With each and every door that closes behind you, every “We’ll be in touch…”, every painfully slow bus back to your bunk-bed in the 16-person shared room at your hostel in the arse-end of Crumlin, a tiny piece of your spirit is chipped away, leaving behind you a breadcrumb trail of disappointment that leads all the way back to the airport.
Sound familiar? Of course it does; anybody who has ever been ‘fresh off the boat’ in Dublin’s fair city will know that trying to find a place to live can be like trying to find a polar bear in a snowstorm.
Daft.ie, the property website, says that on average, it receives 1,000 searches every minute, with Dublin by far the most popular area searched. So that should give you some idea of what you’re up against, even if the 150 comments at the bottom of every Facebook post doesn’t.
So here’s a few tips for your next viewing; turn up on time, bring your deposit with you, and whatever you do, don’t be fussy! Rooms aren’t exactly growing on trees at the moment, you know?
That’s the do’s out of the way, now here’s a list of don’ts…
Things not to say at a house viewing-
“You wouldn’t lend me a fiver now, would you?” – Being ‘between jobs’ isn’t going to help pay the rent. Try to avoid any mention of money problems if you can. In fact, if you can pass as a doctor, architect, or lawyer, and come up with a good reason why you really want to share a room with four other people in an unfurnished flat in Tallaght, that would really help.
“The guys in my last place were a right set of ####s” – They might well have been, but if you didn’t get on with your last house mates, who’s to say you’ll get on with your new ones? There is the quiet implication that actually, it’s you who is difficult to live with.
“No speak Inglés” – This might sound a little bit obvious, but all joking aside, people do turn up at doorsteps and try to negotiate the rent with Swahili and hand gestures. Nobody is asking you to learn Gaelic, but unless all your potential housemates are also your fellow countrymen, a basic grasp of English would go a long way.
“Not so loud, mate, this hangover is killing me” – Try to avoid giving the impression that you like to hit the town hard on a regular basis. You might be a fun-loving, night-owl kind of person, but your flat mates might not be, and the idea of you staggering in at 3am every night and waking them up might not sit well with them.
“Swipe right…” – We’ve all been in the dating game at some point, and your housemates are no different, but try to leave it out of conversation. The idea of you bringing home strangers for a night of drunken passion might be enough to put them right off you. Trying not to hit on the house’s inhabitants might be a good idea as well.
“You smell delicious” – Try to avoid saying anything weird or creepy, for that matter. If you do happen to enjoy chopping people up at weekends, just try to smile politely and keep the talk to a minimum until you’ve got your foot in the door. And then be as creepy as you can, so they won’t dare to try and throw you out.
If you’re currently searching for somewhere to live in Dublin, you’ve no doubt tried most of the websites and Facebook pages out there, but here’s a list anyway, just in case you’ve missed one.
There’s also a list of alternative options, such as AirBnBs, hostels, and long term holiday letting websites. Finding a place can be tough, so try to keep all of your options open.