Surprise, surprise: We’re moving again!!

29 08 2010

Since Tim has been away for work a lot recently, I’ve had—as you may have noticed—much more time to update the blog. Today’s big news is that we’re moving again on Wednesday! Although we really love our current apartment and our roommate has buena onda, we just can’t continue paying so much every month in rent. We’d much rather downgrade so we can save some money for a couple of big trips we have planned (more on those another day).

So, on the first we will be packing up our suitcases and heading to a new place. The new apartment, on the first floor of a small complex, is located in the center of everything, right off of Avenida 7. It’s a little further from my office, but much closer to all of the main plazas and the bus station. We will have three roommates (two men and one woman) and a couple of cats. Of the many, many apartments we’ve looked at since we got here, it’s definitely in our top three; not to mention that it’s about 40% cheaper than what we’re paying now and still completely furnished and move-in ready, a rarity here.

Finding a place to live here has been a somewhat complicated process. In Argentina, contracts generally last two years. We’ve been told this a pretty easy rule to circumvent; however, there are other complications also holding us back. For example, in addition to proving that you have stable work, tenants are also required to provide a garantía, which seems to be an asset related to real estate. If you don’t have a garantía, you can have a cosigner. We clearly have neither of these here. Furthermore, we have no “documents.” Like many yankis in Argentina, we’re technically “permatourists,” meaning that we live in the country on a tourist visa, being sure to renew them or leave the country every three months. Add in the fact that most places ask for three to four months’ rent up front and a hefty commission, and the formal system becomes 100 percent inaccessible for us.

There are other options though. A common one for students is to live in a pensión. A pensión is completely furnished and is designed to be rented temporarily. Perfect for us, right? Well, no. They are usually really old buildings with a minimum of two, but frequently more, students per bedroom. They’re loud, often filled with drama and messy as can be. A pensión is more or less the equivalent of a dorm here, where the universities do not house students themselves. We visited several of these before deciding that we just could not live in one.

The last option then becomes finding a roommate, someone who wants to share costs. You won’t find these advertised in the newspaper and although one or two websites do exist (that’s how we found our current apartment), it seems that most everyone finds a roommate by word-of-mouth. Someone knows someone who knows someone who’s looking to rent out a room in their place. That’s how it happened for us this time around. As you can imagine, this method requires, well, knowing people, which takes some time after moving to a new place.

It’s for all of these reasons that we were willing to pay more than an average months’ rent when we found our current apartment two months ago (that, and because it’s gorgeous!). As a newby, and particularly as a foreigner, you can’t really afford to be picky. In the end, though, Tim and I are both really glad that we eventually found a new place that will be more affordable and, hopefully, just as pleasant. Look for pictures and updates soon!

Katie

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One response

31 08 2010
Susannah

Sounds like a great plan! I’m sure that you guys will find your new place even MORE pleasant, since it won’t be overpriced and you’ll have spare money to do what you both love to do! I’ve been feeling much better about life in general since moving into a cheaper (and surprisingly more comfortable, if less architecturally interesting) apartment.

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