Its been over 3 months since I wrote a post. I feel terrible. I thought moving to a new city would give me a lot of free time a whole new perspective for my blog. But I guess I’ve been to consumed with issues of my own. Moving to a new city comes with a lot of excitement and a lot of fear. For someone who has stayed their whole life in one place to suddenly move away, leaving behind comforts of a life they know well, can be intimidating. I was really looking forward to this move but a few weeks into my moving to Mumbai I was faced with one of the biggest challenges of my life: FINDING A DECENT HOUSE AT A DECENT PRICE IN MUMBAI!
I started my house hunt well before moving here and yet I found myself without a house for 2.5 months after moving. There were plentiful of issues and all worked in conjuncture with each other to make my finding the perfect house an even more difficult task. Some issues were more personal and I wont blame Mumbai for it but there were a lot of issues I faced with the city. Lets analyse:
- Demand Crisis – Apologies for slapping you with economics but Mumbai has gone so far from the equilibrium in the demand-supply curve that it’s going to be difficult to bring it back. This comes as no surprise, Mumbai is facing a massive population issue. I honestly do not understand how this city is managing to hold the number of people it does without sinking! To match the ever increasing population, builders keep making taller buildings and slums keep increasing in size. The demand for everything is high leading to sky high prices. The rent I’m paying for one bedroom in a 3BHK house is the rent my friends are paying for an entire 3BHK house in cities like Hyderabad & Kolkata!
- Brokerage: Woah. Woah. Woah. If the rent doesn’t drive you towards being broke, the brokerage will definitely make you broke! 1 month’s rent as brokerage plus additional brokerage whenever you update the agreement. Hello, why? For visiting 5 properties with me that I shortlisted on my own – why do you expect this fortune?
- Bachelor Issues: The number of lectures I’ve received from brokers and owners about being bachelors and living according to ‘society rules’. The number of online posts regarding ‘family only’ tenants. In one case we almost finalised an apartment only to be rejected by the owner’s wife for being bachelors when we went to give the token money. One broker gave me a lecture about morals and how other people would judge him if we did anything immoral like bringing guy friends home, drinking and smoking.
- Religious Issues – I’m sure this is a very controversial topic and something I never thought I’d see in action but unfortunately I did. For a brief period I was looking for a flat with a colleague from a different religion (I am Hindu). The number of times flat owners, societies rejected us just because of her religion appalled me!
- Flatmate conundrum – From Mumbai issues to my own. To put it mildly, I’m a very weird person. I am very picky about who I talk to and even more picky about who I let into the walls I’ve built. I really wanted flatmates with whom I could be friends and more literally relive ‘FRIENDS’! I know, I know, that happens very rarely but I wanted that. Initially the people I met via office and online channels didn’t seem to me the kind of people I would like to be even acquaintances with. I forced myself to put aside and my fears and just take a flat with the first person I found from work. Over the weeks of searching for a house, I came to realise that she and I would never get along. Which started a huge debate in my head and amongst my friends and family – is it important to be friends with your flatmates? With a lot of help with my friends I backed out from this house deal with the initial colleague. That house was perfect. Perfect to look at, perfect for the pocket, perfectly located (100Mtrs from my office) But it didn’t feel right and I backed out of it last minute. And I’m glad I did.
- Perfect Flat: Fine, I’m a South Delhi snob but not many houses felt like home in Mumbai and I saw a lot of houses (ballpark figure? uhm. 150!!). Out of the many houses I saw, I liked 6. Out of them 3 were out of my budget. So you can see how spoilt for choice I was.
After crazy crazy 2.5 months, numerous meltdowns, my parents flying in; I finally found my home in Mumbai. And yes, it’s perfect. And my flatmates? I have a feeling I’m living my FRIENDS dream. My crazy flat hunt lead me to crash with a friend for a over a month and I found in him and his friends, family! Mumbai is finally starting to feel like a place I could live in. Here’s hoping!
All is well that ends well! 🙂
***My Happy Ending!***