Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Found an apartment!!!

After two weeks of frenzied apartment hunting (see the last post), we finally settled on a place that's right smack in the middle of Bratislava's Stare Mesto (old town/downtown). No, it's not in the old, medieval section of the city, but it's only a block away, on a bustling street with a mishmash of architectural styles spanning the late 1800s through the present. The apartment is on the third floor of a modest 5-story building, built in the late 1940s. It's amazingly spacious for the price, and rent includes all utilities except internet, which is really convenient. The kitchen is awesome and was recently redone, which makes Terka a happy camper (er, cooker). The place is fully furnished, although the furniture is pretty tacky. The living room looks very "grandma's house circa communism," while the bed in the bedroom is this garish thing that looks like what an ostentatous Italian maffia couple would have bought in the 70s. But with our price range, you can't be too picky, and the location is hard to beat. We'll be able to Jeff-and-Terezia it a bit to make it feel more like ours.

The crazy 1970s disco/maffia bed! All that's missing are retractable coke mirrors on the built-in side tables!

While we would love to have found a place in the historical center, the places we saw there had too many caveats. In fact, the last place we looked at before making our decision was an astoundingly beautiful apartment in a very old, gorgeous building in the historical center. It was so beautiful, in fact, that the first thing that ran through our minds upon entering was, "Okay, there's gotta be a catch," and course there was. Although it was a mere 500 euros per month, that price did not include any utilities, and the owner of the place came off as an uptight, paranoid asshat. He wanted three months' deposit (one is the norm), and then started talking about making us pay insurance, which is ludicrous, because that's what the freaking deposit is for, and as the real-estate agent stated, it's typically the owner's responsibility to purchase insurance, not the renter (the real-estate agent was getting annoyed with how unreasonable this guy was being). We also would have had to pay an additional 500 euros for servicing and upkeep of the building (it is super old, after all). And to top it off, the guy at one point said he would want to do a 6-month contract (instead of a year) in case the market improves and he could raise the rent. He reminded us three times that the apartment went for 1200 euros a month four years ago when the market was better. Bitter? The guy just seemed super uptight and tense, and who wants to deal with an owner like that?

At any rate, we're happy to have our own place, and it feels wonderful to finally be living *in* Bratislava, where we can walk to everything and just experience life in the city. We'll put a sign-up sheet out in the hall for anyone who wants to come and visit. ;)

Here's what you see when you look out some of the windows of our new apartment:

View of the infamous Hotel Kyjev from our kitchen window
This is what you see if you stick your head out the living room window and face northwest-ish
View looking straight out from the living room window

This photo below was actually taken about a half block up the street from our place, right before you cross the street to enter the historical center. 

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