I wrote my previous blog post on Friday night, literally that night, as I was up with jet-lag and decided to make good use of the time. I haven’t shared yet on the blog, but I did on Facebook, of how frustrating our first couple days in Budapest were in regards to house hunting. Since the spring I’d been in touch with a woman who’s business does many sort of concierge jobs in Budapest, including finding homes. In mid-July I contacted her and she began searching for us in earnest. A few days before we left Colorado she sent me an awesome list of many apartments, and I emailed her back a list of our favorites. It had been discussed from the very beginning that she would set up showings for us, and that had been her last communication before I sent my list, to let her know which ones we liked so she could contact them and set stuff up – she also knew we wanted to begin seeing places as early as the Friday after we arrived on Wednesday. On Monday before our Tuesday flight we got an email from her saying briefly that one of the ones on my list was already gone, that rentals moved quickly, and then that she would be in France until Aug. 20th but that she would send us the contact info so we could contact the realtors directly. I was annoyed, as it seemed like she just dropped us. And then we never got the contact info from her. On Wednesday, the night we arrived, I emailed her and asked if she was sending the contact info, and wished her well in France. Also on Wednesday Norbert began to make a few phone calls about some places I had found online. Thursday saw many more phone calls, with frustration after frustration. Many places never answered their phone; a few were no longer available. Some needed to contact the owners about a showing and would get back to us – we’re still waiting to hear back from most of those. A friend pointed out that in Europe everything slows down in August, and I get that, but with our stuff arriving on Sept. 4th, we don’t have time to slow down.
Friday morning we had one viewing set up, and had still never heard back from any other realtors or gotten that promised contact info. It was as we were entering the apartment building to see that first place on Friday that a realtor finally called us back about a place, and then she went one step further and suggested another place she had listed as well, and set us up to see both of them the next morning. Finally! It felt like a break through. We liked that place on Friday, it was a definite possibility – but also had a few drawbacks. It helped to know we had more places to see, but we kept it on the ‘maybe’ list. I’ve spent every day since we got internet on Thursday searching and searching the online real estate websites, and making lists of places for Norbert to call. Friday night I wrote that update, wanting folks to know we’d arrived so smoothly, knowing many had been praying for our journey. And then I closed it discussing ‘Welcome’ signs. Saturday morning we met up with this new realtor, Krisztina, outside of possibility #2. It was rather ehhh. It did not make the ‘maybe’ list. And then began the craziness of getting to the other side of Buda to see #3, the one she had suggested. There is construction on many tram lines right now, and getting from point A to point B is ridiculously complicated. She was going with us, and so began much conversation as we stood around waiting for buses, or riding on buses. She invited us to her church, of all things, and it was just such a crazy connection. And then we arrived at possibility #3, and there was a little ‘Welcome’ sign on the front door, in English. That was my first little sign, and then seeing the rest of the place just confirmed it. We had found our home. Its way under our rent budget, which is just amazing, especially when you consider that they did many significant upgrades in the recent past and could have asked for much more in rent. While it’s in an older building, they replaced all the windows and the door, so there are no drafts, the bathroom is quite simply amazing. Joshua gets the coolest loft bedroom, right above his own little bathroom and next door to the kitchen – we may never see him past the kitchen!
My sister suggested, when I was all frustrated on Thursday, that since rentals moved so quickly, ours was probably not even listed yet. She was so right. Krisztina has just listed our place, and we were the first ones to see it. We paid one month’s rent to hold it, and will meet with the owners to sign the lease and everything on Monday. There is still some of the previous tenant’s furniture that will need to be removed. And then we leave for Austria next Sunday the 17th, so we’re looking at moving in when we get back the following weekend or early in the week of the 25th.
It is such a relief to have this falling into place, God has been so faithful. We’re all starting to get rather stressed and tired, so having this worry gone is huge. And I love how the Lord has given me His Welcome signs, He has brought us thus far, excited to see how He continues to bring us into His perfect will and plan.