Thursday, 2 September 2010

Moving home

Good grief! It has been about two months since my last blog entry. I think this is the way with such things, as life gets in the way of all plans.

The life in particular has been moving apartments and Helen finally permanently moving to Budapest. We left our sweet little apartment in Falk Miksa at the beginning of July, with some regrets, as it had been my home since January and I had come to feel very comfortable there. However, we did want an extra bedroom and I was finding its review into the courtyard getting rather boring.

So we had been looking around with the help of an estate agent at properties in the approximate area, District V, which has many advantages: close to work, quiet at most times of the day but close to interesting nightlife. We had got a bit desperate, not being able to find anywhere that felt just right and started to look up at the buildings as we walked around for 'Kiado' (For rent) signs. Eventually we saw one on a magnificent building overlooking Szabadsag ter, and decided to ring the number even though we thought that it would be far too expensive.
Our new place (Lechner's Post Office Savings Bank just visible to the right)

Anyway, the owners showed us around and said that it was indeed going to be far too expensive but we loved the place, wonderful views over the square, lovely rooms, lots of light, location, location, location. So we cheekily sent them an e-mail suggesting a rent that was far less than they had asked for and were astonished when they replied saying that if we went up €100, the place was ours.

There then followed a month of negotiations and discussions about contracts. The landlords are Russian and we suddenly got rather paranoid about whether or not they were legitimate and if we were going to be scammed. But after getting advice from colleagues about the various legal documentation to look for we negotiated our way through the contract negotiations successfully and finally moved in on Saturday, 10 July.

Crowds watching a World Cup game in the square

We arrived during the middle of the World Cup, and shared the square for several weeks with one of Budapest's large outdoor TV screens.

The place was unfurnished, so we spent the first few weeks backwards and forwards to IKEA and various other furniture and household equipment shops, trying to establish yet another home. Truth be told it is only now, after nearly 2 months, that we are just about settled in.

And it's wonderful. The collapsed Budapest property market is bad news for many people but we have to count our blessings that we can be living in such a wonderful place.

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