Ep 71: Why you need ‘boots on the ground’ before committing to a rental property

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We've recently fucked up a bit. 

We normally do quite a bit of research on the area we're going to live before committing to a longer (3 weeks or more) rental, but this time we did not, and it's bitten us in the arse (quite literally for our poor dog peanut who was attacked this week by another neighbourhood dog).

So, in this episode, we give you the top 7 mistakes that most ex-pats or nomads (and us!) make when choosing somewhere to live – this includes renting an AirBnB abroad!

Join us as we talk ‘finding a home abroad' and we'll tell you all the mistakes we made, plus the hacks and shortcuts we've found that meant that (almost) every place we settled made us very, very happy.

The roadmap we mention can guide you through the questions you need to ask before starting your own adventure.

Want to get involved? It's completely free – just go to ASidewaysLife.com/roadmap.

Get in touch on Instagram (@asidewayslife) or email asidewayslife@gmail.com. We genuinely would be thrilled to hear from you.

The Transcription

Below is the transcription of the episode – please bear in mind it's auto-generated, so may not be 100% accurate (but it's quite funny to see what the bot thinks we're actually saying…)

Leanne
You know who you're giving all this money to if you can trust them, what the terms are. Hello, and welcome back to a Sideways Life podcast, The Honest Guide to Living and Working Abroad. This is episode 71. I'm Leaving am I'm Al? And welcome.

Al
Hello. So if you've been listening recently, then you'll know that we've put together a roadmap which is going to help you to live and work abroad. And it basically consists of three main questions. And each question has three sub questions. So do you remember it's a test for you. Do you remember the three stages?

Leanne
The first is why, the second is how, and the third is where?

Al
Question number one, you have to ask yourself is why do you want to live and work abroad? Then you go on to how am I going to live and work abroad? And finally you go to the where am I going to live and work abroad? And we discovered that most people, including ourselves, start off with the where, and then they go, oh, we work out the how, and then after a while they work out. Maybe actually the why was about things didn't change the way we thought they were going to change. So we asked that we do it in reverse order.

Leanne
Yes.

Al
So today, what are we talking about today again?

Leanne
Well, last week, if you listened if you listened last week, you would know. We kind of talked about we talked through the whole roadmap, but really we were kind of focusing on the why, because we have just left our home in Istria. We are now in Split. So we talked about kind of why we made that decision to leave Istria and try out a new city. So today, as we are in said city and we've had a hell of a week not going to lie, it's been some highs and some lows and we'll tell you all about them. But yes, we thought this week let's talk about Split, as are where things that we found out since we burn the ground, mistakes that we've made that we could have potentially avoided. We're a bit out of practise, aren't we? We used to do this a lot more frequently, so we're a little out of Practise. So we've just been reminding ourselves a bit more about how we used to approach the things that we used to do that we perhaps forgotten about or I guess just the level of vigilance that we had that we perhaps forgotten kind of how vigilant we were.

Leanne
So we're going to talk you through kind of where what we figured out and hopefully some tips as well. Not just about Split, but wherever you're looking in the world, these tips should transfer, I think.

Al
Absolutely. So let's call this something like the X number of mistakes or the X mistakes people make when deciding where to live or actually moving to where they live. Does that sound is that too negative?

Leanne
No, I think just pitfalls risks, mistakes that we've made.

Al
Okay, so mistake number one, do you want us to kick off for that?

Leanne
Should we kick off at the deep end?

Al
Yeah, go ahead.

Leanne
What are we kicking off with?

Al
I don't know. You look very confident that you said that.

Leanne
So I think the first thing to think about, particularly if you're going to a city, if you're going to a small town or village, then this variable is going to be much less risky. But if you are going to a big city, choosing the right area is really, really important in terms of what the lifestyle is like, what the general kind of community is, whether it's young people, there's, families there's, older people, how close you are to the city centre, whether you want to be close to a specific landmark or the sea, kind of figuring out how to decide on the area and then also what is affordable because different areas come with different price Tags. So we moved to Split. We had previously stayed in the old town. We loved the old town, but it wasn't right for us because we've got dogs. So it's nice to have a bit more open space nearby. We have a car with all of our stuff in it, so we need somewhere reliable to park in the old Town. Parking is a problem. So we knew we wanted to look out and then in terms of space as well, we wanted to have a little bit more space in terms of our actual apartment that we lived in.

Leanne
So from affordability perspective, the further out we moved from the city centre, generally the more affordable it became. So that's what we decided to do.

Al
Now, just to give you a bit of context on this, then our advice on this is going to be not to book a long term Airbnb tenancy whatever without getting boots on the ground.

Leanne
Yes. So we're only here for five weeks. So initially we kind of thought and if you travel a lot, you'll know that once you hit a month on apps like Airbnb or Booking.com or anywhere, really once you hit a month, you're going to start to incur some really chunky discounts. So for us, we're only here for five weeks. Let's just book one place we can explore from there and go about it. Even now, that is a mistake. We thought we'd be fine. So if you are moving somewhere long term, then absolutely get your boots on the ground before you sign any kind of long term lease. To give you an idea of the area where in we were really kind of swayed, first of all by the apartment that we found. It is a beautiful apartment. It's small, it's petite, it's only one bed, but it's really nicely Furbish. It's on the top floor of a newly built apartment block. It's got a wrap around terrace, looks over the. Well, it depends which way you look. If you look one way, you see the beautiful mountains that border split, look the other way. You're looking at a road and some dodgy looking houses, but, you know, you choose to look in a particular direction, that's fine.

Leanne
The mistake we made is that we're a little bit too far out in that to get into town. We're about 45 minutes walk, which is fine, we've done it to get to the beach, it's about 45 minutes walk. Fine, we've done it. But more, the issue is the area that we picked because we didn't take the level of vigilance and research that we usually do, we're kind of like, well, there are certain areas that we liked within fair distance. So how different can it be? All quite different. And unfortunately, the neighbourhood that we picked, we have since learnt being on the ground is not the most desirable place to live. These things can happen anywhere, but it did happen where we currently are. Peter and I got in a bit of a pickle with an Akita, which is a large dog, on Tuesday, which resulted in a visit to the vets and patching ourselves up. And I have got the most bruised legs since out in the morning. At this point, I think I'm just easier to paint myself purple than hoping for any kind of Tan or getting my legs out this summer. Not a great experience.

Leanne
Since talking to the vets, we've realised that these things aren't necessarily common but not unheard of in this area. So for us, that has really reminded us that we're tied into five weeks, but it's very expensive. Season started. We are here now, so we're going to have to get through it and we've got workarounds and whatnot. But it has reminded us that if you are new to a city, ask and I think before you get there, get onto the Facebook groups, which again, we used to do and we didn't. Why didn't we do that?

Al
I don't know. We're excited, I think.

Leanne
Yeah. So get onto the Facebook group. Find things like for split, to use an example, as an expats and split group, there's a digital Nomads in split group. Get on there, asked the question, where the best neighbourhoods in the city to live for your specific circumstances without having animals, being a couple, being a family and where to avoid and where to avoid. Yeah, I think that's a fair tip. Before you book anything and before you're able to get on the ground, ask, ask.

Al
Absolutely. And the second tip is to it is a bit more expensive doing it this way, but is to book somewhere for a week maybe, and then once you're there, just decide, yes, you're going to miss out on the monthly discount. But the fact is that we're now going to leave potentially a week to two weeks earlier than we expected to go and live in the area we want to live in. So really the discount we got is smaller than the money we're going to be wasting by leaving earlier. The other thing about Airbnb you may or may not know is that if you do book a month or 28 days or longer, there's no cancellation policy on it. Even if you cancel it a week before then, generally you don't get any money back. So there's advantages, you're going to get a big discount for 28 days or longer. Disadvantage is that generally there's no cancellation policy. So if we were to do this again, I think that we would probably book for seven to ten days here.

Leanne
Yeah.

Al
In this apartment, we'd probably discover fairly hopefully not the way Leon discovered with boys. She was fighting off a 50 kilogramme dog and by the way.

Leanne
Won by the way, yeah, she won.

Al
She pulled the dog off our little dog who's 15 kilos. She pulled it off by the scruff of its neck. And poor peanut. Yes, he had some bite marks and punches and he's been to the vets. He's very sorry for himself. But the fact is that the Anne stopped it from being much worse than it could have been anyway. So the point is that if we'd been here for a week, even without that happening, we would have heard people say, oh, just the one area you need to avoid is X. And that's the area we were in.

Leanne
We learned that pretty quickly, didn't we, actually. And this is another good way to do it. If you are self employed or freelance or you need that kind of working element to it. We visited a co working space, which is about a 20 minutes walk from where we're currently living and just went to see, I think they came up on LinkedIn. I thought, that's weird. It's quite close. Let's go see them lovely, lovely women that run it, had a great chat with them. The coworking space wasn't quite right for us at this time, but we had a great conversation anyway. And the minute we asked them about areas, what parts of split do you really like? So this was on Tuesday, we arrived on Sunday and by in two days, they told us everywhere is great, avoid this. What did they say? It's like the Wild West. Just avoid this area and we're like, shit.

Al
So there's the first tip is that if you are going to a different city or a different area, then just book for a week or ten days. Yes, it's a more expensive way of doing it, but overall it will be better because you can always negotiate directly with the Airbnb host at that point if you love it, assuming there's availability. So tip number one is just to book a small amount, a small amount of time.

Leanne
I'm trying to ask on the groups as well before you.

Al
Okay. Tip number two is to ask on the groups. And tip number three is when you do get there, ask everyone like where is the best area to live? We've spoke to A.

Leanne
I think people as well that are actually going to be that is similar to you. So we asked the women in the coworking space because they're connected to the Nomad community. We talk to people we met on the beach on the dog beach because they have pets and dogs. And then yes, we have people just in restaurants and cafes and bars that we go to. But I think it's asking a good representation of people because people are going to say shit about an area for some reason. We know people who would talk badly about certain areas in Manchester where we've actually really liked. So you have to kind of gather various opinions, I think. And I think our typical rule is if we hear the same thing about one place three times, we tend to trust it.

Al
Yeah. So whether that's positive or negative from three different sources. So there's your sort of top tips. First, top tip is to book for a small period of time. Second, top tip is to ask on Facebook. In fact, probably I should be your first ask on Facebook groups, ask around what the areas you should look at, what the area should avoid. And thirdly, when you do get there, treat your first ten days as just talking to everyone. You want to find out where you want to be after that. And so just like the unset, ask everyone. But do take A with a pinch of salt and B, just think about the person you're asking. If you're asking an older person who's in their 60s and you're 19 where the best place to live is, they are definitely going to say they probably have different opinions.

Leanne
Yeah. But then similarly, if you're asking a single person you have a family, you have children, then you're going to get a different viewpoint. I think the other thing that we have learned and seem to have had confirmed since we've been in Split, and we would have said this on the podcast ages ago, I'm sure. But when we're in Spain, there's a general rule of thumb that we learn about calculating local rents that local people pay because, yes, there is a tourist tax and they're going to try and get more money if they can. And I say that people all over the world. But typical rule of thumb is whatever you are paying as a tourist per week, particularly in season. So kind of April through to the end of September, whatever you pay per week is typically approximately going to be what that monthly rent is on a long term lapse. Does that make sense?

Al
It does.

Leanne
So if you're paying £500 a week, it's likely that the rent. Yeah. And it's likely the rent per month can be £500.

Al
And that's a really good rough rule of thumb, there is some slight changes in August in very touristy areas. For example, apartments over here can go for €3000 a week in August. So just ignore the August 1. But generally the shoulder months of May, June, July, September, that's what it's going to work out. So there's your tip number four is that your weekly on Airbnb is roughly a monthly and a longer term tip number five is that particularly in Croatia. I don't know whether it happens in the cities in Spain or France or anywhere like that. But particularly in Croatia, I've noticed that people will offer, oh, yes, there's a long term rental here, but you have to disappear for July and August. You can't stay here for July and August or it's, let's say €800 a month. And then July and August it's €3000 for those two months, then goes back down to 800.

Leanne
It seems to be more the case in Croatia, doesn't it? Yeah, we don't have anywhere else and we never had it in Spain. We were there for four and a half years and never had that. But yes, particularly in Croatia, it just seemed to be a thing. And it may well be like, say another Croatia, the main economy is their tourism, everything. So there may be similar places, but yeah, worth checking on that.

Al
Absolutely. I think the tip number five is that it kind of contravenes what we thought at first, but it's unlikely you're going to find the place you're going to live or a good place to live economically by going through websites and going through remote. It's being boots on the ground. And we talk about this. When we first went to Spain, we lived in Spain for four years, four and a half years, and we looked online and everything was saying, oh, it's around about sort of one €200 a month for 1400 euros a month.

Leanne
Maybe back in 2013.

Al
Yeah, that was quite expensive. We took a flight in I think, the beginning of May. I can't remember even March, April time we took a flight over for a week and just met with lots of different agents and got them to show us around and then went into and that was good because the first part of it was they showed us the first agent took us up and down where we wanted to live and showed us each sort of like development or village or whatever or town. And then once we've narrowed it down, we kind of like this town. Then we started going around the local agents. And what's interesting is that we went to a couple of English guys in this particular town. And I can't use that word on this podcast, but they were assholes, actually. One of them was all right. But the other guy wasn't total Dick to the point where we said something like he wanted €900 for this apartment and he said, we want two months deposit two months deposit, three months upfront.

Leanne
And it was like, what you're ever like five months.

Al
Yeah. And we said, that just doesn't sound that's not ideal for us. And he said, Well, I have to question if you can't afford that, five months and do I want to rent to you? So then we went to another little Spanish listing agent and she spoke amazing English, Annie Evers. And we started talking to him. She went, Right, I've got three or four. Let me show you some of these tomorrow. We ended up renting our first apartment for about €400.

Leanne
It was a better apartment.

Al
Yes.

Leanne
In the same block.

Al
Yes.

Leanne
For €500 a month deposit.

Al
Yes. When the Euro was 1.4. So I'm talking to you a little bit today, aren't they? When Euro was 1.4. So it was more like about 375 quid or something a month for this two bedroom, beautiful apartment with a pool and all that kind of stuff. So that happened to us when we were the first place we went to the second place we went to, which maybe two or three years later, because she actually got us two houses there. She got the apartment and then another one, I remember we call it dream house One because there's been three dream houses. Dreamhouse one, we went into this apartment and she said, oh, let me just open the blinds to the terrace. She opened like the shutters to the terrace. And then you could just. There was nothing in front of us. But until it got to the Mediterranean Sea about ten metres past it, I say private beach. It wasn't really private beach, but it was difficult to get to if you're coming from the public.

Leanne
Yeah. It was only people that lived around there that would use it.

Al
As shown the shot as we both looked, she just went, yeah, this is the one. Now it happened again. We went to Columnar, didn't it?

Leanne
Yes, it's a village in Lucia, a little north of Malaga.

Al
We went up there, we literally drove to the top six villages according to population in this particular area, which is called Axe, and went to each one of those and we're like, okay, so this is like the third most popular village or third most populous village by a number of people. And we really liked the field of village. There was a two or three little sort of little restaurants, there was a couple of quite a few bars. It just felt really nice. And so we landed, we had a cup of coffee, we looked around and we saw a Guinness signing hanging out for one of the bars. So we went along and we looked in the window and yes, it was owned by an English person, actually it was owned by an English Lady, but her husband, I think was either Irish or Irish roots. I can't remember exactly which.

Leanne
Yeah, I think he was Irish. And they'd rented out the unit to a couple of guys from Grenada.

Al
We looked in the window and said, yes, there's a state agent, she's an estate agent. So I mean, look, but we wouldn't ever have found her because her website is difficult to find, it difficult to navigate and I don't even know where the prices are the same on the website as they are, I doubt it. So we went. So we rang the number, got in touch with her, went at a coffee with her. She's like, yeah, I've got five places I can show you. And we got our next place, which was a well.

Leanne
Actually, she actually initially just benched for a coffee and asked us lots of questions about ours and what we do, how long we're around, how we work, how we make our money, where we've lived previously, whether we've gone through agents, a lot of people. She really just like she wanted to find out more about it, see if she could trust us, really, didn't she? And then she's like, yeah, I'll go and have a think and I've got some place, I'll send you some details and I think they actually met her then a second time and then she took us out and that happened in Croatia as well. There seems to be some kind of culture. Let's just meet first, see if we can trust each other, and then we'll talk.

Al
But all this is because we were on the ground and she found us two properties, one on a short term basis, which we've got an indoor swimming pool, they got a pool table. It was great. And then whilst we were there, we had the time then to say, okay, come April, we're looking for something for twelve months. And she took us to several different places, spent a good day with us and we found our dream Villa, which was a Villa in the middle of Molly Groves. Looking out over the most beautiful scenery, huge terrace pool, three bedroom summer house, which I think we got for €800. Was it?

Leanne
Yeah, good time.

Al
It was amazing. It was absolutely amazing. So we never, I mean, that kind of thing with Airbnb would easily be 800 a week. And if you tried to do it remotely then, oh, this is going to be €2000 a month because you're not there, they don't trust you, they're going to charge you more.

Leanne
And we found that in increase as well. So when we were looking at apartments for this trip, we actually saw one that was ridiculously out of our price tag and we've since learned ridiculously overpriced. But we were like with cheeky offer and that's the other thing as well on Airbnb is to be a bit cheeky and give people and we talked about definitely took this before in terms of Airbnb tips. But people will sometimes be open to negotiating on this occasion. He wasn't. But I kind of said during just out of curiosity what this went for long term. He gave a Daft number.

Al
You want to tell me the number?

Leanne
Yeah, he gave us €4000 a month. €50,000 he wanted for the year for a small two bed apartment in a great area. Don't get me wrong, it's a great area, but beyond that, it does look like a bachelor's thrown up in it. But then just even sparking that kind of thought that we might be looking for long term options. He then got in touch a couple of weeks later and was like, look, if you guys are in split, do you want to come see it? Maybe if you see it, you'll change your mind, blah, blah. He didn't. But what was really useful is that we met not the owner, but the guy who was basically managing the property for him, who was lovely, very well connected, had a couple of houses down in Macaska, which is a bit further down the coast. And because we chatted to him, we had really good, like just nice people, weren't they? We had peanut with us. So that kind of sparked some conversation about their dogs. Nailed animals. And I think we just again start to build that personal relationship. And then he called me, didn't he, a few days later and was like, Your man's dreaming.

Leanne
I think 35 is more reasonable. We don't like the flight you could offer us for two quid and we wouldn't take it, but I kind of said that. But we might be back. We'll be looking long term. Is this something that you help people do? Not sure what you do. Do you take private clients? Yes, we do. And then just so you know, you should get somewhere really decent. Looks decent for between 10. 00 15. 00 views per month. And we only would ever have found that out from kind of taking the time, having the conversations and building that relationship.

Al
Absolutely. So that goes into that's tip number, whatever it is. I might have to listen back to this and do the show notes, but that is get your boots on the ground, you've got to get there. Don't ever sign up for anything you've not seen for a long term. And I would even say that a month is long term if you're in a really nasty area or worse. Now, this is my final tip and you might have more, I think. But my final tip is that once you are there in the area, then you can start to look at Airbnbs in the local area and go and see them. Now, we did this was it a couple of days ago? I can't remember. And there was two. We had a short list of the Ant found about ten. The end is amazing at finding Airbnb stuff. I look and I never find anything. The always finds the most amazing ones. And they were kind of around about £500 a week, were they?

Yeah.

Al
About the same as this, obviously, with Airbnb, there's fees as well, which can often push that up quite a lot. But we look down to two options quite close to each other. And so we said, Right, well, let's go and look at them. Now, Airbnb doesn't give you the exact location. However, most of them have got outdoor pictures of the outdoor bit. Or you can look through the window and go, oh, there's a tennis court there and it gives you the rough area. So we just drove and walked around until we found it. We found it. This is the apartment. First we looked at and was like, yeah, this is really nice. And then there's a little path down to the beach that we went and had a look at. Beautiful. Right on the beach, lovely, quiet area, nice cars.

Leanne
Yes. There's always things they don't tell you and the pictures you have to really scrutinise. But what we didn't know and what wasn't mentioned in the description about this apartment was that it's kind of a basement apartment, like it's half below street level, but does have a beautiful terrace. And the way it's positioned, it does get the sun from rest of the day. So we kind of like, yeah, we can live with that. But we wouldn't have known it was a basement apartment until, unless we would have seen it, we would have rocked up and found out.

Al
Absolutely. So then we went to look at the second option, which wasn't quite as much as nice apartment, but better location. And we turned up and we parked and we could find out where it was. We parked and they were literally building another apartment block next to it.

Leanne
And by next to it, there must have been like 10ft separating, like massive cranes and drilling.

Al
And even in there, like the 30 seconds it took to get out of the car and walk up to have a look, we heard three or four of the guys on the building site were throwing big buckets of, I'm guessing it's stuff that they're rubbish or whatever, but concrete from the top floor of the fifth floor up into a skip, which scared the crap out of all of the first thing that happened. We thought, well, that's just not going to be any good and that we would never have known unless we got our boots on the ground.

Leanne
Yeah, exactly. It's so important and I think it's something that I'm not sure what it's like in other places, but in the UK, it's not renting. You go through an agent or you go direct to the owner online, you go see it, you find, you sign a contract. You can use apps to understand what the local rent typically is. It's very transactional. Whereas our experience in and where we've looked long term, which is to be fair, has only been Spain and Croatia, but two very different countries. It has been more about the relationship, more about being on the ground to really get a clear idea of what you can get for your money, what's fair, what area you want to be in. So we'll add to that relationship.

Al
And the final tip, I think for me is I think I said my last one is final, but this one's final is that we were told that people ask for the rent they want, not necessarily the market rent. There's two parts to that. First of all, you might go and look at two apartments, both identical. One is on at €4000 a month. One is on at €800 a month. What often impacts that is that if the apartment has been inherited, which is a lot happens in Croatia, particularly, they don't tend to sell property, they tend to inherit it. Then if there's three children, then each of the children want like €800 a month from it. So therefore the rent is going to be €2400, whereas if there's one child, it might be €800, same apartment. So there's that to consider. And also there's no real sort of if you're from the UK, right. Move if you're from the US, begins with Zed. I can't remember what it's called, but it's like a kind of a property comparison site. There's no real place to go and see how much rents are in an area. It's just how much they want to ask for.

Al
And some of them will ask for a lot of money. Like this guy went to see, he went to 50,000 and he might be happy to have it empty waiting for someone to come along and pay him eight grand for the month. And he's happy with that. Whereas in the UK it's very much like, oh, no, it's a business, we've got to rent it out. Otherwise I don't want to be shuttered and all that kind of thing.

Leanne
Yeah, absolutely. And I think the other thing as well, which is great about being on the ground and talking to people and talking to other expats as well, who are fair long term, because they're going to know some bits and pieces. And one thing that we learned from some friends in Israel was that there's this funny rule in Croatia, and I'm not sure if it's the same as where I say funny is in odd from kind of UK. It doesn't happen is that they can't rent a property for any more money than it's advertised up. So if, for example, they have it on one website at €2000 a month and another website at €1000 a month, and as a potential tenant, I see both adverts. I can fairly legally insist that I will pay €1000 because that's the lowest price that's been advertised. So they're always going to pitch it high, because of course they are, because if they end up getting some kind of bidding award, they can't put the price up. So they have to start high on the off chance they get lots of interest.

Al
I think the house we were in Australia was, I'm sure it was on for like €2300 or something like that. It was a lot of money. And I remember saying to the end, let's look at she said, Why? Because that's just ridiculous. We can't justify that kind of rent. And we got there and we got it for quite significantly less than that. But again, as Leanne said, it wasn't that. We went in there and went, well, I'll tell you what, we'll give you X amount of money for it. We sat down with him, we didn't even talk money. Then we went around for dinner with him, didn't talk money. Well, I think we might have said, yes, we want it. And it's like, okay, okay, great, let's just have dessert. And then we met him a third time. We start talking about money. And we went in and said, look, we're paying this at the moment and we came to an agreement, but not to be put off. So if you're looking, if someone wants 3000 for it, it's worth going to look at it even if your bodies only $1,000, because one, you might agree to meet somewhere in the middle which you might be able to afford.

Al
And two, even if they say no to this, one, they might have others or know other people who've got something more in your budget.

Leanne
Yeah, absolutely. People always know somebody got something. And I think just having that patience and that's something that I'm not very good at and Albert good at it because he's done the whole negotiation with property stuff before. So he was like, yeah, it's cool, it's fine. I'm not very patient, but I've learned that you just have to be patient, you have to go through that process. And ultimately it's better because you end up finding more about your landlord, which is great. You know who you're giving all this money to if you can trust them, what the terms are. Yeah, patience.

Al
Absolutely. So what else have you got?

Leanne
Nothing. I've covered mine.

Al
Okay. So I will summarise all these in the show notes if you listen to this. A lot of this was just scribbled notes before we started this. So I'll probably summarise them in the show notes. But essentially what we're talking about is going is getting boots on the ground. Don't sign anything for a long term unless you've seen it and you've seen the area. Ideally live in the area for a little bit. If you can consider that the Airbnb prices generally what they want a week is what you'll rent it long term for a month. Excuse me. Then also be aware that in July and August, the peak months, they might want you to move out. All the rent might go up massively. Finally, just build the relationships. Ask everyone when you get here, just ask everyone you're in the shop. If someone starts chatting to you and you go, Here, can I ask a quick question? Where do you think is a good place to live? We have a dog, so it's lucky. We go into dog park and then we'll ask people there, we find recommendations for vets, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

Al
But we just ask locally. And also just be aware that on some of the sites, people are people. And if you say, I'm thinking of moving to this particular area, which is a nice area, people might go, oh, it's nice, but it's really expensive there and whatever. And it's full of this. And there may be an element of jealousy there that online in certain groups.

Leanne
Yeah. Pinch yourself. Like we said, different people ask lots of different people. And once you tend to get a consensus from various people, then you can start to make an informed decision about it. I think the only last thing really is if you are looking at a long term lap, it's just really just being clear on what's included when they say plus bills. We've never really been caught or stung with this, but I guess it's just understanding, just asking kind of generally what things cost. Water, electric, gas, Internet. And then there's odd ones like Croatia has one like, you pay your bins centrally, then take your bins. That was in Austria, might not be in split. I'm not sure Spain had things like, I think we said that our first apartment had a shared pool. There's some kind of community maintenance fee that we have to contribute to, or we negotiated that we wouldn't your man who is dreaming in 150K for a shitty apartment. Actually, it's not nice, but it's just he was like, oh, yeah, plus bills, which is like gas, electric, hot tub. Hot tub. Yeah. And it's cleaned once a month.

Leanne
She's 300 quid. What do they do to it? To buy a new hot tub every like six months rather than just not clean it?

Al
Yeah, that's a really good idea. A really good point. And there's other things which, like we had a hot tub or a Jacuzzi, and I don't know the differences. It's just a different name. Anyway, I think it's Jacuzzi.

Leanne
Might be a brand.

Al
Okay. Like Tenor and Hoover. But the other thing is if we had a hot tub in the last place, which did contribute to the electric and then air conditioning is quite expensive, that kind of thing. So, yes, be clear on the bills. And that's why it's as much the meeting and the dance you do at first is to see if you can trust them as much as they see if they can trust you. Because in our last place, he just sent us a piece of paper with numbers on it and going to totally over bills is this now, I think we could have asked for the bills and gone through them, but we wouldn't have necessarily understood it. So we took it on trust.

Leanne
Yeah. And then when we asked people kind of typically, what do you pay? They kind of confirmed it was around that, didn't they? And I think it's just understanding, like the Internet, for example. Typically it's the same everywhere. I think you get different packages. So is that enough for what your needs are? Blah, blah, blah, getting some integrity, specifics of it. But yeah, the better relationship you have, the more you can go to have these conversations and feel confident in the answers that you're getting.

Al
If you come from the UK, the US, then the tenancy law is probably, I'm guessing, the same in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, etc. Etc. Etc. For tenancies, tenants tend to have a lot of power, whereas in some of the other countries, they're not necessarily. We went to pay our rent on the dream house. We talked about where he was right by the sea when to pay our rent because we used to pay cash every month in the estate agent's office. I will leave you to come to your own conclusion about why it was in cash. Went to pay on the state agent. And she sat down, she said, I'm really sorry. I got some bad news. He's selling the house. And I was like, all right, how long we got? He said, well, Tuesday, it's being sold on Tuesday. And we were like, shit, what do we do? And she said, well, basically, just stay there because he's going to have to work to get you out. And I'll just tell him the same thing.

Leanne
Which she was like, until you're two months in a raise, he can't do anything. So you've got at least two months, and then probably three at that point handed us back our rent. It's like, come in next week and I'll give you a full deposit. All right, then.

Al
Now we are landlords ourselves. And of course, horrifying horrifying. And also, we're not saying that try and screw your landlord. We're just saying that he screwed us by selling the house without even telling us.

Leanne
And screwed her because he didn't sell it through her.

Al
Yes. Anyway, so I think is there anything else that we need to give around the actual where?

Leanne
No. I think this is kind of all about once you've sailed on it. A city or a town is kind of narrowing up in that place. So I think they're the main things. Knowledge is everything. Being on the ground is everything. Take things as a pinch of salt until you get multiple people telling you the same thing. And if you ever have a problem with an Akita, give me a call.

Al
She pulled it off our dog. She's amazing, right? Okay, guys, as of last week, we have a new roadmap up on our site, a sidewayslife. Comroadmap, totally free. What you're going to get there? You'll see the roadmap we've created, it's a little bit rudimentary because we're looking for some feedback. If you just want to get involved in some way and you think, yeah, cool, okay, help us then we're not charging any money for it. Just as a little pop up you can pop your email address in and we'll get in touch with you, we'll reply back and go, hey, where are you up to at this point? We just want feedback on it. We want to go okay, what resonates, what doesn't et cetera, et cetera. So if you're interested in getting involved, then do that. If you've got comments.

Leanne
Thoughts just want a shout out to yourself.

Al
No, don't give them to yourself. Well, if they're not if they're nasty like my mother used to say, if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all. But if you can say something nice and you want to tell Leon how she's amazing and like Shira of the Akita world, that's a dated reference, isn't it? Then go to a sideways life on Instagram that's instagram.com asidewayslife or just search for a sideways life or email us asideways@gmail.com. Yeah, bye for now. Bye.

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