There are pros and cons to moving into a brand new apartment on this side of the pond.
The pros are obvious. Everything is shiny and new. You are the first to live there, so you don’t have to clean someone else’s “funk” before you move in. Everything is modern and updated.
Unfortunately, there are also a few cons. For example when you’re the first one to move into a new apartment you must figure out what works and what doesn’t. And trust me- there are always a few doozies that pop up after a week or so of living in your new home. You might have negotiated your lease so low that the apartment becomes “as is”. At that point, if the builder had not put in shower doors… well then, you better be learning how to install shower doors.
Sometimes things will not work properly and the owner is responsible. That’s always a plus. For example, after we moved in we discovered that one of the air conditioning units in the boy’s bedroom didn’t work. In a place where the temperatures can reach 120 degrees… that’s what we call an “urgent problem.” We were fortunate enough to have a kind gentleman fix that little problem… though it took him 2 weeks. Not complaining here.
Then there are always those problems that comes out of nowhere. You know, the one you never saw coming. You think you are finally hitting a nice groove, the place is all fixed up and livable, things are going smoothly- and WHAMO!
Say for example the time our kids turned on the water to our outside area (they call it a “terrace” here) and completely flooded the two apartment floors below us. Yeah, we didn’t see that one coming.
It was a steamy afternoon a few weeks ago when the boys asked if they could turn on the hose pipe and splash around in the water on our terrace. Not a problem at all, right? IMPORTANT NOTE: we are on the top floor apartment, so there are families living directly under our terrace. The boys ensued on their little water adventure, splishing and splashing for about 30 minutes. They had a jolly ole time. All the while- apartments below us were getting hosed.
An hour or so later while sitting at the dinner table, with our dinner guest, we heard an unexpected knock on the door. We went to see who it was and were greeted by our building guard telling us that the apartments below ours were completely flooded.
Although we told the kind gentleman what happened- he refused to listen and insisted the problem was in the toilet.
Since then there have been a flood of men in and out of our home knocking holes in the wall, turning the water off at the main source and scattering tools around in various places in an attempt to figure out the problem. We just let them work.
But we can assure you the next time it rains, which should be sometime in the next 6 months, they will learn that the toilet is not the problem, it is actually the grout on our terrace that doesn’t hold water. Though it only rains about twice a year here.. it’s gonna be a sad day for our neighbors downstairs when the storm clouds come rolling in.
So while the term “turn-key ready” in this part of the world can be subjective, at least I’m not coming home to a completely flooded apartment.