Obviously we are well past our first day in Manacor, but this is a homage to our post First Day in Martos (and a surprise apartment). And all of this happened on our first day anyways. Maybe we’re just lucky like that.
It all started a month before we arrived, with us sending out emails to all of the various real estate agents and private renters we could locate. We were told that getting an apartment in Mallorca would be difficult, so we weren’t taking any chances.
Why so? Well, thanks to many different factors (gentrification, “the economy”, and not to mention the hordes of Northern Europeans) real estate is a lot more expensive here than in Andalusia. In Martos, we found a three bedroom, two bath completely furnished monster apartment for a price that was well within our budget.
Now keep in mind that Manacor is NOT even a prime destination for tourists, retirees, or snow birds (unlike so many other places in Mallorca). Manacor is a landlocked city of medium size with nothing more than basic services and a generic Spanish/Catalan flavor. And yet since Manacor is on the island of Mallorca, and since every Northern European desperately wants to live in a place which has sun, the prices are through the roof.
After sending out tons of emails, we found that there were only three apartments available in the city that were even remotely in our price range. Oh, to be sure, there were a lot of apartments available here, and most of them really amazing. Just nothing in our price range.
Think full homes and rustic remodeled windmills. Think gated communities and private pools. You can get something like that for under 1000 a month, but that was too high for us. No, we wanted and needed a dumpy little apartment for under 700 Euros a month. Preferably lower than that.
So of the three available to us
- one was not going to be available until October 1st (so two weeks after we needed it) and we would have to move in on the first day of school. Too many firsts. Also it wasn’t clean and was very dark.
- the second was only available for people with a “permanent work contract” and referrals. Read: only after you could prove you were a god fearing local would you be considered the honor of having a real estate agent.
- the third was available immediately and was in a great location right downtown (spoiler: it was not). The only problem was it was for sale, not for rent. The real estate agent was best friends with the owner and said he would talk the owner into renting it.
So none of the options were good. One that was dumpy and unavailable, one that didn’t exist to outsiders, and one that was for sale.
In the original post (Our First Day in Martos) we showed you pictures of all the places we toured. But this time around we only had the chance to tour one place, the place we eventually got.
The real estate agent arranged for us to tour it on our first day in Manacor. It looked exactly like the pictures but it was about a mile from where they said it was. Online they had marked the map to show it being right down town, 5 minutes from my school. But this was a lie. We asked him about it and he said he had no idea what we were talking about. Either a good liar or he doesn’t know how to work the map function on his website.
The problem, besides the location, was that the landlord was only willing to rent it – as long as it could still be on the market to sell. Shoot. So we worked a special deal in place to ensure that if the apartment does sell we will have enough time to get a new place, and have the real estate agents assistance at our disposal for free.
Realistically, it probably won’t sell. It’s a small apartment ideal for individuals or couples in the boring side of town, the owner is also asking for a TON of money for this place, and it’s been empty for the past half year.
It’s in decent condition and the decor is fairly modern, so there isn’t a Jesus in our pantry, nor are there saints hanging above our bed. The toilet is actually connected to the floor, the things in the kitchen all work the way they are supposed to, and the couch isn’t half collapsed (these are all things we had problems with in our apartment in Martos). But it’s not without problems. The shower leaks, the bidet leaks, there are silverfish (which usually means there aren’t cockroaches so we’re happy).
As you can see, it’s small. It’s smaller than what we had in Korea, but we are actually very happy with that. It’s easier to heat, easier to cool, and easier to clean. Our bed room is insulated from the outside by our laundry room, so we get an extra layer of defence against the temperature and the noise.
Chris lucked out since his school is only 2 minutes away. We can actually see it from our window. Kaeti, on the other hand, has to slog 15 minutes through the busiest part of town to get to her school.
And since we are in the boring part of town, it’s extremely quiet. We didn’t realize how terrible the noise was back in Martos. Mostly thanks to cars, but also because we could hear every snore, sneeze and TV scream through our bedroom wall. So we are sleeping better which is nice.
We aren’t posting interior pictures because we just don’t want to. As small as it is there isn’t much of a point anyways, and since the landlord is still trying to sell it we don’t want to accidentally help him by giving it free exposure.
After touring this place on the first day, we signed the contract and moved in 4 days later. The landlord felt bad about how dirty it was, so he paid for a cleaning lady to take care of everything, and also for two handymen to fix up the water heater.
We are off to a great start in Manacor!