Today, we officially entered the home finding phase on the Yellow Brick Road to the Emerald City. Today, I spoke to my own version of The Great and Powerful Oz. My Gestor, Linda. Now that the time has fallen back to standard time in Spain – Arizona doesn’t bother doing that, at all – we are only 8 hours behind Valencia, instead of 9. This means almost nothing, except that I can sleep an extra hour and still return calls or emails in the morning before their working day ends. I’m almost a real live girl again, who can stay up past 8pm.
Linda explained all the ins and outs of leasing a flat long-term. The details of how we will go about it when I’m there later in November. Things like how to entice condo owners to lease to us, over the other guy, and how to have the utilities ready for us when we arrive in February.
Part of the main focus is to ensure that the owners get to know you, and feel connected to you, before they agree to crown you as the winner of the Rental Olympics. To facilitate this, I had to write a short bio to help convey who we are and why we want to live in Valencia and make it our home. This is harder than you’d think.
I racked my brain. What will they care about? What if they decide to buy my book on Amazon? Then they’ll know who I really am, and I’ll admit, its a little crazy under the hood. Whew. OK. Best to be short and sweet. Just the facts, ma’am. So I wrote that up and sent it off.
Next on the list was finding apartments that met our criteria. Even those that might be for sale, rather than for lease. To give Linda an idea of what we are looking for in our first year. Just until we can get the lay of the land. My favorite part of this exercise wasn’t looking at the photos or finding apartments on Google street view. It was reading the descriptions that had been auto translated on Chrome. Oh, Google. How you make me laugh.
Some of my favorites included:
‘A swimming pool that offers many possibilities…’ – I’m not quite sure what they’re trying to get at here. Usually, pools are for swimming – what else might they be implying?
‘A staircase of rise’ – As far as staircases go, I think it’s just up and down. I’m not sure pointing out that you can rise up on the staircase needs to be said. Unless they’re saying I can’t go back down it. That would be a problem.
‘Living room on the street’ – I think I know that they’re saying it overlooks the street. But as to the selling point, I don’t have the full grasp of the benefit of pointing it out. If I’m wrong – I’ll be watching TV on the sidewalk.
‘Great floor plan with public and private zones’ – aka living room vs. bedrooms?
‘Enjoy the dolphin show from you terrace!’ – seriously, I have no idea what they could possibly be talking about. How can Google translate something like dolphin incorrectly? But then if it isn’t dolphin, what the hell is in the show I’m going to enjoy from my terrace?!
‘Easy conference with the Sea’ – Based on the photos, I think it either means there is a view of the Med or that I can walk to the beach in short order and actually Conference with the Sea! I think I just felt my blood pressure go down.
It will be quite a ride finding the right place but I’m sending many of these places to my new friend, Linda. Hoping perhaps she can help me tease out the real meaning and find us the perfect place. But if I could advise anyone who is leasing or selling property in Valencia – or any seaside town on the Mediterranean – it would be to include that last one in your property description. I don’t care about the possibilities of swimming pools and staircases that rise. These people had me at ‘Conference with the Sea’.