Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Still prepping....housing thoughts

When we spent our month in Cuenca, whenever we visited a new section of town we looked with an eye to whether or not we would like to live there.

We visited homes and apartments on several outskirts of town, houses in town, apartments in town and apartments in El Centro. This helped us decide on what we liked and didn't like.

We knew before visiting that we preferred NOT being in a "gringo high-rise". While there is nothing inherently wrong with this, we just felt that it would insulate us too much from the locals as well as put a "rich gringos" sign on our backs (which we are NOT). Plus, prices are definitely higher in those buildings thanks to HOA fees, gyms, cafes and other amenities.

Reading my good friend Linda's blog tonight, I realized we needed to start making our list. Yes, I'm a list person - what a surprise! So here are some of what our current thoughts are on a long term rental.
  • Close enough to walk to El Centro. Now this doesn't mean we need to be as close as we were at Apartmentos Otorongo, it does mean we want to be within a 30 minute walk one way.
  • It can be an apartment or a  house but it must have either a balcony or a terrace/patio. We need some outdoors space.
  • Minimum of 2BR, preferably 3BR with a minimum of 2BA.
  • Room for a queen bed in our bedroom, even if that means buying our own bed.
  • While we're interested in a furnished (incl utilities/fees), we are willing to consider unfurnished
  • Must have access to good Internet and English TV
  • We REALLY would like to be close to the Yanuncay River which has an amazing walking path. We realize that really pushes our walk to El Centro but we like the area.
What we know we don't want are the same things listed in Linda's blog:
  • Quiet area, preferably not directly on a bus route (but close to one)
  • Good landlord/landlady who will be responsive and helpful
  • No mold, mildew or dampness!
  • If in an apartment, no more than 2 flights of stairs without an elevator
  • We don't want to hear our neighbors through the walls!
And now I need to start our apartment look-see checklist:
  • Noise (morning, afternoon, evening)
  • Hot water
  • Look inside all cabinets
  • Appliances (stove/oven, refrigerator, washer/dryer)
  • Window coverings
  • Privacy
  • 3-prong outlets/location and number of outlets (esp. in kitchen/bathroom)
  • Counter space in bathroom and kitchen
  • Location of propane tank
I'm sure there are more things but this is what I can think of now. 163 days and counting!

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