Monday, April 14, 2008

Playing House

It's official: I'm moving into an apartment in May! I haven't actually signed the rental agreement yet, but I informed my office today of my intent to move.

The timing is pretty bad--I just wiped out my account paying for my Golden Week trip(s) to Tokyo and Singapore--but I'm nonetheless very excited to be setting up my own place! True I've been living on my own for the past eight and a half months, but since the house came pre-furnished, it's not like I got to decorate it myself (although, of course, I did add my own touches).

So yeah, even though my original plan was to come straight home today to do laundry--my whites and towels in preparation for my parents and friends' visit--I ended up going to a bunch of stores to check prices on appliances for my apartment.

It's hard, though, because I have to remind myself that this is NOT my permanent home, so I should err on the side of frugality when buying things for the apartment. I need to purchase things thinking about what will give me good value for one or two years of use, but also looking for durability for up to four years.

The area I find this the most difficult is washer/dryers. Since I've been spoiled having a dryer in my house now, I decided that I'm going to buy a washer/dryer combo, even though there's a washer in storage that I could use. There are quite a few in the low 20,000 yen to 70,000 yen range (plus I found one at the recycle shop for 17,850 yen), but what I really want is one of the newer, front-loading models.

K's Denki has one on sale until Friday priced at 120,000 yen, and the regular price for an older model is between 130,000-170,000. ^^;; Considering that I'm just barely going to be able to make my initial payment (including first month's rent, brokerage fees, damage deposit, key money, etc.) of 204,000 yen, it's pretty silly for me to be looking at such high end washer/dryers (particularly since the 9kg capacity is far more than I need), but I'm still tempted. I guess it's because my dream has always been to have a front-loading washer and dryer (they're more water-efficient). But really, it would only be worth it if I ended up staying the full 5 years (meaning I'd get 4.25 years use out of it). And I think it might be hard to find someone to sell it to when I do leave, since I wouldn't want to sell it at a dirt-cheap price to an ALT.

Besides, I haven't even begun pricing essentials--like a bed--yet! I do have the couch I got from Weldon & Crystal which I can use first (I'm sleeping on it instead of my bed right now anyway), but it probably makes more sense to buy a decent bed rather than a super expensive washer/dryer...

Maybe if I end up getting a tax return (which I would keep as savings), I could assuage my guilt at using my paycheque to furnish my apartment rather than putting it into savings?

Anyway, if things go according to plan, I'll be able to sign the rental agreement on Apr. 21st. I'll request a May move-in date so I can start moving my stuff, but I'll stay at the house until the end of May (rent's cheap here anyway!) and schedule all of my bills and utilities to change over on Jun. 1st.

I'm a little worried, though, because I don't know what questions, if any, I should be asking when I go to sign the agreement. I guess I can ask my supervisor to come with me, but she's so busy getting into things at the office, I'd feel bad... Well, I guess I can ask her about it when I'm in the office on Friday and see what she thinks. I mean, doing this kind of thing is part of a supervisor's job...

But yeah, I hope everything works out!! ^_^