Bear Says

Finding an Apartment

August 20, 2015

Arequipa monasatery

When we decided we were going to move to Arequipa, Peru we thought we would be able to get an apartment, furnished, for just a few hundred US dollars a month, maybe $400 tops. We based this concept on knowing what our friends were paying for their place, and looking through a website called OLX. What we didn’t know was that there’s this thing do to people looking for apartments. They call it being gringoed, as in the process of taking gringo and making it a verb. The past tense of this (“gringoed”) is when you see an apartment for rent for say, S/. 1500, but then when you talk to the Dueña or Dueño the price is now somehow S/. 1600 – 1800. Put your game face on, because if you’ve never learned to barter before this you certainly will now. Unless you magically have tons of money to pay extra for no reason. We had contacted a person about an apartment and were told we had to come up with S/. 5100, this would cover the first months rent, the last months rent, and a security deposit. So essentially for a 6 – 8 month contract they want us to basically pay half of it up front. We told them this was impossible, because it is. We didn’t bring much money with us, and we didn’t have much savings either. In fact, we couldn’t even fly home right now if we wanted to. But the funny part is that they called us up a couple days later and asked what we could pay. We told them, and without any thought at all they said, “OK. When do you want to sign the contract?” The place is really nice, and we’re going to continue to think about it. Who knows, maybe we’ll be moving in this evening.

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