I took a taxi to Piazza del Carmine to visit another apartment this morning at 11AM. I arrived a little early and waited for my agente (real estate agent) #2. She whizzed by me on her motorino (scooter) and waved to me as I stood on the corner. After she parked her motorino, she told me that her collega (colleague) made the appointment for 10AM and we wouldn't be able to see the apartment.
My agente #2 plopped her purse on a parked car and made a few phone calls. We decided to meet up again at 1PM in the San Niccolò area.
I went back home only to leave again to go to a bar in San Niccolò to meet agente #2. My agente #2 arrived a little late, so we stood outside enjoying the warm sun, which has returned in full force after a few cold days last week.
We walked back to the bar and met her collega that she works with. The new agente and I looked at each other and realized that we'd met before when I came to visit the exact same apartment in San Niccolò with agente #1. We laughed and yet I felt a little uncomfortable because I thought that if I ever did take that apartment, who would I pay? All three of them?
My agente #2 asked me to lunch with this new agente, but I had to go home to work a little bit. And, I also had another appointment with agente #1 later in the afternoon.
At 4:30PM, I had to leave my apartment once again to go and visit an apartment in via Porta Rossa (near Piazza della Signoria) with agente #1. The second I saw her, I had to confess that I almost visited the same apartment in San Niccolò with the same woman as last time. I felt like I was cheating on her, but she didn't think much of it.
A part of me doesn't really like working with two agenti even though it's completely normal. I really like both of my agenti and I'd want both of them to gain by working with me, but I guess that's not really possible. Whoever finds me the apartment will get paid while the other one will not.
My agente #1 showed me one apartment in via Porta Rossa with her collega and then another one in via Calzaiuoli. They were both beautiful apartments for short-term rentals, but not for long-term. Who wouldn't love to live right in the center of Florence and look out the window down below to see people walking by? It'd be great, but life right in the center of the touristy area would end up being a nightmare, I think. I'd have to fight my way through the crowds every time I went outside, and I'm sure that aspect would lose its charm rather quickly.
My agente #1's collega drove us down to our other appointment because we were running late. The last apartment of the day was in via delle Conce, which is close to where I live now. My agente #1's other collega told her how wonderful it was and we were both excited since it sounded perfect for me: two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and near my mercato (market).
We met the proprietario (owner) downstairs and walked up two floors. There was an elevator, but we all couldn't fit so we decided to take the stairs. I walked in and was disappointed. My agente #1 later told me that she knew almost immediately that I wasn't too thrilled about the apartment. I must admit that it was OK, but I couldn't see myself living in it. Maybe my standards are too high or maybe I'm asking for too much, but with the rent most people are asking, I think I have earned that right.
One thing that I don't like in a lot of apartments that I have seen is that the view is of a neighboring building wall. I almost wonder why you'd have a window at all if you're just going to look out at a windowless wall. Many of the apartments are rather dark, so they turn on all the lights in the apartment before visiting it.
The other problem is that the furniture comes with the apartment. So, not only do you have to rent the apartment, you have to live with the furniture that is there. Dave and I love modern furniture, which the Italians do so well, but they don't seem to put any in their apartments. Most of what I've seen is antique furniture or just old furniture, which in a few more years will be antiques.
Luckily both of my agenti are so sweet and are really trying to get in contact with all of their connections to find me something. I greatly appreciate all the work they are putting in for me. As my agente #1 said to me this morning, "È un periodaccio per trovare un appartamento come vuoi tu." (It's a bad period to find an apartment as you like it). It seems that all the two bedrooms/two bath apartments are rented out and yet in August when I looked, there was nothing then either. I guess they all disappeared while I was away in the States.
I have a few more appointments with my agente #2 next week, so hopefully I'll see something that I like enough to bring Dave along. So far, I have only asked him to come to see one apartment, which he liked, but not enough.
I am exhausted after spending so much time looking at apartments to find nothing, but I have to remain optimistic. I know eventually we'll find something that we like enough to live in. So, our search continues...
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