Monday, March 07, 2011

Moving Apartments

So last week the main thing taking up my time was that I moved apartments. For the past year I've been living in an expensive part of town (West Bay) and I found that it wasn't all it was cracked up to be. For one thing that neighborhood is very sterile; nothing but skyscrapers surrounded by parking lots and one mall. Your whole neighborhood life pretty much revolved around going to the mall, or possibly one of the really expensive hotels where you can have an overpriced drink. You didn't have lots of people milling around, small businesses, cheap little restaurants, just skyscrapers. I needed to move somewhere that had more soul.

But one of the issues that had me move last year to West Bay, near to the office, was the traffic. Traffic in Doha can be pretty bad at times and for a while there the morning commute was getting to be 45 minutes. It was pretty annoying given on a weekend you could do the same commute in 15 minutes. So I needed a balance, a place in the neighborhood with a bit more soul but with a short commute.

Thankfully a friend of mine was living in an apartment complex in the neighborhood near the Diwan (essentially the palace where the Emir works from). He and his wife had a one-bedroom apartment and since I'd been there before realized that it was more spacious than the one I was living in. They said there weren't any real issues with maintenance or anything like that, and the building had a gym and a small pool. It was in the neighborhood with a bit more life, and since it was on the edge of the city close to West Bay the commute is only been 15 minutes, which was a big selling point to me. That and being about half the price of what I was paying didn't hurt either. Thankfully an apartment was available so I took it.

Now price wasn't a huge issue as prices have really started to come down in West Bay. In the past year I've seen prices in some buildings go down over 30%. Looks like supply and demand finally caught up to that neighborhood. Since a couple more apartment towers are opening up in that neighborhood I expect prices to go down even more. If anyone is looking to move to West Bay I really suggest looking at all the towers to see what prices they offer -- it's a renters market now.

I didn't have much stuff to move but in 2010 I purchased a couple of bookcases. Thankfully I knew someone with a truck who was willing to help me move and a couple of other buddies pitched in with moving boxes. One trip with the truck and a couple with my car and I was done.

I've nearly finished unpacking now I have to get maintenance up your to work on a few things, and I need to sort out how I'm going to juggle the lack of plugs. There seemed to be an adequate number in the living room and bedroom but I never bothered to look at the kitchen -- there is only one plug there! So one plug has to do for the microwave, kettle, and all other small appliances. Weird.

Anyway I've been settling in okay, I think I like it here.

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