Friday, April 29, 2011

House Hunting In Iquique, Part One

This morning Pedro and I took the plunge. We sent our three "big kids" off to school, ate a quick breakfast, then packed our two "Haitian sensations" in the van to meet with a couple of realtors at a couple of houses here in Iquique.

Houses in this city are crazy. Not only are they crazy expensive but from one block to the next (sometimes from one house to the next!) you can be in a nice, quiet neighborhood and then before you know it you are clasping your purse closer and looking over your shoulder nervously.

Then there's the issue of building codes. I assume there are some, but it seems they are not really enforced. Thus if you dream it, you build it! Inevitably house lots are small because Iquique is quickly running out of land. Therefore the houses people "dream" can be somewhat, shall we say, interesting?? There are some "creative" uses of space, that's for sure!

So far I've decided that here in Iquique, first of all you just need to accept that there is not a "perfect" house anywhere (unless you are "perfectly" wealthy, that is!) Secondly, you need to acknowledge that yards are only pipe dreams. And thirdly, you need to be willing to be inventive with whatever you do find.

Looking at it from a negative angle, house hunting in Iquique is somewhat discouraging - mainly due to the price of real estate. No new housing developments have been built in at least six years and no more are on the horizon, which means homeowners who choose to sell can name their price and usually get it in a matter of days. Only high rises are being built anymore due to a lack of land, and with five kids we just don't see ourselves as apartment dwellers!

From a positive angle, however, house hunting in Iquique is definitely interesting and time constraints aside, could be pretty fun. In fact, I think I will plan a series of posts about our adventures. So stay tuned for updates from our first day out on the "market." I think you'll enjoy coming along! :)


Melissa said...

I am anxious to read the stories of You, Pedro and your "Haitian Sensations" house hunting!

Life with Kaishon said...

How exciting : ) Will you get a regular 30 year mortgage like we do in the states?

David and Anna said...

If you're open to a change in ministry, Alto Hospicio is a cheaper option. Even though it's farther from the beach, I think it's much more peaceful than Iquique. And full of possibilities ministry-wise.