House-hunting in Summer

I can’t believe I’d neglected this blog for the whole of August and September. I’d earlier planned to update everyday throughout September but as it turned out, I even missed the 1st of October. I admit I was very busy in the beginning but now, not so. I could really dedicate some time to blogging if I’d really had the will.

In the first two weeks we were here, when we were so busy going for school visits, the heat was unbearable. Even Malaysia wasn’t that hot. By early August, we had finalised the schools for Ar and Mel. We couldn’t get a place in a school where both of them would be together. Not many schools have the elementary and high school together in the same building and some schools are gender-based.

We started looking at the properties only on the 11th, though we’d browsed  the internet and looked at the possible available properties earlier. From the suggested properties we got from the agent, I shortlisted three. We used the service of Ken Corporation. It’s an estate agent hired by my husband Li’s company. However, when we met with the agent, he said he wanted to show us more since a few more properties had become available since he gave us the first list. The same day, it started to rain in Tokyo. Lucky for us, the property agent took us to see the houses in his company car, so we didn’t have to take the train and get wet.

We focused our house-hunting in Meguro ward mostly since the kids would be going to school there. There weren’t too many to choose from, really. We only viewed five houses. The first one was next to the landlady’s house which I found to be too close for comfort, the second one was really huge but it looked too old and shabby, and I immediately fell in love at the first sight with the third one which originally wasn’t in the list. Its size, its neat little garden and interior seemed better than the first two. After that, Shimada-san took us to see two more beautiful houses but they were a bit far from the kids’ schools. Li really liked the house in Komazawa Park, it was really pretty and came with a beautiful garden and landscape, maintained by Ken Corporation which owns the property. It was also only 4 minutes away from the train station. However, it wasn’t too practical because the location of the house would require everyone to commute to school and work. At first, we were thinking of finding a house which was closer to Ar’s school and I would commute with Mel everyday, taking her to and picking her up from school.

In the end, we settled on a house which was closer to Mel’s school and Ar was the one who would be commuting. The train station is about 10-minutes walk from the house. Li definitely had to commute but what made him unhappy was the fact that he would have to change train once in Shibuya to go to his office in Omotesando. If we had chosen the Komazawa Park house, he would be taking only one line.

We had to make our decisions fast. Li wasn’t too happy that I’d rushed in making the decision. However, our first month would be over by the 25th of August, which meant we would have to vacate the temporary apartment in Aoyama. After choosing the property, we would have to look for furniture, so that we wouldn’t be moving into an empty house. In the house that we would be moving, only cooking stove and dishwasher would be provided. There was no fridge or washing machine. Many windows were without curtains and some rooms did not have enough lamps. We had to include all that in our furniture list.

Fortunately, Li’s company would be paying for the rent plus the furniture lease. The company hired Tokyo Lease Corporation.  So we had to look at furniture catalogue, go to the warehouse, decide whether we would rent used or new furniture. In some ways, it was fun. It felt like newly-married couple looking for a new house together and then shopping for the furniture. It coincided with our wedding anniversary month, being married for 19 years this year. However, the feeling wasn’t really the same because we were rushing to meet the deadline too. We had to submit our furniture list to Li’s company for budget approval and wanted everything to be settled before we moved on the 25th so that the furniture delivery could be done on the same day. We had another challenge too, since many people were away from the office during the bon odori holiday. Trying to make appointments in between was rather tricky.

Alhamdulillah, we made it. The secretary who was in charge of finance returned from her holiday in Europe by Friday 21st of August, we managed to make some minor change to our furniture order on Saturday the 22nd. and finally on the 25th. we checked out of Tokyu Stay Aoyama Residence and moved into the present home.


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