Apartment Hunting in Moscow

1997 > Russia

If you wanna find a place in Moscow, get ready to search

Me, Ann, and Andrey

The Crew: Me Ann, Andrey

I love the unique apartment design replicated all over Russia
What I don’t want: Suburbia

The junk I had to deal with

Life like a Russian

A little New York on the Moskva

Now this is living!
Since I am no longer a Peace Corps Volunteer, I have to find my own accommodation in this city. Apartment hunting in any city is a pain, but in Moscow the language, snow, and arcane city departments compound the problem.

Luckily I met with a few expats who were in the know and now I have a room in a group house here. The location is great, just of Novi Arbat in downtown Moscow, the room is amazingly large and full of joe-cool stuff, and the house is fun, but nothing like my old group house.

I live with an American who is doing an internship with a Russian marketing firm, a Russian who works at Kodak, and the landlady. We span the full language spectrum, from the only English Ameriakanka, to the only Russian landlady, with myself and Andrey falling in the middle.

Us kids, as Zhenya the landlady calls us, zip around the house when we get home from our respective jobs, trying to cook three meals at once. Sometimes we faze Zhenya so much in cooking our dinner that she eats her dinner standing in the corner watching us.

I plan on moving to a new apartment in the next two months. Rent is cheap here and all, but I want my own space, though I do want a flatmate. I think living alone, especially in this city, would be painfully lonely. Hell, I’m lonely now, and I live with three other people! Strangely enough, the tax laws here encourage renting. My rental payments for my apartment are considered tax-free allowances from my work, so I can get a bit of relief from the 35% tax rate.

I would like to live in the center of Moscow, inside the Ring Line of the metro, but within walking distance of a stop on the same line as my work. Yeah, location, location, location! I also want what is called a three room apartment here. They count all the rooms you can sleep in, unlike just the bedrooms in America. Here a three room apartment is two bedrooms and a living room. The assumption that a living room is standard does not apply to the largest country in the world, because of the persistent housing shortage in the cities. There isn’t a furniture shortage though! All apartments come fully furnished because furniture is so expensive to move, and it was so cheap in Soviet times that people never take it with them to their new apartments.

Today I looked at a beautiful furnished, two-room apartment, four trolleybus stops from my work. Unfortunately, the four stops are heading outside the city, past the Ring Line, not into the center. It would take me the same amount to time to get to work from there as it does here, and trolleybuses are not warm like the metro. The renters heartened me though. They are a Russian family who bought the apartment and are now trying to rent it out to make a buck. Rental property investments are a sign that people believe in the stability of the government and the economy.

Thursday I will look at the apartment of the guy who lived in my room before me. I wonder if he moved up from this place?

One Comment on “Apartment Hunting in Moscow

  1. How are doing out there,
    Barrister Malik Hammed,Am working with the Lek Agent Limited. With honour pledge,i write to your notice.We have two Contractor Client From,Hong-Kong.

    They are in-need of apartment.

    I am here by making an enquries of your apartment for them, They will be lodgin in your apartment for (3 weeks). They are Arriving soon. One of them has responde very well.
    Actually i will be adding some Profit and Gain,to your own asking Price,I bring to your notice that,They are ready to send payment on time for non
    My profit on this transaction will be sent back to me through Western-Union,Money Transfer.
    If you are ok with every thing,Kindly forward me your contact information;

    YOUR FULL NAME …………………..
    YOUR CITY ………………………
    YOUR STATE …………………
    YOUR ZIP CODE ……………………..

    To forward to my client,As soon as i receive your contact details,I assured you that the check payment will get to you soon.
    So please confirm this,for me to forward to him so that the payment will get to you on time.


    Barrister Malik Hammed.