Choosing an apartment. Help!

We have up to 3 months in our current apartment, and then we need to find somewhere a bit more permanent.  The norm here is to pay 12 months’ rent in advance + a 2 month deposit.  Ouch.

We decided to start looking for an apartment fairly soon after we arrived, for a few reasons:

  1. I am not working at the moment, so I have more flexibility to go and look at apartments during the week
  2. It would be nice to have somewhere a bit more permanent so we can properly unpack and start to make it feel like home
  3. It just gives us longer to find somewhere where we really want to live
I’ve already lost count of how many places we’ve looked at.  There are a lot available!  And there is a lot of variation in terms of quality.
The biggest decisions we’re going to have to make are:
  1. Do we want to stay in our bubble-within-a-bubble where it’s relatively quiet, clean and there are a few shops, restaurants and bars within a 2 minute walk, or a few more within a 15-20 minute walk or taxi ride?  Or do we want to live in the CBD where it’s noisy and busy but it’s close to where Simon works, and there are many more bars, restaurants shops etc.
  2. Can we live without a balcony?
Can we live without a balcony?  We’ve seen a fantastic apartment, in Rockwell, which gives us way more space for our money than any of the other apartments we’ve seen.  It’s one of the few that we’ve walked into that we think ‘we could actually live here’.  But it doesn’t have a balcony.  And I love being on the balcony to watch the world go by and to get some ‘fresh’ air every now and again.

The more we explore Manila, the more we enjoy living within our bubble-in-a-bubble.  But is being this sheltered a good thing?

Guidance, suggestions, questions welcome!

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