So the past weeks of our lives have been filled with house hunting adventures. We were lucky enough to have been allocated a moving consultant who was able to sift through listings and provide us with rides to the places we need to see, but it was still a frenetic experience.
All apartments in Sydney are shown by real estate agents, and most are shown on either Wednesday or Saturday with each open house lasting between 10 and 15 minutes. The basic way you find a house in Sydney is to look on one of two real estate listing sites, and create a short list of places that look interesting to you. Then, from your shortlist, you filter by day showing, and order by time and distance travelled (which makes for an interesting travelling salesman problem, if you’re into that sort of thing). You cut the ones that don’t fit into your schedule, and then hit as many as you can in an afternoon. If you like something, you apply within a few hours after viewing and cross your fingers. It’s a very tight market, and some viewings had 20+ other people in line for the unit.
This is where the moving consultant worked her magic. Having someone who knew the city made the list generation, and travel time way better. Also, she added an extra weight to our application – just by showing her card we got preferential treatment on our application, and were bumped to the top of the consideration list.
All in all, we saw16 places over four days, liked 12, applied for 11, and ended up having the luxury of picking between 5 offers. Our final choice ended up a three way tie between a place in the city near to my office, a 1900’s era building on a quiet street on the north shore which was nicely priced, and a place on the northern beaches literally across the street from a sandy paradise. All things considered, we opted for city living, and now have a fancy new home in Pyrmont, NSW.