The results of my bac in my pocket, I receive an email that I am taken in the school that I wanted to do in Brussels. Now is the time to organize my new life.
While I was in the family cocoon, none of these questions had ever really crossed my mind. But the deadline was approaching and we had to face the facts that I was going to have to start taking charge and that would start with the search for my apartment to rent.
What are the criteria for my apartment?
To choose my apartment I had to define if I was rather:
- The type to set 5 rings in the morning and get up 10 minutes before your class;
- Shy of having to travel 30 minutes;
- Wanting to go home between breaks rather than going to the library.
Unconditional on the duvet, I told myself that I had to find a studio to rent near my school.
We had determined a monthly budget for my rental with my parents, so I started actively looking for an apartment.
This is not the whole thing, but with the confinement we all had the answers from our schools at the same time and the real estate agencies tell me that the filling rate at the end of June is already equivalent to that of mid-September. I am obviously not the only one looking for the nugget in which I will live for a period of 3 years. So get to work quickly!
So I started my search for apartments through specialized sites, private listings, real estate agency. I didn’t know where to turn. My parents advise me to take a studio like most students. I have already spent long hours trying to get an idea of the real estate market, with a budget I compared the areas to the condition of the housing.
In short, a few days go by I really had to get started and make appointments for visits. The apartments were not waiting for me very quietly, there are still people jostling.
The day of the visits
There are 5 planned visits we make the express trip we must make the day profitable.
First visit at 9:30 am we arrive there is no time to look around we are right on time. Once in the apartment, I think I was wrong, it does not look anything like what I saw in the photo.
I think I have more to do with a Photoshop expert than a real estate agent, the accommodation is certainly of a suitable size, but in a state of disrepair which means that we do not linger.
The importance of neighborhood amenities
The next meeting is at 10:45 a.m., this time right next to the school, it’s an opportunity to find a bar where I could have my take away coffees every morning before going to class, we are exactly 512 meters according to a map of the entrance to my school. I would learn at the start of the school year that for health reasons the entrance would be on the other side at 1 km.
We start to look for a bar a troquet a grocery store a bakery, call it what you want but a place where we have a breakfast I tell myself that I am near a university that we must not be in the right corner that there must have something nearby. Well no. There is nothing at all. It does not matter we came to find an apartment rental, I am certainly next to the school but the neighborhood does not seem very lively. I take this opportunity to search Google maps for the nearest supermarket; 950 meters is easy but with 3 racing bags.
During the visit of the apartment a shutter is closed because it must be repaired, water damage from the upstairs neighbor has certainly been repaired but the wall is yellow with blisters of paint (I want to clarify that we were on rent at 600 euros excluding charges). Obviously it does not matter, I have to visit a good the street next door. Smaller area same budget, I should have better luck.
The studio is located on the 6th and last floor without elevator, that’s good it muscles the legs and a priori I would not have time to play sports. We are several to make the visit at the same time, I find that strange. We are in an attic studio, it is 24 m2 but with the slope of the walls I have the impression of being in a pocket square and there is only one velux window. When we leave we realize that it is not very well attended, yet it is barely noon. It seems that only the small park next door is to be feared in the evening.
We have a call to inform us that the accommodation (the one with the water damage) is rented and that we can no longer apply for this file. I obviously did not want to rent this apartment, but telling myself that properties in this condition at this price find a buyer quickly starts to stress me I am afraid I will not find accommodation. I am in despair the neighborhood does not please me there is nothing around, and in addition it goes like hot cakes on a Sunday mass.
My mother who accompanies me offers to have lunch somewhere in the city center. There is everything on site, shops, life, the tram and buses. Everything you would expect from a big city.
When to review your apartment choices
While discussing we realize that my decision to rent an apartment was oriented near my school but that I would probably be better in a neighborhood where there is life. Even if it meant putting in a little more money, I could have an extra room.
During lunch we look at the listings of properties for rent for this district, and we cancel the other apartment visits in the university district, to schedule others more in the center.
We come back two days later. The woman from the real estate agency tells us that she has just returned a property but a little more expensive which could correspond to us, we agree to see it. And there is a crush on everyone, it is on the top floor of a beautiful building without a lift, the good news is that it has a room to rest.
It is more expensive than the other apartments we have visited and it will impact my overall student budget, but that’s okay. I’m already planning to study, but also to do a few student evenings.
My mother reminds me that we must take a rental guarantee that covers the owner in the event of unpaid rents but also in the event of damage to the apartment and when we know how student evenings can end, I reassure myself by telling myself that it there is everything on site on foot including places to party.