bigato's journal

Where are you and where are you going?
bigato
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Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:43 pm

Re: bigato's journal

Post by bigato » Mon Apr 29, 2019 4:56 pm

This Sunday, I went to see a tiny renting place here that was basically about the size of two single beds, and it had a sink and a bathroom. On the entrance, by the side of the door, you had a fancy metal pipe to hang clolhes, and a couple of shelving spaces above. This could be on the foot side of the bed. On the head side, there were windows opening to a ventilation shaft. And it was all brand new and shiny and I loved the thing so much! Also, I talked to the manager and he sounded very professional and efficient. This was located at the second underground level, which makes it cooler than the outside and more silent, but there was no phone signal. Which I could do without, but I think I'd like internet. There seemed to be wifi, but the signal in that room way way too weak. There was cable so I could pay for internet through the cable tv company. But that is not cheap and I'm burned out by their predatory business tactics, really didn't want to deal with them again. If I had cellphone reception, that would solve the internet, but there's no way it would work at the second level underground.

Also, having slept on an first level underground housing with a past girlfriend for a while, I was not so confident that the ventilation through the ventilation shaft would feel like enough. Although ex-girlfriend's place didn't have a shaft but had one window open above ground level, like a more traditional basement window. This is a dry area most of the year though, think something like Australia most of the year. We have big differences in temperature between the day and the night, because dry climate. The yearly average temperature is 24 degrees celsius. I really loved the place but was not confident regarding the ventilation aspect. It didn't smell humid or something, and the ar didn't seemed stale, but I don't know, everything was so freshly built/renewed in all of the units that I was not confident to judge whether it felt like that just because it was uninhabited. The price was just a little under another property which I'm almost closing the deal on (the realtor company on this other is awful, slow, inefficient. Twenty days and the contract is not signed yet. The people are very kind but very inefficient).

They had other units on this building, including ones with windows opening to the street, but then they were double the size (two rooms) and double the price. That would not be interesting at all. Also, they had another unit of similar tiny design on ground level, but then it was a bit more expensive, and thus ended up being the same price of the other one managed by the inefficient company. Which, on the other side, is about twice the size, has a sunny balcony where I could grow some greens, and is closer to work (like 5km instead of 9km on the tiny gourgeous place). Also, big enough for a tiny home that I could have a big table and invite close friends for dinner eventually. Not that I have ever done that in the past year where I am now, and I could, but I like the idea.

I'm really torn between not being confident about ventilation in one place, and the awful company at the other. Would really appreciate any advice on this, specially if you happen to have real life experience on ventilation through a ventilation shaft with passive ventilation through the draft effect (I think this is how this is called). To not expand too much on the details, assume that washing/drying clothes is non-issue. My gut feeling is also positive regarding management.

bigato
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Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:43 pm

Re: bigato's journal

Post by bigato » Wed May 01, 2019 7:55 am

Started receiving calls from my bank asking me how I am doing, and if I need anything from them

BookLoverL
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Location: England

Re: bigato's journal

Post by BookLoverL » Thu May 02, 2019 3:32 pm

I unfortunately don't have any advice regarding ventilation, but I hope you manage to end up with a housing situation you like. I guess a big factor would be a) how much do you value sunlight, and b) if there is bad management at the one place, how much will it affect you as a tenant.

classical_Liberal
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Re: bigato's journal

Post by classical_Liberal » Fri May 03, 2019 1:24 am

Humm... I've never lived in anything without at least basement window access. Although I'm a big noise snob because I often sleep during the day due to overnight shifts at work, so that idea has tons of appeal to me. I guess I've never worried about ventilation because I always just go outside when I want fresh air. On the other side of things, I've had horrible rental management companies before, a couple of times. It was a huge headache, one had me threatening legal action. Since that time I have refused to rent from anyone/company that either has a bad reputation (I was warned about the worst one, but since I'm such a good tenant didn't think it'd be an issue) or that I get a bad vibe from. Given my personal experience, I'd say go with the small, quiet one with a good rental company. Besides, you sound more enthusiastic about that place... but that is all based on personal experience, so YMMV.

2Birds1Stone
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Re: bigato's journal

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Fri May 03, 2019 7:59 am

I put a high value on fresh air, even in my little basement apartment. We need to run a dehumidifier most of the time we are not home during the humid summer months, and tend to keep all windows open when it's drier/cooler out. Mold scares the crap out of me.

Btw, I went back and reread your whole journal yesterday/this morning. What an incredible journey, bigato. Thank you for your contributions to this forum.

George the original one
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Re: bigato's journal

Post by George the original one » Fri May 03, 2019 10:43 am

2nd underground level? I would be concerned about the fire escape situation.

thrifty++
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Re: bigato's journal

Post by thrifty++ » Sat May 04, 2019 2:03 pm

To be honest, the underground apartment sounds really awful. I could never do it personally. It sounds like a prison cell. I think it is important for you to have some natural light and a bit of space. And poor internet and no cell phone coverage. I would feel depressed living somewhere like that. And I would be feeling worried about ventilation and air.

Are there some better options than this for you? Is it worth the savings?

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Bankai
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Re: bigato's journal

Post by Bankai » Sat May 04, 2019 6:02 pm

The underground cell sounds extreme. Very few humans in history chose to live underground, and probably for good reasons. No option to look through the window or just open it to let some fresh air in. You'll be spending there each night and at least a couple of hours of each day, how confident are you your feelings about the cell won't change once you spend some time there? Is the difference in cost so substantial that the savings are worth giving up the quality of life?

bigato
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Re: bigato's journal

Post by bigato » Sat May 04, 2019 6:41 pm

George: at least I'd be safer in case of a nuclear blast, right? :-p But yeah, a fire escape is something to think about, thanks.

But yeah, I've been going back and forth in my head on this. I could just try it out and see how it goes, worst case I'd move somewhere else. I'd be paying X at that underground place while here I pay 3X per month. If I move and hate it, the penalty for leaving before one year would be... 3X, that is exactly what I pay here while I don't decide anyway. It may be that the ventilation is good, it actually felt like it was.

What I did these days was that I spent something like two or three days with all doors and windows closed here in the current place to test it out and see how it feels. I actually have a similar ventilation duct on my bathroom that is similar to the kind of ventilation that I'd have there, except with much less area for the air to pass through. The result was that yes, it's not so comfortable. But as c_L put, if I want fresh air and sun I can just go out. I have plenty of green spaces nearby. And there are windows, it's just that they open to this vertical ventilation space inside the building, with no direct sun.

The company that is renting the other place didn't get back to me yet. They told me the place would be ready this week. So I'm thinking that I don't really want to make business with these people, how horrible it is that it has taken then 20 days since we started talking and I can't move in yet? If it is this bad now, it will surely be awful when I want to leave.

The underground place, on the other hand, I don't even know if I will be able to rent it anymore. How I came to know about it was that they published an ad for a rental room in a local version of craigslist last saturday, without any pictures, telling that anyone interested should show up at the place sunday from 8h00 to 12h00. So I did. After seeing the place and not being so sure if I should rent it, I asked the guy how I could contact them if I decided to make the deal. He told me that they would be there until 12h00 and that I should tell them. They would analyse my documents and send me the contracts upon aproval, and in two days the deal should be done. Looking like he is in his late 50's or early 60's, when I asked if he was the owner, he told me "administrator". But I don't know, everything about him tells me "business". He is acting exactly like I would if I were retired with rentals on my name and wanted to waste the minimum time possible. In every unit that was empty, there was a checklist on the door with all the details ticked. All units were flawless. Another woman arrived while we were talking and by the looks of it, maybe she was the owner or one of the owners. But thing is, I don't even have their contact and was hoping that today (saturday) they would post the same ad again in the same place and I'd be able to go there tomorrow. But it is already night and nothing so far. What other option I would have would be to ring some other tenant and ask them for the administrator contacts, but I think that would be rude and I am not doing it. I may show up there tomorrow morning just in case they are there again.

Regarding not having phone signal, I think that's actually an advantage :). Same for the internet, although I may be able to fix the wifi thing through wired or some kind of signal booster. But even if I weren't, I find it kind of cool. People will still be able to arrange to meet me if they want to, it's just that they will need to tell me in advance the same I hope they do today. Or they could show up and ring me. I would still have access to knowledge, except that in the format of books. I can message people and write them emails, and it will go through as soon as I am online. It was not more than 15 years ago that things used to work exactly like this, and I think I miss it. Does it look like a prison? ahahah I like small spaces, and I like the challenge. That's actually what I liked the most about the place: it is the smallest and fanciest place that cheap can buy in the central area, as long as I can tell. It's a bit like these places in Tokio that are trending:
https://www.japantimes.co.jp/life/2019/ ... ng-spaces/

Is it worth the savings? Well it is not about the savings in absolute numbers to be honest, since my wage make up for it. But I must confess that I am getting annoyed at the fact that housing represents such a big fraction of my spending now. Last month it was over 60%. Maybe I am just too close to the point where efforts are better applied optimizing something else other than spending. There are other places I could rent, but a bit above those two that are pretty much the market rock bottom for rentals in the central area. Other than that, airbnb could get me even lower for a room, but then I'd be sharing the rest of the house with other people and I'd need to get very serious at minimizing possessions down to not much more than a couple of big backpacks and the bicycle. Not sure I want the additional hassle.

Thanks 2B1S, but I get much more from the forum than I contribute! And thanks for taking the time to read. It helps to have people reading and commenting on your journey since all of this is so far removed from mainstream that sometimes we start wondering if we are doing it right, if we are not being too crazy, etc, and then having other people with whom to share this stuff is very useful. That and the examples you guys set every day, always help me push the boundaries of what is possible in my head. I have open-minded close friends who understand this, but it's not the same as talking to other people who are living the same journey.

bigato
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Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:43 pm

Re: bigato's journal

Post by bigato » Fri May 17, 2019 2:04 pm

As it is often the case when one is faced
with the dillema between two options and can't decide, the answer was something else entirely. I saw another place the day before
yesterday, and by now I already have the contract signed and keys available. My housing costs will be cut in half now! The place is small
but has lots of natural light and just went through a remodel this week (the guy must've finished today or so). It is just by the side of the
second best urban park in the city and inthe same building where the polyglot club meetings happens, in a pizzaria at the floor level. Which
happens to be the social event that I enjoy the most in the city, and happens weekly. But also, the rental company was absurdly efficient
and the process was very enjoyable. It's hard to imagine a better deal for housing in every sense in the present city in this class (private
space that I don't need to share and where I can cook, central location, price at market floor, just refurbished, new tiles, etc!)

2Birds1Stone
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Re: bigato's journal

Post by 2Birds1Stone » Fri May 17, 2019 3:04 pm

Congratulations! Sounds like a dream come true :)

BookLoverL
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Location: England

Re: bigato's journal

Post by BookLoverL » Sat May 18, 2019 4:38 am

Excellent! I'm glad it worked out for you. It's definitely true that sometimes waiting leads to better things than rushing into a suboptimal decision. It sounds like this new place has a lot going for it.

classical_Liberal
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Re: bigato's journal

Post by classical_Liberal » Sun May 19, 2019 8:15 pm

It appears opportunity+preparation= serendipity. Congrats on the new place! You've spent a ton of time and mental energy on this, so I bet it feels great to finally get it resolved.

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