Yesterday was the day I signed off on the deed to my apartment in Palermo. The new owner was ecstatic. She brought her sister to the signing. I, on the other hand, was thrilled to be out of that place for good. People ask me, "Do you miss your old place?" Not for a second.
JerryBrown, Maxi, and I are all happy to be in the temporary rental from the owner from hell. I reported him to Airbnb, they blocked his place for a month. Sometimes Airbnb does good things in customer service. Mostly no.
So now you ask, "What is the next step?" You won't believe. I bought a completely impractical place. A bachelor pad, a midlife crisis crib. I always do the practical. (OK, almost always, I wouldn't call leaving the US for California a practical step, but it did turn out that way.) My parents were very conservative financially, and I guess I inherited this from them.
I was tired of Palermo, people sleeping on the streets, filth on Santa Fe. People from who knows where. I needed a change. I had delusions of buying another rat trap and fixing it up. I had a price in mind. I started to look in Villa Crespo, but after walking the streets, I knew that this was not for me. Besides, the rat traps here are really rat traps. So are the people you need to fix them up.
If I was in the USA, buying a fixer upper would not be an issue. There are laws, contractors, and labor you can depend on. Here, don't ask. No contractors, you have architects who "manage" the workers, workers who cannot be managed. Total disaster. I decided I was not up for a 2 year project.
My quest for a place took me to Caballito. I stayed in Caballito the second time I came to Buenos Aires and a few times after. Walking the streets felt good, they felt right. One Saturday I decided to go and walk around the barrio. I walked down the street "Guayaquil." I had this funny feeling. I felt like I was not in Buenos Aires. The streets were clean. People were smiling. More barrio. I liked it.
I spent hours pouring over the real estate sites. I went and saw places. Each time in a different part of the barrio. There was a triplex for sale that looked interesting. The price was too high. It was almost in what is called the "Barrio Ingles." A beautiful, quiet, tree lined neighborhood. Then all of a sudden the price dropped $10,000. I had my agent make an appointment to go see it.
A new building. In Argentina that is not necessarily a good thing. Most of the new buildings are poorly built. They look good, but inside they use cheap materials and the finishing is shoddy. There were only six units. Good. No way I wanted to live with 100 crazy people again. When we entered the unit it was flooded with sun (and smelled like fish). Wow! It has a dishwasher! This floor was the living room, dinning room, and kitchen. A long loft like effect. I took the stairs. The next floor was a pseudo 2 bedrooms.
The place was advertised as two bedrooms, but really it is one. I would use the area in front of the stairs as a den or study. A HUGE walkin closet. Really HUGE! This is a good thing for a clothesaholic. The bathroom. All flooded with light. Then up to the next flight.
WOW!!! A terraza. Not just any terraza Don Pardo, but a terraza with my own hot tub, barbecue, and laundry!! We could dance tango up here, have a barbecue, lots of good things. I loved it. Back down all the stairs.
I loved all the light. I was concerned more about how to furnish it, and only one bedroom. The owner's agent said they had to move. They dropped the price another $10,000 the day I went to look at it. I needed to think.
My design thoughts started to come together. The place was too masculine. It had been the architect's unit before he sold it to the present owners. This is why everything was well done. The current owners were not exactly interior designers.
I made an offer. They countered. I let it sit. I made another offer. They accepted. Yeah!! I have my new place. I move in the middle of December. My mind has been taken over by design thoughts and research. Valorie Hart where are you when I need you?
I showed a friend of mine the pictures of the new place. "A triplex?" She said. "Are you crazy? Look at all those stairs, you are not exactly young." "Who says?" I went up and down 17 flights in my old apartment when the electricity would go out. I go to the gym 3 - 4 times a week, and I walk 10,000 - 15,000 steps a day. I don't think of myself as old and feeble. I am in better shape now than when I was in my 20s, 30s, 40s...
I am excited. A new barrio. A new place. The beginnings of my new life.