Surya asked me how long it took to find an apartment in Amsterdam. I have often heard that apartments in Amsterdam are scarce. But I think that should be re-phrased to “Apartments in x price range are scarce”. Amsterdam isn’t a cheap place to live. Its about on par with the area of San Francisco I live in now. If you are willing to pay between 1300 and 2000 euros a month, there are plenty of places available. Just prepare yourself for that price, have a job that pays enough and you are set. But for me, I am going back to a time where a significant portion of my salary is going to rent. But I will be living in a sweet place in a fantastic area. A year from now, I will get a cheaper place. If you can’t afford it, Utrecht is very nice and a bit cheaper.
OK, so I was asked how long it took. It took me a day. How??? My company set me up with a relocation service: Partners in Relocation. They in turn worked with Ferry at Holland Home Management. Ferry did all the work of taking my requirements and coming up with a list of about 8 places to see. Out of them I saw 2 places I really liked, and one of those is what I ended up taking. That said, I think I would have held off and looked some more if there wasn’t some urgency in getting an address so that I could get a SOFI number, and bank account, so that I could get paid by my company without too much hassle. I also have a bunch of other things to think about like movers moving my stuff across an ocean or two. I have heard some horror stories of other rental management companies and was really happy with HHM. Only down side is that they (just like all of their competition) take about one months rent as a commission. Add that to the first months rent, and in my case, two months deposit, and you have to come up with a lot of money to move in…in my case 4 months rent to move in. But I am glad its over and I am glad I have an address to move to. I can go to the post office to forward my mail. I can do all the things I need to do on arrival in Amsterdam. And I can sleep a bit better too… And I have a sweet place to move in to this coming Saturday morning!!!