Some colleague migrants once coined the term: Emogration, and this was a week worth the expression. Houses, family, work and a cat. All kind of emotions passed by in a week’s time.
It started with a lazy Sunday morning browsing the Canberra real estate site ‘AllHomes’ to get an understanding what kind of houses were for rent in which suburbs. This is just an exercise we do once every few weeks to get a better understanding of the market. Renting a house from overseas isn’t normal practice in Australia and no one we knew had done it only one fellow blogger from Canberra.
But the house we discovered on allhomes.com.au was too good to do nothing and let someone else scoop it from the market. Apart from difficult to rent from abroad there are a few other oddities regarding renting in Australia.
Normally a house gets on the market, it will have a fixed timeslot for viewing and you are allowed to have a look at the property for a whole 15 minutes… If that doesn’t sound bizarre enough to us Dutchies, the viewing is not by yourself but at the same time with all other interested parties… So worst case scenario could be you and 20 other people running in and around a property for 15 minutes.
Step 2 is this thing called a ‘rental pack’. A kind of resume of yourself, your partner, your pets, your history in regards to renting, credit history and other paperwork which makes you look a credible renter. If you are still interested in the property after your full 15 minutes at the site, you hand in this big stack of documents and explain to the real estate agent YOU ARE THE BEST RENTER ON THIS SIDE OF THE UNIVERSE.
Step 3: Pray or bribe a little (just kidding)
Sitting in our empty house in the Netherlands we did not have the luxury of visiting the house for 15 minutes but we had a lucky break, it is summer holiday in Australia so there were no viewings scheduled for the next few weeks. We put on our brave face and just mailed the real estate agent (rental pack included!) that we wanted to rent the house as soon as possible. From there things went quickly (sometimes helped by the 10 hour’s time difference)
The real estate agent mailed back: We need to view the property before renting, but offered to do the viewing via FaceTime. Yes please!
Monday night/Tuesday morning 04:30; we are sitting in front of our laptop looking at our future home! Walking through the backyard she casually remarks that Kangaroos hop around here in the morning! Where can we sign the lease?!?!
After the viewing we requested the agent to arrange a rental contract with the owners.
Tuesday night 23:00; We receive a mail with some extra questions about the cats and our visa. We answer right away. Some further questions about our visa arrive in our mailbox half an hour later. (I understand the confusion on their end, deciphering Australian visa papers is not for the fainthearted) Some further mails go back and forth. Around 02:00 AM, stressed out and sleepy eyed, we receive the following message: The owners would love to offer you, Nataschja and your cats 36 Olympus Way, Lyons, Canberra to rent.
With Christmas in the same week we were prepared for some Emo lows. It is a bit odd having a ‘Last Christmas’ at home (especially if George Michael himself decides to die the exact same Christmas…)
We spent two wonderful days with both sides of the family but it also leaves you a bit empty afterwards. Next year we probably will be spending Christmas in a totally different way, sitting in the sun, 30 degrees, surrounded by Kangaroos… We’ll manage I guess 😉 But leaving loved ones behind always hurt, let’s see if we can do a FaceTime Christmas next year! Emo low for now though.
We will take three of our four cats. Sadly Nicky, my sweet 21-year-old cat, she is too old to make the trip. Asthmatic, thyroid issues and just plain old. She’s better off staying in the Netherlands. Really happy my Mom took her as a Christmas present! Nicky is now in a loving home although it feels strange to leave a family member behind on our journey , even if it is for the best. Emo low.
Some very positive outcomes in the employment area, there are some wrinkles to iron out but it looks like I will be working as contractor for the next few months. Remotely managing a project in…Germany 😉 Glad our house in Canberra has room for an home office! Emo high.
I’m guessing our emo rollercoaster ride will continue for a while 😉 We will just stay in the moment and hang on for the ride!