Apologies for contributing a not so pithy “service” post this week, but today was our deadline to push our first shipment (books, clothes, computers, etc.) out the door and on the road to Dublin. Later this week we’ll head to Atlanta to celebrate my parents’ 50th Anniversary, and say goodbye to friends and family. It’s been, and will continue to be, a busy week.
With that in mind, I’d like to offer just a few thoughts on using the Internet to find an apartment in Dublin.
Let me start by saying that without the Internet, I cannot imagine what an excruciating process moving overseas in general, and finding a place to live in particular, must have been. The folks who lived trough the “Give me your poor, your tired, your huddled masses” immigrant experience obviously had it the worst. But, suffice it to say that anybody doing this before, oh, let’s say, 1998, must have gone through hell using landlines, answering machines, faxes, classified newspaper ads, and snail mail.
In the months before we flew to Dublin to look for a place to live, we got in the nasty habit of frequently checking the lettings list at Daft.ie and other websites. It’s a nasty habit because you see someplace nice and get your hopes up. But by the time you get to Dublin, the good ones are all gone. And to really make it a “seal the windows and turn on the gas” experience, those same boards are filled with sage advice such as:
“Why would you move here if you don’t have to?”
“You must be crazy to move here, now.”
“This whole place is sinking. Stay in America.”
When you’ve already committed to moving, advice like this is somewhat less than helpful. Fortunately Daft.ie and MyHome.ie are populated with other, less shrill, participants. And, in the end, we did get some useful information on subjects like what parts of town to look in, and what to expect from Irish landlords and leases. With that knowledge, we managed to push on from that first malodorous glimpse of Irish rental property.
In general the specific properties on Irish rental websites are only really helpful within about 5-7 days of the time you are looking to sign a lease. Before that time, the rental websites are helpful mainly for getting an idea of different neighborhoods in terms of property quality, layout, and price. They can help you narrow you search (geographically), but don’t get too attached to any one letting (rental property) until just days before you are prepared to sign a lease.
Overall, the rental (lettings) boards for Dublin are helpful to a degree, but don’t rely on them too much. Don’t count on renting too far in advance. But once you are in town (or just before you arrive), hit the boards hard and you should have no trouble finding a suitable place to live.
Things to look forward to in upcoming posts:
- Saying Goodbye to Family & Friends
- The Logistics of International Moving
- Wire Transfers: And why you shouldn’t be your bank’s test case.
Emigration Day: July 12, 2011 (28 Days)