It’s been a wee while since I last posted, mainly because my new hobby has become scouring the free section of Craigslist in a meagre attempt to channel my inner Creative, collecting as much crap as I can fit in my cute studio suite with big plans to DIY and be all alternative and creative and shizz, and then post on Pinterest. Most likely, I will end up with a flat full of mismatched wooden pallets, pots and a plastic tree (I actually have a plastic tree. It was the first thing I picked up). It is for this reason that I should not be allowed to attend these garage giveaways advertised on Craigslist. They happen at the end of the month as that’s when people tend to move out of their places. I’m already excited about the next bargain bender.
Anyway, that’s where I’ve been. That, and actually finding a home to put all this stuff, moving into said home, starting school and studying for my first exam. House hunting itself is a full-time job when moving here. Craigslist is your friend.
It really is as tough as they say it is. I kind of rolled my eyes a little when people were telling me how awful the rental market is in metro Vancouver prior to moving here and thought ‘it can’t be that bad, what’s with all the negativity!?’ (I’m on this whole positive outlook thing after starting to read ‘The Secret’ for the second time). WELL. I started looking whilst still in Sun Peaks and after having quite the experience a couple of years ago and signing for a house we hadn’t seen I was dubious about doing the exact same thing in Vancouver. The only thing for it was to look in person. Being an optimist and all, I figured I’d drive over on the Thursday afternoon, look Friday, Saturday and Sunday and have somewhere to move in by Sunday night. Everyone thought I was mad but I did it. I was very lucky and was put in touch with a friend of a friend who had a lovely wee place become available at the right time and I snapped it up. Right place, right time (and the whole Law of Attraction thing…)
Before I saw the place I’m in now, I did set up a good few viewings everyday (after becoming a temporary mechanic and fixing my bike up, but that’s a whole other post), to which I cycled the equivalent of about three back-to-back spin classes. Vancouver ain’t so flat… on a bike with one gear.
Craigslist is probably the most valuable resource you have to hand when it comes to finding a home in Vancouver. It is usually a landlord’s first port-of-call. You do have to filter out all the scams though and some of them are pretty believable. Although, usually once you get the first email from the ‘landlord’ you can spot them right off the back if you know what to look for. Usually they’re from a doctor or an engineer who has moved to another country, they are not concerned about the money but want someone who will take good care of the place in their absence but if you could just fill out the handy little application form and send them a small fortune. Usually if something is too good to be true, it is.
When looking for places, I was torn between living with someone to bring the rent down or living on my own. I’m a little bit of an introvert trapped in an extrovert’s body so I do like my own space regularly. However, I still put up a totally cringeworthy ad about myself on Craigslist and accompanying photo (although I thought I had uploaded a thumbnail and upon showing a friend the ad about a good week later, I discovered it was this massive A4 sized photo of yours truly!) and had a great response! It was basically a post saying ‘be my friend’. Face slap. In fact, I had two girls email me separately and when they move here we’re going for a drink… yay… friends!
There were some places I looked at over that weekend that I couldn’t have lived in (and I don’t think I’m that fussy). But being such a Brit and realizing when stepping foot inside the place that I had no intention of taking it, I still took the time to ask them questions so not to offend.
Furnishing your new abode.
I found a home! Now to furnish it.
This is where I discovered Craigslist’s free section. I am obsessed. But I’ve definitely learned a few tricks on it which I shall share with you:
- Weekends are best. If it’s free, and it was posted more than two hours ago, it’s probably gone. You have to be ready to go. I literally spent a day in the car going from one garage to another with phone in hand clicking the refresh button on Craigslist free section.
- Towards the end of the month is best, when people are moving out and trying to get rid of all their stuff.
- Know your measurements. I was the moron who turned up for a mirror twice as tall as the car (and most likely higher than my ceiling).
- Be nice! I am sure I don’t need to tell you that it goes a long way.
I have actually managed to furnish my whole place using just Craigslist. WIN.
Anyone new to Vancouver want to be my friend…?! 😀