Try searching a good 1 BHK (1 bedroom, hall and kitchen for the uninitiated) house in and around Indiranagar area in Bangalore and you’d know what I am saying here. Okay, I must confess, I had put in some stringent requirements. I wasn’t satisfied with a house in which I can live; I wanted a house in which I would want to live. No, that does not mean I was out there to rent a Bungalow. I only wanted house to be well-designed, with room, hall and kitchen placed in sensible positions, good ventilation and light and I wanted it to be an independent one. Having seen the houses and their rents, I can say with certainty that it was not too much to demand for the kind of budget I had set. But listen to some of the horror stories of the house-hunting exercises with respect to house designs, agents, previous occupants etc.
- In one of the houses, the bedroom had a cupboard, the hall had a cupboard, the kitchen had shelves and shelves and cupboards. I wish they had spared the cupboard in the hall and instead made a door to the bathroom from there. Why, you ask? Because that would have put a door to the bathroom through the hall, a sensible thing to do. After putting a huge cupboard on the wall joining the bathroom and the hall, the door to the bathroom opened in the kitchen. Yeah, so you open the door to the kitchen, then open the door to the bathroom and that was the only way to enter it!! Somehow, the affinity of the bathroom and the kitchen was quite prevalent. Saw, this another quite spacious house, where a spacious bedroom had an attached bathroom (it only had a shower). For the main one, you had to pass through the kitchen. And it did not end there. The house-rent was slightly high because it had space outside the main premises where you could get your clothes and utensils washed. Problem, you ask? The way to that space was through the main bathroom and you would have to carry the utensils right over the commode!! Whatever was the harm in putting the commode in bathroom attached to the bedroom and let this one be used for shower. It would be far more acceptable to anyone, I think. Then, there was another one in which the bathroom door could have easily been put in the hall, but instead it opened in the kitchen. And with no basin other than that in the kitchen, which was placed right at the bathroom’s entrance, I think bathroom and kitchen work were supposed to share the wash-basin!! There was one more, but I forget the details.
- It’s hell of an embarrassment to make the agents understand that you do not want a landlord or dozens of families right over your head for your safety, that you want an independent house. “A single lady looking for a house for herself” – Ah! It just can’t be an independent house. The landlord’s kitchen must be there next to your entrance to let them keep watching your routine and your visitors… Aaaaaaaaa! That’s precisely what I felt like doing. Pull out somebody’s hair (not mine) before making them understand.
- The biggest lesson I have learnt – If you have found a house you like, then just do not wait to see any more. If it’s a good house in a good location, it would be gone before your agent knows it. That’s what happened to me with one house which was an independent one in an apartment, nice finish, good ventilation, spacious, rent higher than that in the usual ones, but something I was ready to pay, etc. etc. But it was on the 3rd (or 4th? I do not remember) floor with no lift in the apartment. I did decide to get it, but took sometime in the decision, because I was expecting to see another house which was supposed to be good, for which the rent was the same, and it was on a lower floor. This other house turned out to be a disappointment and by the time I called up the agent to fix up that one, it had already been “settled”. 😦 And the house-hunting never seemed to come even close to halt after that!!
- There was another house I found at a convenient location and was told that it was to be vacated in 10 days. When I went to fix it up I was told that on that day only the occupant will leave for the other city he had to go to. He’ll take at least one week more before taking his luggage (and I can not move in till he does that). But that too only if he finds a house in that new city by then. Otherwise add another 15 days to it. That’d make it one month from the day I went to “settle” it. With some other horror stories I had heard, it was foolish to bet on something one month away. Gave up.
- There was yet another house with which I was impressed. Well made, very spacious (too much for single person even with the amount of stuff I have with me) and rent, though slightly higher than my budget, too low for the kind of space it had. Was wondering what was happening. Then while coming out I noticed something I had not noticed while getting in. A bad, bad stench. And there was a a big naala (stream carrying sewage water) right next to the house…
- The description will not be complete without the mention of this “house”. This agent was giving me a description, “Its one big bedroom, kitchen and bathroom, good house, on the ground floor…” But he appeared very doubtful and said, “You see and then decide”. We reached a place where an apartment was being built. I was happy. From my experience till then, I had known that the houses in the independent apartments are far better designed than those made my landlords over (or under) their own houses.But then ground floor was parking. The agent procured a key and opened a room in the middle of the parking space. Inside it was breath-capturing. You do not find such fittings and fixtured in India. Kitchen was also furnised with a gas-stove. Design of everything was perfect. Only problem? You open your door and you feel like you are a traffic police person with all the vehicles coming in and going out from around you. A terribly posh servant quarter is what it can be called you know 😀
Anyway, I found the solution was moving away from the area I was initially looking the house in. I have finally gotten a good house; so please do not pour in suggestion. You can see the category in which the post has been put up (“Time Pass”). So, do not consider it a serious guide for your house-hunting. The author takes no responsibility of any physical, mental, psychological or philosophical damage coming out of this description.
P.S. All the characters, incidents and places in the above description are fictitious and any resemblance to anyone alive or dead is purely coincidental. 😉