Max goes shopping

central park praha


…for a flat.

This is one of those things I never thought I would do. But a little bit of pressure (in a good way) from my gay husband* in Paris, and here I am, arranging viewings with agents and even getting up early to see properties before I go to work.

It has been a challenge. There are plenty of properties available in the neighbourhood where we want to purchase, but the real estate agents don’t seem that keen to make sales. I have been looking every day at the flats that are advertised on seznam. When I respond to ads, leaving my email and mobile number, sometimes someone gets back to me, and sometimes I hear nothing at all.

I had one email exchange that went something like this.

Hello, I can show you the flat. When is convenient for you?
I try to accommodate to you.

Hi Jan,
Thanks for your email. I am available in the mornings at 8, or in the evenings from 18.30. I am free this week on Wednesday morning, Thursday morning and evening, and Friday morning. I am also available at weekends.

8 and 18.30 are not convenient for me. I can maybe show you the flat on Saturday at 9. I have some serious clients, perhaps flat will be sold.

Hi Jan,
I am also a serious client. Anytime on Saturday will be fine. Please let me know.

As an American, I obviously wonder why they don’t try a bit harder. But there are exceptions, because I am being shown flats outside normal working hours, and a few agents have even been proactive, calling me about other listings.

The next problem I have is falling in love with flats that are too big. Jono and I are buying together, but he won’t be around much, and 165 m2 is a bit over the top for just me. And one of the over-sized flats I liked had a 25 m2 roof-top terrace with a panoramic view, which pains me to deny myself.

I am also getting a lot of unsolicited opinions from friends, colleagues and acquaintances. Now is a great time to buy. You shouldn’t buy now, the market will be better in 18 months. You shouldn’t be looking in Vinohrady and Žižkov, properties in Prague 1 will appreciate faster… Thanks for all the advice, everyone. Please allow me to ask for it next time.

The thing is, though, that I am now totally calm about the prospect of purchasing property (contrast earlier post), and I am actually enjoying the search. Having said that, I hope I manage to find the perfect place before I get bored and pissed off with the whole process.

* really gay, not really my husband


2 Responses to Max goes shopping

  1. Dane says:

    Dear Max,

    I want to thank you for the bitterly witty and insightful articles you’ve posted over the past few months. I was a student in Prague for about 4 months, and you once came to speak to my economics class about women and maternity leave laws. You intrigued me – and pissed me off, in a healthy way – so I asked my teacher for a way to contact you. She sent me to your blog, citing it as “one of those wickedly intelligent things that I can barely keep up with.”

    I’ve been back in the states for almost two weeks, and I’ve been reading your blog constantly – as miserable as I was sometimes, keeping some kind of connection with Prague is important to me. Thanks for being that connection – ever critical, ever cynical, but always excellent.


  2. Max says:

    Dear Dane,

    Thanks for your note and your kind words. Please keep coming back, and leave comments or send email if you are so inspired.

    I have been over to your blog and I am impressed with your writing; I’ll keep going back. Talk to you there.


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