I’ve received a lot of questions on where I was living in Sydney during my stay. I didn’t stay in a hotel as that would have been prohibitively expensive for a three month stay in Sydney. Searching for housing from overseas was a bit chaotic, but wasn’t impossible. I first started with AirBnB, but got denied many times as that community is looking for shorter term guests at a price point closer to a hotel stay.
My next stop was GumTree, the Craigslist of Australia. I didn’t have much success either as there were a lot of students on working holiday visas that wanted to share rooms and were at a much lower price and comfort level than I was looking for. I finally found FlatmateFinders which turned out to be pretty awesome. The online system is pretty extensive when it comes to profiling you and what you are looking for. You don’t get a lot of matches, which can be nerve wracking, but those you do get, tend to be at least in the ballpark.
I traded emails with A and L while I was over in the States. There was one applicant “ahead” of me. The place seemed better than anything I had seen by a considerable margin. With a bit of negotiation on the rent and the time of stay, I was locked in. Just as I was feeling comfortable my boss let me know he got conned on AirBnB. All the security I’d had about my place vanished. I was to wire a sum of money across to the unknown and have not much recourse should the transaction go south.
At this point the machine to get me over to Oz was in full swing and I was beginning to sweat bullets about my accommodation. In a kind-hearted email I asked if I could pay all the fees in person as I didn’t have an Australian bank account. It turned out A and L were super cool about it. When I got here A gave me the key without even paying rent yet.
So what did my place actually look like? It was a 3 bedroom, two bathroom condo on the 23rd floor of the building. We had a panoramic view of Sydney Harbor. I fell in love with that view instantly.
The rest of the condo was in really great shape. The décor was a little late 90s but well maintained and nicely apportioned.
The bathroom amused me. Originally the house had severe water savers installed in the pipes to manage water use. With the floors being so high up, the water savers were too restrictive on the flow. They pulled the water savers out and the pressure in the shower was outstanding. It was so outstanding that it overwhelmed the drain and a river of water went through the bathroom to the main drain near the sink and the bathtub.
I’d always feel a little cheeky like I was doing something wrong but man showers were great here.
I don’t have any pictures of my bedroom. When I was taking photos my room was wreck and I didn’t go back and re photograph it. My room was about 10×11 ft with a full sized bed. The closet had some really nice built ins and stored all my stuff easily. I can’t say that I’ll miss my Target sheets ☺.
A found the love of his life right after I moved in. He spent most of his time over at his girlfriend’s and L and I had the three bedroom place split between two. What I didn’t expect to get out of the deal was a great friend. We shared war stories, broke bread, and drank very good wine together. He was truly a great source of info knowing the hidden spots like Ray the Butcher for good meat and tips and tricks around the area. The experience turned out to be way awesome and better than a hotel room.
Thanks for the good times mate… I’m sure I’ll see ya again soon.