Sunday, September 07, 2008

So where are you living at the moment? – The life of a Genevan flat-hunter

09:00 The day begins by opening firefox. There are several crucial websites that must be consulted immediately. These include easywg for flatshare offers, wrs classifieds, ghi classifieds, zannnonces and immostreet for agency adverts.

10:00 The desk is by now covered in print-outs of possible offers. All of them, save a few poky studios, cost around 1800-2000 francs per month, and are usually unfurnished. If they are cheaper than extortionate, there must be something wrong.

I begin the phonecalls. First, for a few marked "3 pièces" (3 rooms) which may or may not have room for 2 bedrooms (no living room) depending on the arrangement.
Then I phone the rest. 50% are already rented, even though the ad was only put out yesterday. 20% don't answer the phone. 20% turn out to be unsuitable. The remaining 10% are visitable, but the visit has to be this evening between 18.29 and 18.31.

13:00 Go to the ILO to look at the noticeboard, in case anything new has come up, and arrange to visit that too (if the phone is answered).

18.00 Work isn't quite finished but in order to be in the outer-outskirts where the relevant flat is, I have to leave. I see the flat, which is just as it was described on the ad. I note the name of the agency, and say thank you and goodbye.

09:00 I fax all the relevant documents through to the agency. Later that afternoon, we call the agency, who say that all the papers are in order, and we should call back next week.

Next week: We call back. They say that the owner of the flat is considering several people. Call back in a few days.

In a few days: We call again. They say there was nothing amiss with the papers, but the owner chose someone else. And so it starts…all…over…again.

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