Yesterday we drove around Lampa and Batuco again in search of house options. I should say in search of liveable house options. We have a very small budget to play around with but we have to use the subsidio or we will lose it, We have had to come to terms with the fact that we will either get the land but not the house, or we will get a semi-properly constructed house but not the space. Yesterday was pretty dismal. To recap:
House 1 – refused to be viewed. Owner said the only option was to buy it based on how it looked from the road. Then he abruptly disappeared. This attitude has been pretty consistent with our experiences so far, with people barking “just look from the road” down the phone or hanging up because they can’t be bothered going through the effort of showing someone the house. This goes back to customer service in general here, which I have pointed out a few times: it just doesn’t exist.
House 2 – was completely enclosed. The entrance was a wire cage and the sitting area was completely windowless and dark. There was not a spec of light anywhere in the house. The yard was also enclosed and flled with junk all balancing precariously on top of one another. You reached the top floor via a steep staircase that was completely exposed to the elements. I left this one feeling incredibly depressed because I was struggling to find any redeeming qualities, or even common ground with the owner. I just cannot understand who would want to live like that? It couldn’t be for a lack of money as the entire house was outfitted in quality goods and flat screen televisions. I just don’t get it.
House 3 – this mood persisted with the third house, that had a lot of land but a barely-there house. We didn’t enter this one, just looked from the road as the elderly gentleman who lived there never came to the door. This one almost made me cry. Absolutely everywhere I looked was filled with mountains of junk: in front of the house, to the side of the house, in the house … one would barely be able to squeeze through the gate because of all the rusty chair frames, broken toys, tyres, metal sheets etc. This was clearly the home of a hermit who ( I deduced in a moment of Freudian expertise) was burying himself away from the world. Luis agreed that he maybe had some issues, but the unfortunate fact is that EVERYWHERE we looked we witnessed this same thing. People are not throwing broken things away, instead just pile them up in mountains in their gardens to spoil beneath the rain, wind and sun. Beautiful spaces of green are spoilt by paper and plastic rubbish, ruining what would be lovely surroundings. What is going on here??
House 4 – we suddenly left the dusty streets of what I had assumed was all of Batuco and entered a poblacion, a residential area where all the houses looked the same. The roads were narrow and busy, and there was row after row of white, 2-storey houses. House 4 was built relatively well and would only need minor tweaking. The living space was small but the bedrooms and kitchen were large, and there was plenty of space outside to make a patio and tiny garden. The house was behind a fence and the street was gated. We could easily see ourselves living there and it was well within our budget, with room to spare to make the minor adjustments it needed. We looked up and the air was clean and clear. But the area was not so good, we had to admit. Flaites do seem to exist everywhere. We will probably buy this house, but I highly doubt I’ll want to make the commute to Santiago every day. It feels very, very far away.
House 5 – we didn’t enter. It was in Lampa, a small town that I really like. I get good vibes in Lampa. But the house we saw had no outside space, the area was very poor, and we saw people selling pasta base. Nearby was house 6 but we couldn’t go in as it is occupied by renters, who were very rude to us and the owner said were likely to make problems about leaving.
So there you go! We desperately want to get out of the city and into the fresh air. Maybe plant some veges. We are going to look at Melipilla next, which is much further away but a nicer area. It’s a scary thought to think about living somewhere else, especially with a toddler. It makes me realise how much of a home we have made for ourselves in Recoleta, the barrio I hated at first but have now come to love. I’d be very interested in hearing anyone’s stories about their big move, especially if its to someplace away from Santiago. So get commenting!