in Bermuda. The cottage was nice, sure, but how could we know if we would like the commute from there or whether the place was going to be too humid to enjoy? Well, you can’t.

So, we got back on the house search. It has to be said, this wasn’t a pleasant thing to do. After the disappointment of having found a place and then lose it and the new disappointment of having found the cottage and then be forced to step away, I wasn’t looking forward to looking for a new place again. But, there was a nice flat on emoo and it even had a pool table! I would love to have a place like that. So, Jitka came to town and with a heavy heart we headed out to see this latest place. We saw it, it was nice and we were outside talking about it, whether we should take it or do another viewing and then decide. From across the road, a lady popped out and asked “are you looking for me?”. To this I replied that maybe we were, depending on what she was offering… She said she has an apartment for rent and was doing viewings. We thought “what the hell” and followed her up to the apartment.

This apartment is on the 1st floor of her house. It has a large lounge attached to the kitchen which is fully equipped. It also has a large bedroom. And, most importantly, it’s clean! Not just Bermuda-clean, the typical level of cleanliness we have seen from other places but Spiros-clean! The place didn’t smell of damp at all and it was freshly painted. The only disadvantage I could see was that the washer-drier is downstairs. Other than that, the place is lovely. And, you want to know something else? The apartment is 50 metres from the best beaches on the island! It’s in Warwick (which is much closer to work than Southampton) and sits just off the South Road, a less travelled road for the morning and evening commute. It’s close to some shops and all in all, it’s lovely. The landlady is also quite reasonable and much more responsive than the owner of Shrewsbury Nook. So, we took it!

When we went over to sign the lease, I also asked if she would mind allowing us to grow some veggies in her garden and she said yes. So, at least we can try our hand at growing some vegetables, something that was the central attraction from Shrewsbury Nook. Further than that, she also agreed to fence a small area off for Athena to run around. So, the new place is the same price as Shrewsbury Nook, it’s much closer to work, it’s right on the beach, it’s an easier commute than Shrewsbury Nook, it’s significantly larger than the cottage, has a much more reasonable landlady, has garden space for a vegetable patch and a patio where we can sit and enjoy a meal, glass of wine and fine cigar outside. And all of this happened completely by accident!

I think that after the earlier disappointments in the housing search, we deserved to get a break finally. So, please check back soon for stories about scooter buying, furniture buying and connecting utilities, should be on the blog soon. Take care.

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