Jul 23, 2017

networked housing

We found our current apartment through a friend of a friend. After visiting 40 apartments in Stuttgart, filling out applications detailing our debts and salaries, competing with slick young schwabisch Bosch engineer power couples, one of Saori's coworkers was contacted by a former neighbor who wanted to know if she wanted to take over his apartment. She didn't, but she knew someone who did.

In a stroke, we neatly sidestepped the 2 months rent paid as a fee to the apartment broker, the $2000 cost of adding in a kitchen which is typical for starting to rent, and we even had our deposit waived. The fact it was a gem of an apartment with staggering views, an envious roof terrace, and low rent in one of the trendiest parts of town was simply an incredible boon. Even after living here for over two years, we still tell each other how lucky we are with this apartment.

But we need it off our hands to move to Portland. So Saori's been pushing it through her office network, and today we had two young architects come take a look. The first was an Iraqi woman, recently graduated from the university in Stuttgart, who was looking for something bigger and so that her family could come and stay for a month in the summertime. She liked the place, but thought that possibly, maybe, there might be an issue with the fact her father is 80 years old and there's six flights of stairs to the apartment. I have a feeling it's just not going to work.

The second visitor brought a gift of coffee and chocolates, also a woman architect from north Africa who loved the terrace and all the storage space. She confessed that she loved to shop and needed space to organize all her clothes. There was also a sad tangent: originally, she was hunting for a larger apartment with her long time boyfriend, but after her family rejected him as a potential husband, they were forced to break up.

On the Portland side, we are also using our social networks, and by we, I mean Saori. One of the interns at Saori's office is from Portland, and his parents came to visit him as part of a European vacation. We exchanged info and they invited us for dinner when we come over. Saori emailed them later about where they live, and as it turns out they own two properties in Portland which would be coming vacant soon. Not hip, but 2 bedrooms, close to light rail, and within a 20-30 minute commute to my office. So we are chasing that right now.

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