Thought I should put together this list of lessons I learned while house-hunting in Aberdeen. In some cases I heard the exact opposite of what I found (like no negotiating) and somethings I hadn’t thought of at all. Hopefully if you’re relocating to the ‘Deen, this can help out.
- You need a car to house-hunt, and if possible, someone who knows the city to drive you around.
- Don’t only rely on an outside company to do the work: after the first day was so miserable, we jumped online/on the phone to line up some additional viewings. You know your own expectations.
- Don’t be afraid to offer below asking price, even if you’re the first people to see the location. Despite what everyone tells you, you can negotiate, just do it quickly.
- See a good variety of places, in different locations.
- Push to the max of your budget.
- If it doesn’t say “no pets,” call and ask if they’d consider…if it says no pets, call and see if they’d consider a higher deposit, additional monthly rent, or a cleaning stipend per the end of your lease.
- Be willing to compromise- you won’t find a perfect house.
- You will not get the storage space you’re accustom to (coming from a girl who’s been living in a 2-bedroom high-rise in the heart of Chicago)
- Hold out until you find a place that you’re comfortable living in- don’t just agree if a place gives you the willies. You’ll find a willy-free place to love.
- You have to move fast. If you like a place, I’d advise putting an offer in before the end of the day. Before you leave the property is even better.
- Convenience trumps quaintness and green space. Sure, I wanted to live with a view of wide green fields and sheep grazing. But then you realize it takes a minimum of 15 minutes to get 2 miles…so if you’re even 8 miles out of town…you do the math.
- At the same time, know that regardless of where you live, this is not a walkable city really. It is possible that it’s a bus and walkable city…but with the rain and all…I would just consider the fact you’ll need 2 cars (coming from a girl who hasn’t had a car in 2+ years in Chicago)
- Take note if the washer and dryer are separate units. If they aren’t…as an expat you don’t want the place. Trust me. Not. Worth. It.
- Don’t forget to check out the fridge/freezer
- Big lawns are great…but you’re expected to mow and tend to all those rose bushes.
Filed under: expat