Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Apartment Hunting - part 1

The other day, we met with the Real Estate contact and looked at some potential apartments. Apartment hunting for the Epic crew is problematic in a few different ways: 1) the housing market is saturated here, especially one bedrooms, which is what most of the employees will be getting, 2) we're looking for 9 one bedrooms and 2 two bedrooms ideally in the same location, 3) 2 of us have pets, 4) we'd like to move in very soon (mid February ideally). So, the real estate agent, Felicia, has her work cut out for her.

One this particular day, she was taking us to 3 different options, 2 which are still under construction and 1 that is attached to a hotel. Unfortunately, none of them really met our criteria.

This was the first building we saw. It's hard to show in the photos, but we're told this building will be ready for occupancy by the end of February. There were no roads yet and only 2 apartments completely finished for us to view ... yeah, right, February. We got what seems to be a traditional "no problem" to all inquiries as to when the building would be ready to move into.

The building looks like it will have a nice pool and gym area. The question is when? And an interesting UAE regulation was recently passed that states that all new apartment buildings must have separate gym and pool areas for women and men. I think this one is probably for the men ... I'm very curious to see if the women's pool is the same size and quality. 

From the photo, it looks like a nice kitchen, and it is. The problem is that it's a completely separate closed off room, which is typical here. Imagine one of the bedrooms in your house. Now put the kitchen in there instead of the traditionally open floor plan with eat in area we see in the states. None of us were fond of this layout, but were also told that it's very typical for UAE ... this might be one of the things we'll have to compromise on.

The biggest challenge with this building and the next one is the timing. It's really hard for any of us to think that it will be ready by even March, let alone mid-Feb when we really need it.

Here are a few more photos of the second and third buildings we saw. The third building was really nice, especially the two bedroom apartments, but they don't take pets and it's a little further away from the hospital where the Epic folks will be working each day than we'd like.

After the tour of places, we all agreed we need to keep looking, so stay tuned for parts 2 ... 3 ... 4 ... :)

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