House Hunters International – Hoetker Edition

When we arrived in Melbourne we were booked in to a “Serviced Apartment Hotel,” or what we would call an extended stay hotel in the U.S.  It was very conveniently located close to Glenn’s office and just off Lygon Street, which is the very popular dining street of Little Italy.  These days there are a few other cuisines sprinkled in, but definitely no shortage of choice for eating options from early morning to late night.

Our apartment had 2 bedrooms each with a king-sized bed and barely room for 2 people, a bathroom, and a compact living area with a kitchen, stacked washer & dryer, loveseat, armchair, desk, table and chairs.  Plus our 7 large suitcases, 3 small suitcases, 3 people, and 1 dog.  It was cramped, but livable, and we did remarkably well at not irritating each other.  Soon after arrival, however, it became apparent that finding a long-term rental needed to be high on the to-do list.

In Australia one doesn’t work with a real estate agent who puts together a list of properties and takes one around to view them.  Instead, one looks online and contacts the listing agent to ask to inspect if there isn’t a public inspection already posted (or if that time won’t work).  The agent then posts a public inspection time and one gets 10 minutes to walk through and decide if it’s suitable…along with whoever else decided to look it over, too, At some we were the only ones, at others we were one of 3-6 parties inspecting at the same time.

If one likes a property then one submits an application.  We had registered with the online rental application that stored all of our details so it was easy to make a few clicks and apply right away if we were interested.  The property manager/rental agent reviews the applications and decides which one to put forward to the landlord.  We wound up applying to 4 properties, and we were selected to be put forward on 3 of them.  Our first choice property’s landlord wound up approving us before we submitted the last 2 to landlords, so we had a quick process!

If you didn’t follow along on my personal Facebook page, here’s the one we chose:

Our unit is on the 18th floor – the 2nd one from the top.  It runs the entire West side of the building from the curved corner on the left to the end of the balcony on the right.  Right above us is a tenant’s indoor/outdoor lounge area with 2 barbecues, and on the other side of the building is a gym.

We’ve got 3 bedrooms and 3.5 baths (unheard of!).  We got Nicole set up with a bed and desk right away from Ikea, her previous ones not being worth shipping. The 3rd bedroom is my craft room/office/guest room, though it’s waiting on our shipping container for most of the furniture.  Glenn and I are sleeping on an air mattress until our bed arrives.  We’re doing pretty well on it considering it’s been a long time since we’ve shared a bed smaller than a King for more than a couple of nights.

Since we didn’t ship our previous sofa or dining table & chairs we went ahead and purchased new ones.  They all arrived the day we took possession of the unit (1 week after signing the lease) except the table.  Thanks to the kindness of strangers met through Facebook, we were loaned a folding table to tide us over.  Now that our purchased table has arrived the loaner has moved into the craft room.

So far we’re enjoying our new, urban lifestyle, a complete change from the previous 30 years together!  We’re eager to share our adventure with visitors, so start making plans for 2019!

p.s. –  Glenn can see North and East sides of our building from his office: 


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