Holy homes

One of the problems with wanting to live in, or close to, Manhattan is that everyone wants to live in, or close to, Manhattan. And even though you get swamped in towers full of apartments, for an outsiders they turn out to be impenetrable fortresses.

Us, experienced tenants, had dealt with this before, so what could happen to us, right? You visit a few websites, choose a couple of apartments you want to look at and eventually you pick the one you actually want to live in. Because that is how it goes, in the low countries. You finalize a couple of things with the realtor/landlord and maybe the currents tenants and you are ready to move into your new dream house.

But as it turned out, in the United States, things work a little different. Us, simple people from the low countries, seem to have a different approach to this than the big boys from the States.

Viewing an apartment is now problem, you can visit the same day and you get an elaborate tour of the building: apartment, gym, rooftop lounge, business center, maybe the pool, you get to see everything. However, as a true Dutchy, the one thing you are interested in, in the end, is the money. How much is this going to cost me? Because, mister broker, we saw online that this unit is on the market for about 3.500 dollars a month, but what are the additional costs, such as utilities and parking?

It appears that this is the point where one of the biggest differences with the Netherlands rises: the apartment was on the website for 3.500 dollars, but the price just went up. It is currently on the market for 4.000 dollars and 500 dollars extra costs. But if you right me a check right now for the total amount, this beautiful home is yours!

The total amount? For 6 months? That is more than 25.000 dollars, ALL AT ONCE? Yes lady, that how things work around here. I did promise the apartment to someone else, but if you bring me the total amount this afternoon, it is yours. And what about the contract? We will deal with that later.

We pragmatic Dutch did a quick analysis on the situation and made sure we got out as fast as we could. This was a little bit too dodgy for us after all. However, it is great example of how things are done around here, whoever comes around with the money first, gets the deal. No oral agreement, show me the money!

Thankfully, we are fast learners and there are a lot of friendly people in the United States as well. It turned out that doing business with big realtors was not our thing and we choose to sublet. That turned out to be a great move. We have an amazing apartment with an even better view.

The view

Our livingroom

Rounded Rectangle:  Ymke Oerlemans, 2012

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Blog of the little girl in the big city