One Month, One Blogger : this month, we are pleased to introduce you to Anousha, a French girl. She shared with us her experience about finding a place to live. Looking for an accomodation is part of starting a new adventure in a new country.
Anousha first lived in London before she moved to Cork.
One of the first worries when you go live abroad is : where am I going to find accommodation? In London as in Cork, it’s no picnic…
I didn’t say anything about my accommodation search in London, because we were extremely lucky. However, it’s as hellish as in Cork (even though the city is 15 times smaller, yes…) or in Dublin or Paris. Now, you’re probably surprised by the fact that the cute little town of Cork is put at the same level as those three capitals… With the current housing crisis, the prices are skyrocketing and it’s almost impossible to find something decent for an affordable price. Our criteria were as follows : something for a couple, for 4 months, in the city center or nearby, less than 900€/month. Let me tell you about the options we considered when we arrived…
Option 1: a small apartment or a studio apartment
Of course, as a couple, it was our favorite option, especially because we hadn’t lived just the two of us in more than a year… But we soon became disillusioned: all the leases had to be for minimum a year, and we didn’t want to lie about how long we were going to stay and then find someone to sub-let the place for 8 months…
Option 2 : a flatshare
We were ready to live in a house share as we did in London. As it would only be for a few months, it didn’t matter too much. However… it did matter to the landlords and agencies, who don’t seem to accept couple! In London and in Cork, we were delighted to find out that most ads read « couples not accepted »… In London, I dared to send a message to the person who was advertising the room and we had been accepted without any problem. I thus thought it would be the same story in Cork… it turned out it wasn’t. Some people did explain that there was simply not enough space for a couple, which I can understand. But most of my messages never got a reply. We managed to visit two places : one of them was taken by someone else after the viewing (I told you, it’s war!), and the other one was ridiculously tiny and creepy.
Option 3 : Airbnb
As it was only for a few months, we thought Airbnb may have something for us. They didn’t…
Option 4 : Youth Hostel
Yes, a youth hostel! We visited an ensuite room in a youth hostel. The room was rented out during the quiet winter period. It could have been an option… without taking into account the fact that there was absolutely no piece of furniture besides the bed and that the place was super tiny (but in the end, not tinier than other places we saw…)
Option 5 : EazyCity
EazyCity offers short-term accommodation. You can stay there for a minimum of 2 weeks and maximum 3 months, and you can renew the contract for a few weeks if needed. Electricity and the Internet are included in the rent, linen is provided, the flats are furnished and fully equipped, the notice is only 1 week and the deposit is not too expensive… seemed like the perfect solution for us! Well, of course, there were some downs to it : first of all, the price, and the agency fees. I was also a little worried because we couldn’t visit the place or see some pictures : we had to fill in an online form requesting a room, choosing from a list of different places, but we only knew a week before our arrival where we were going to be. We also didn’t know the exact location (but all the places are more or less in the city centre), or the number of flatmates we’d have. Considering our situation, we decided to take this risk. Moreover, reading thoroughly through the F.A.Q, I found out that the agency also offered studio apartments – even though they don’t mention it at all when you want to fill in the booking form. We were lucky enough to be able to move in one of those studios rather than in a huge house share. The studio apartment was well located, clean and spacious. It was enough for the two of us. We were quite happy but because of the exorbitant price (almost €1100 for a month…) we tried to move out. Adding to our problems, our neighbors obviously did not share our idea of noise, disturbance and respect…
Option 6 : StayCork
As we were desperate to move out, we eventually visited a 1-bedroom apartment that ticked all of our boxes : in the city centre, in our budget, couples accepted, minimum 3-month stay. Phew !! It was offered by another agency, StayCork. We had emailed them directly and they had an apartment available in January. We were thus very lucky, as we eventually moved in an apartment of our own and that wasn’t too expensive for us! Our apartment is very nice, spacious and bright, and the view is amazing.
In the end, for people who are in the same situation as us (in a couple, staying at least 3 months but less than a year), StayCork seems like the best solution. If they have apartments available, it is worth it.
If I’m telling all of this, it’s not just to write about my trauma of finding accommodation – it’s mostly because it is the kind of article I would have liked to read myself to know a little bit more about what was actually going on! If you’re in that kind of situation, best of luck to you – and cheer up, something good will eventually come up for you as well!