Remote-House Hunting (Part 2-My Decision)
A search for a place to live is difficult, and it's hard to know you're making the right decision when you can't even see the place in person. Luckily with photos, videos, floorplans, and more available online I feel pretty confident in what I am getting. I think that I have an advantage knowing a bit about the city and the area, and so I felt comfortable looking at apartments a little further away from the school. Actually I preferred to be a bit away from the school because Trastevere is very busy late into the night on weekends, and I would rather have a bit of distance from the party. I love Trastevere, but would I still if I'm being woken up at 3 AM by drunken young adults? I'm sure it would dull my positive feelings at least a little.
I had intended to focus my search more on Testaccio, but there weren't many listings available there, so I basically scoured anywhere within reasonable walking distance to campus (~45 minutes for me). I did look at a lot of places in the center of Trastevere, but many of the places were pretty small and quite pricey. I went into my search with the expectation that I would be able to find a place for much cheaper than I did, but after you do a lot of searching you come to realistic expectations for yourself.
In the end it wasn't that Uniplaces was the better platform over the others, it came down to the apartment. I searched obsessively over all 3 websites looking at countless apartments. I looked at studios, 1 bedrooms, and even 2 and 3 bedrooms in the chance I could touch-base with other students in my program to room together. Sharing an apartment or renting a room would have been the cheapest options, but inevitably I decided that at this point in my life I really need to have my own space.
Basic requirements were: washer, and functional kitchen, bills included. There were a lot of places that met those needs, many roughly the same price but different locations and sizes. The apartment that I chose actually didn't have the perfect kitchen, I looked for hours at other options because I wasn't sold on the kitchen. But there are a lot of other perks I hadn't expected to get: I got a fantastic bathtub, a small balcony, bills are included(which makes my life so much easier!).
I guess in any housing search your expectations and desires shift. I am still a little concerned about the kitchen, particularly trying to adapt to what appears to be a single burner stovetop. But my initial reaction to seeing this apartment was that I absolutely loved it and that I wanted to live there. I continued to look at many other apartments, making comparisons and debating with myself over it(especially the single-burner). Hours later, having done nothing but look at apartments and walking through neighborhoods on google maps, I realized that even that kitchen couldn't stop me from wanting that apartment. So I sent in the booking request, and I went to bed hoping desperately that I would get it.
The morning when I got the email that my booking was accepted, I actually cried a little. Maybe that's silly or weird, but this step in my life is huge and I know that it will be very difficult, and I'm just so happy that I will have somewhere wonderful to call home during that time. To be honest I have looked back over the pictures several times since because I can't believe how perfect this place is for me, and I can't wait to move in July 1st. Sometimes when life takes so much away from you, it finds a small way to make it up to you. I choose to believe that this beautiful apartment in Monteverde Vecchio is life trying to make up for some things.