Monday, June 02, 2008

Peace of mind

Now, now, that doesn’t have a monetary figure against it, does it? That’s exactly what you get moving to your own place.

The very thought of a house owner (when you have taken a rented accommodation) calling you on the 28th of the month for the rent you need to pay before the 5th of next month was irksome. As if you don’t pay your rents every month. The very thought of getting an increase in rent (From 15000 to 18000) at the end of the 11th month of the rental contract was a chill down the spine, more so because you know any money you pay as rent is direct down the drain – you don’t have an inch of investment made with that money, and you don’t have any returns on that. Most house owners get a 10 month advance, and you can’t begin to comprehend the opportunity cost you could have made out of that money had you invested that in the stock market.

If the monetary aspects of being a tenant are vexing, I can’t begin to describe how it is to actually find a rented accommodation. It’s similar in most places I’ve looked out for accommodation – Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai, but there’s the added humidity to tackle in Chennai. It’s not reality television. It’s for real. You start thinking about your own home – wasn’t that a King’s life you lived? The part I hate the most is dealing with the vermin – the brokers. It’s a cartel, what they run. As a strategy, they take you to the murkiest parts of the city and show you ramshackle houses for earth-shattering rents. You feel an earth quake when you hear about the rents. When you’ve seen 10 of those houses, and have begun to realize how miserable your life has ended up being, they show you a decent looking house at “just 15000 a month”, with a sweet little ten month of rent money as advance. It’s between the devil and the deep sea. You have the option of choosing that, or roaming around the entire city marveling at more people who live in the places they do. It’s a quest for survival out there, where only the fittest can dare think of survival, and a lot of guys in our cities win hands down for living where they do. Life is a bitch. At the end of the ordeal, that you will end up feeling like a loser is almost given.

Personally, after having lived 18 months as a tenant, moving in to an own place couldn’t have come at a better time. The very thought of your own home - where nobody calls you asking for a rent. Own home - a place you feel like keeping it tidy, because it’s yours; A place where you don’t mind getting that old bungalow-style artwork or that eerie-looking modern art splashed with bright colors for a couple of thousand bucks, because its yours; A place where you contemplate spending because you want to, not because you have to.

Of course, calling the erstwhile house owner (two times every day – a taste of his own medicine) asking him to return the advance money comes especially sweet!


At Monday, June 02, 2008 8:43:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice post. Reminds me of the time I spent looking for a house.All the brokers are worst bastards .They vie for that spot with auto drivers in the city.I've never been to other metros,but am sure Chennai is the rudest city.(talk about Tamil culture)


At Tuesday, June 03, 2008 12:13:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, I think Delhi is undoubtedly the rudest city in India. Mumbai is probably most polite amongst metros. But for the auto drivers, Chennai is much better in my opinion & experience. Of crouse, brokers are a breed of their own and are the worst - immaterial of the location. In terms of sheer cunningness, brokers in Mumbai are the worst. They demand 2 months of rent as advance, and demand the brokerage every 11 months (when you renew the contract) even if you choose to extend the rental contract!

At Thursday, June 12, 2008 11:23:00 PM, Blogger Anjani said...

Congrats Govar on the new house!!!
Cumin to the point of rental house pains...The first thing is never go to a broker...then how does one fine a house?Well if u r in IT , then most probably u have a discussion forum or some internal website of ur company where people post all sorts of ads. I myself have seen pretty good house thru this channel.Best part is that since the owners r our colleagues...they wud think twice before troubling us or charging more than normal.
@ Anonymus - Every place has its best and worst buddy!Take it from someone who hated this place first and now loves it for a lot o' things!


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