Rental wish list

Remember, I share a post about things I’d like in my future home?  Well, now that I’m looking for a rental, some of these might be ‘for real’ soon enough.  Though I think the fireplace is highly unlikely in inner city Sydney apartments…

quirky apartment features
From top right: out of our price range, quirky and a building I almost bought in, sunshine, and a potential cross breeze

Here’s the list I drafted with the BF

  • sunshine: my dark loft is just too dark.  Sunshine makes me happy
  • train station proximity: we both prefer trains to buses, and my work is on a train line
  • 2 bed or 1 bed + study: the premise for moving from my place to our place is to gain some space (or a location I can escape the snoring!)
  • crazy: the bf’s way of saying x-factor or character.  Something that makes the place better than ordinary
  • car space: the bf’s car is lovely, and street side parking has already resulted in some damage
  • grocery adjacent: given how good I’ve got it now, I know I’m unlikely to enjoy such an easy walk to all the shops!
  • secure: my current neighbourhood isn’t known for it’s safety!  The bf wants to be sure we feel safe
  • storage: I’m used to a full height pantry AND a linen closet, and then a storage niche.  I’d like to be sure I can relocate all these items easily into a new place
  • big kitchen: we currently trip over one another when cooking in his U shaped kitchen, so it’d be great to have something more open
  • cross breeze: the bf’s rental had a great summer cross breeze, that beats any fan.  I don’t like the chances of finding the same again, but it’s something to be mindful of.  And I would love a bathroom with a window, but realise they are uncommon in inner city apartments
  • air conditioning: I think that snuck onto the list when I wasn’t looking. Tut tut.  And we’d talked about double fans (when we combine ‘stuff’)
  • easy to move in/out: yeah, no body loves moving, but this isn’t our ‘forever’ home.  If it’s easy to move into, it’s easy to bring groceries home…

The bold options are the non negotiables and a starting point.  The rest will act as a guide.  But, guiding as they may be, places go FAST in Sydney, so we might need to up our ante. I started looking on Monday morning, and when I called Tuesday morning, the place had two offers and they wouldn’t consider more applications, or show it again.  Talk about fast! They didn’t even list an inspection time online (which is usual).  Anyhow, I did ring her, offer to drink with her (it was in context) and otherwise befriend her – cause there’s no harm in building rapport!

This was going to be the end of the post, but then we looked at two properties (one is pictured above). Both are in warehouse conversions, but in neighbouring suburbs.  Both happened to be on the building’s top floor (3rd or 4th story, not super high) For my thought process, I’ll share these with you:

Daytime property viewing


  • lots of light, especially downstairs
  • good kitchen storage & gas cooktop!
  • a linen closet!
  • a block to the train (and opposite my close friend’s house)
  • 2 bathrooms
  • both bathrooms have windows (light + ventilation)
  • exposed wooden beams upstairs in the bedrooms and bathroom
  • beautiful wooden stairs and entry
  • vacant – could move in anytime
  • air conditioner in the bedroom
  • cross breeze possible downstairs
  • within our discussed budget


  • midget sized wardrobes – due to
  • sloping rooflines
  • small bedrooms
  • a bit of a walk to grocery store
  • no window coverings
  • no power, so couldn’t check light fittings (known to be bad in this building)

Evening property viewing


  • HUGE generally
  • new kitchen with drawers
  • new bathroom
  • more wardrobes than I could imagine ever needing
  • new wooden floors in living areas
  • warehouse conversion
  • close walk to a shopping centre
  • lovely leafy neighbourhood (I’ve always said ‘I want to live here’)


  • just ‘a bit too far’ to the train station
  • may be dark (we’ll go back for a daytime viewing)
  • priced a little higher than we budgeted (but not above what we could afford)
  • small bathroom
  • no dryer provided (yet)
  • difficult to access washing machine taps (just a one time bother)
  • carspace less safe
  • small bedroom windows

So which way will we go? Or will we abandon both and look at some more?  Either way, I’m sure to share photos of my new home in due course!  Oh, and pick which one you think I prefer…

24 Replies to “Rental wish list”

  1. I like the one pictured on the top right….but I like the outdoor space on the bottom left.

    I look at rentals all the time. I'm with you on a place to get away. I'm the heaviest sleeper in the world and if you wake me…god help you, you have a problem.

    Thanks for sharing your wish list and pictures. Can't wait to see where you guys end up.

    1. The top right is one of the two places listed about in the second half… 🙂 I'm excited about making a new place my home, but scared I might clutter it up

  2. Oh, I remember how hard it is to get a rental in Sydney! Both times we virtually put in a CV to support our applications. You should have a great advantage as an existing property owner, though (our real estate agent acted as a referee for the condition we kept our existing house in.)

    I would have thought your preference was the "daytime" viewing?? 🙂

    1. Oh yeah it's a fight, that's for sure, it felt easier to buy than all this paperwork! I am tempted to write 'look at my blog, if I was a bad owner/tenant, I'd hardly put every picture of every nook and cranny online', but then I'm not sure they need to see that I weigh my rubbish either…

      I'll get back to you after some more votes!

  3. Side note on the apartment with potential electrical issues…our Sydney apartment had no free-to-air TV reception! We were not told prior to leasing, so then we had to get Fox$tel. Added about $100 to the monthly lease. Don't know if this is common but might be worth checking!

    1. Very good advice! Yeah, those sorts of things are hard to tell in vacant places… though vacant places make it easy to see how things would work with your stuff. Hrmmm

  4. I'm snickering that you were reading my post while I was reading yours, lol.

    As for which place you'll choose, that's a tough one. I think the one you have the picture of is the second one, but my gut is leaning towards the first. It has a lot of your wants, and it sounds like it hits two of your three needs better than the second one does.

    1. OOooo I'm tallying the votes… I did try to objectively weigh up all the pros and cons (and seeing it in writing beats the circles the conversation with the BF go in!).

      Yes, cross blog reading is spooky – it happens a lot with Lois at Living Simply Free (she's such a night owl, which is Aust's work time!)

          1. Poorly. That's about the only way I can sum up how I handle it. I've been contemplating writing a post about it.

  5. My opinion, for what it is worth – is that people spend too much time and money on their bedroom. At the end of the day (literally) you go into the room when it is dark and sleep. So the size, view and light is really irrelavant. Make the location, living areas and kitchen more a priority.

    1. You're right Claire! I won't repeat what the bf said about bedrooms when I read him your comment. Having a split level now makes me realise how little time I spend in the bedroom upstairs!

  6. I am betting you prefer the place you saw in the daytime because it has more of your non-negotiable list items? Like you, if I found a more spacious place, I'd be afraid of filling it up!

    1. Oh all votes are for the first place so far! I can tell you it's not the bf's preferred option. Truth be told, I'm coming around on the second property though.

  7. We have very similar wish lists! Top of my list is proximity to train station and grocery shops, second is light living area/view.

    1. Aww I think they are 'basics' for a nice place to be worth renting. It also helps to narrow things down. Can't wait to hear about your seaside abode

  8. Sarah, the one thing I wish I had in my place is a cross breeze. From your description I like the sounds of the first one, closets aren't a huge need of mine but I would take a small bedroom if it had a closet to store clothes and save on the need for a dresser.

    I know nothing about the rental business in Sydney, but it sounds like a headache.

    1. Oh a dresser – not a term I entirely know how to translate into Aussie English! But I get what you mean – built in furniture is often easier than removable pieces. The place we're put an offer in on was the second place (I say offer as we're trying to negotiate on the rent against the move in date – it's currently vacant, so we'll move in immediately for a lower rent, or in two weeks for the listed rent).

      Sydney rentals are a little headachy, but hopefully it'll be over soon – there's not a huge demand at the moment, and supply is good (ie, lots of places sitting empty, rather than everyone moving in and out side by side).

      1. I am surprised you put an offer on the one that was missing one of the most important items on your wish list, the access to the train. I hope your hunt is over and you can move in without any problems.

        1. The train is just a little further away than this lazy bones would like! But it'll be good for me to walk more. Hope to hear within 24 hours (from now) if we're successful

  9. They all look really nice from the pictures! You would hate my basement apartment then – the lighting is pretty bad unless the sun is hitting directly into the windows. I didn't think it would bother me as I always had the shades drawn at my parents house, but I'm starting to slightly dislike it. Plus, bigger windows would be nice for a breeze, and my cats would enjoy the view.

    Safety was VERY important to me when looking at apartments. If I got a creepy vibe from an area I crossed it off immediately. Storage was also really important because I need a big closet for my clothes, and I didn't want to share :). I got at least 3/4 of our current closet so that's okay. We have plenty of cabinets in the kitchen (which is also a good size), but only one tiny storage closet for misc. items. I wish we had a bit more, but it helps to keep down the clutter.

    Apartments went quickly here as well. Most places we looked at wanted to make a decision within two days. It was a lot of pressure and kind of stressful! Good luck!

    1. I Wouldn't hate your basement apartment! I just wouldn't feel as 're-energised' from the sun's lovely rays! I live in a dark place now… And sun almost NEVER hits the windows 🙁

      Safety's not a huge consideration for me, which is interesting cause I have lived alone for a year and a half in one of the worst Sydney suburbs (by reputation more than things happening I think!). We'll have ample storage for clothes in this place – I'm scared I'll go nuts and fill it up or cull less often. Ruin my good habits!

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