Sunday, 23 September 2007

The Stock Market and Renting Down Under

Some of you may be aware of the fact that the only advice that I would ever give to anybody considering investing money in the stock market is something along the lines of "If it's something that I've invested in or am considering investing in then my advice would be to steer clear!". It would now appear that I may be about to start giving similar advice to anybody considering renting a flat by themselves in Australia or New Zealand… if I'd consider taking lease on it then, it's probably not going to be a good move. I think the proviso here is only if you're going to rent it by yourself - housesharing is fine. In 2000 & 2001 I lived in Sydney in 3 different houses/flats. The first two I shared with others and it was all fine. The third time I decided to get my own place and it was not good. It was very bad. I'll not repeat the story here as many of you already know but it in short I developed a less than healthy nervous reaction to hearing music late at night and after 3 months of minimal sleep I left. It's now 2007 and I'm back in the Antipodes and I started moving my stuff in to flat on Friday though Sat was my first night here. I chose this slightly over priced building as apparently it has the better "well-heeled" resident so I figured that it should be a relatively quiet kind of building (I also really just needed to find somewhere to live of course). I checked with agent on phone that the reason current tenant was breaking their lease was nothing to do with noisy residents or problems with building etc. No no all fine. Now, there is a pub beside the front of the building that I'm in but I reckoned that at worst I might get a bit of noise from people leaving at closing time. On Fri morning when my air freighted belongings were being delivered we used the side entrance to the building and lo and behold it turns out that the back of the bar has an outdoor area at the back. And this outdoor area is directly, literally, underneath my flat. There's apartment with little balcony and underneath we have back of pub. I decided not to think about this further (well lease is already signed for 11 months).

Yesterday I arrived down here just after 9am, do a bit of unpacking and head out. Arrive back for a short while sometime after 1pm, walk into apartment and immediately wrinkle up nose. What is that smell… smells like, well, bacon. Did I mention the gas BBQ underneath my balcony/apartment yet? For a vegetarian (even if I do cheat with some fish sometimes), walking into your new home and smelling cooking meat is not pleasant :-( But decided not to worry about it and I headed out again. Back later in afternoon and turned up music to drown out sound of very noisy drinkers downstairs. That went on for a few hours, then disappeared for a few hours and then reappeared. Probably about 11:30am or 11:45am they all headed home (I'm really hoping it won't be like this every night or even every weekend and that it was just down to fact that there was some match on!). Oh and the pubs big bin of empty bottles gets collected at 7am… even on a Sun morning! Of course it's probably bloody earlier during the week :-\

So, I'm a little anxious about how this is going to progress if I'm stuck here for 11 months. But I'm also a bit pissed off with agent - I specifically asked about noise. And even when I was signing the lease she mentioned about residents and no parties and I actually said that I chose this building because I like quiet and don't want any noise. I mean, maybe she genuinely hasn't had anybody say anything to her about downstairs but I don't know. I'm not despairing/desperate yet but I am on orange alert - I can not and will not go through, albeit in a different manner, what I went through in Sydney again. Guess this could be great incentive to start doing those weekend tramps asap!

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