Adventures in House hunting

Winter has been in full swing here in the land of “good air”. Good air is right if you are talking about the biting wind that comes in from the south. As I have stated before, I am a desert girl. Yeah, Taos gets cold as does Colorado, but it’s a dry cold. Not wet cold air drifting from the Rio smacking you in the face. I am a delicate flower when it comes to cold weather – wilting at the slightest breeze. I ran away from the winter . . . or so I thought.

OK, it’s not THAT cold – but at least it doesn’t snow and I can deal with that. What I can’t deal with is a house that has no insulation, is not heated, a balcony door that wont close and a landlord that continues to raise the rent and refuses to fix said door.

I have stayed in the house because I love my housemates. They were/are all so wonderful and we all had a very special bond. It’s a rare thing to put 9 foreign strangers together in a house and have them all get along famously (dueno aside). But, because of the aforementioned reasons and the fact that they are (mostly) gone this birds gotta fly. There were nights when would I literally sleep in leggings, socks, leg warmers, sweats, a t-shirt and a sweater topped with a comforter and a wool blanket; and would still I wake up slightly chilled. Not cool guys, not cool.

Looking for a place to rent is here is exhausting if you don’t have papers be ready to pay way more than you should. Craigslist is still a great resource but littered with some pretty terrible overpriced options.

I have mentioned before that there are two different currencies here – the legal and the “blue”. When it comes to apt/house hunting you have – the legal, the “blue” and the in-between. Not kidding. The legal exchange rate for dollars is around 5.08 and the blue rate is around 8.7 YES, 8.7. So, say you find a place that looks great and it says $400 – if you try to pay them in pesos they will accept the blue dollar rate which will come to just over 3000 pesos etc. This situation can be great if you have dollars to work with. If not that is a pain the ass. But, that’s the way things are, what are you going to do?

So the hunt was on what did I want?

  • A decent real bathroom
  • Hot water that lasts more than 5 minutes
  • HEAT
  • *bonus points for a double bed – but that’s not a deal breaker as twin beds are all the rage here.

It took me 8 months (I have secretly/not so secretly been hunting for alternative housing since day 1 but nothing really caught my eye) and I finally lucked out!

I found an amazingly priced apt with a double bed and a private bath. It isn’t heated, but I can’t move in until Sept, so it won’t be too bad – and the place I am staying at until then is plenty toasty :).

Moral of the story – keep hunting. It is tiring, it is annoying, you will travel all over the city looking at twin bed to another but eventually you will find something – even if it takes you 8  months ;)!


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