Post by Lauren
Last week, we heard that we were awarded our 2nd choice flat in Geneva. We were very excited as we only had to make one house-hunting trip were a few people we know had to make two to three. It’s interesting — searching for a place to live in Geneva is really quite different from the United States.
In Geneva, there is less than a 0.2% vacancy rate. So, in the entire city, there are only 200-250 apartments available at any given time. The majority of Swiss residents rent vs. buy because real estate is too expensive for the average person (which is also a big difference than the U.S.). With many companies relocating their headquarters and no more land to build on, it becomes quite a challenge to find homes for everyone.
Thus, most apartments, especially the awesome ones, can have up to 10 applicants in a period of 2 days after they become available. When you view them, you are sometimes given a shared time with other prospective renters and it is quite funny to see the competition. In the end, its completely up to the landlord to pick who is lucky enough to get the available apartment. What a great position it is to be a Swiss landlord!!!
So, based on the above, we were very pleased when we were awarded a place we liked. We were even more pleased the apartment we got is more spacious than we envisioned for a European flat. So, the good news for everyone is that we have a guest room and can host visitors!!
Once we knew the size of our place, we were able to select what furniture and items to pack and send. The movers came and cleared out our Charlotte house this week. I have a lot of people ask about how our stuff physically gets over there. So the answer is……it actually goes over on a cargo ship. It takes about 8 weeks to get there and will arrive about six weeks after us. So, in the meantime, we will be in furnished temporary housing until our stuff gets there.
Our lease at the new flat starts June 1st, so as soon as our things arrive from the sea shipment, then we can move in to our new home.
In the meantime, wanted to share an outside shot of our place from our March house-hunting trip so that you can visualize where we will be living shortly…more to come when we get settled and start making it “ours”…..