The After

Please come visit

Sorry I didn’t post yesterday, it was a very busy day. I had my German lesson and went to Swisscom to get a phone (I waited so long that I got to watch a good part of the All Blacks-Tonga Rugby World Cup match). In the afternoon, I frantically tried to get ready because we had a housewarming party for last night. Pretty much, we invited everyone we know in Geneva outside of his work and everyone in our building. I hadn’t done enough preparation for a houseful of people so I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off.

Here are some pre-party pics of our place (otherwise known as “the after”):

We’e not vampires, but if we could make it any darker in here we would.
Want to visit us?  You will sleep here.
Another pic of your new room
Alcove in the entry – I swear I stored most of my books back in the states.
Note the fruit bowl from an earlier post (to prevent exploding bananas) 
Living Room
We can pull off the back cushions and sleep more people (it becomes a twin)
Dining room – 
Like our Swiss flag napkins?
Prepared for rain with an umbrella stand by the door
We call this our locker room (additional shoes not shown)
Bathroom
#2 gets its own room
Kitchen
My nemisis, the stove, tried to foil my baking chocolate chip cookies, but did not succeed. 
Our map board so we can find our way around 

 

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House Hunters International, Geneva Edition – Part One

We are about to become residents of Geneva. We have not yet seen the city.   On Monday, that will change for me.  He has some meetings for work, so he will not be able to go until later.  This means that I will be picking out a residence in one of the world’s tightest housing markets all by myself. Strangely, he seems unconcerned.

The housing market in Geneva is in a state of crisis with a .05% vacancy (of course, half of all statistics are wrong).  The city is wedged in between a lake and the French border so there is not much room to expand.  Therefore, finding an housing in Geneva is notoriously difficult.  Here is my understanding of how it works:

1. Being me, I would have liked to stalk properties online before going.  This has been strongly discouraged because anything that I see online, even mere days ahead of my visit, will no longer be available when I arrive.  As a result, I am merely looking places online to determine how little our money will get us (although it still looks like a great place to live).

2. Fill out questionnaire for realtor. For an American, this contains some unexpected questions.  Those of you who watch House Hunters International should not be surprised by this.  I had to check a box that said whether or not I wanted to bring my own kitchen.  I love my house, but for me this is a no brainer.  We will not be bringing our own kitchen.

3. A Régie is the Swiss version of a realtor/estate agent.  Property owners use them to rent their apartments and handle the complex paperwork.  They show the apartments.

4. After viewing apartments, I should be prepared to put in multiple offers immediately (before the end of that day).  We know people who have put in four; we know of people who have put in over ten.  This step includes signing a paper that we are not delinquent on any local debts.  By the way, that paper costs $20-25. Even putting in an application can carry a fee.

5. We wait a few days to see if any of our offers have been accepted.

6. If unsuccessful, start again at step one.  Cross your fingers.