Finding an apartment was a great experience, and I should note the trip also happened to be your mom’s first time to Mumbai. I know, she’s amazing, right?
My company paired us up with a gentleman named Vaibhav (“Way-Bo”) to assist us in navigating our apartment viewings. I know what you’re thinking, and yes, this was exactly like House Hunters International (I pray you know what this is). We even went to Starbucks after the viewings to discuss our pro’s and con’s list, pricing, and our budget before making our decision.
Before starting, we knew that we’d likely be in the Powai area of Mumbai due to the open spaces, sidewalks, distance to my office, and the Starbucks (Just kidding….but not really 😜). Over the course of 4 hours we looked at a dozen or so apartments all across Powai. The apartments were 3 and 4 bedrooms and approximately 2,600 sq ft.
As you can imagine, space in Mumbai is limited and apartments clearly reflect the day to day living mentality. Refrigerators, washers, dryers, and storage areas are all much smaller than you’ll find in the US.
We short listed three buildings; Odyssey, Somerset, and Adonia.
The Odyssey building is located in the north east portion of Powai and was around 10-15 years old at the time. The apartment complex had a pool, gym, plenty of space, and the lowest price. I didn’t think you’d be able to tell the age, but after viewing all the apartments, we definitely noticed this apartment had a much more closed layout. We worried that the apartment was so compartmentalized that you kids wouldn’t have space to play inside. i.e. run around screaming when it’s been raining all weekend and we couldn’t get outside. Ultimately this was why we leaned towards the other two buildings.
Somerset is located right in the heart of the western type business area of Powai. Right across the street are the primary grocery stores, Haiko & D-Mart, and is a short walk from restaurants like Sigree, Chilli’s, Pizza Express, and Dunkin Donuts. We felt the location was awesome.
The layout of the apartment was open with tons of windows to allow for natural lighting – exactly what we were looking for in our new home. The day before we did our viewings, we visited an ASB parent, Carrie, in the Richmond building where we fell in love with the open layout, and these apartments were very similar to Richmond.
The Adonia building was brand new, and had only 7 occupants in the entire building when we looked at it. The ‘newness’ of this building was very appealing. We viewed a model flat on the 10th floor and were told that if we decided to put an apartment under contract we could pick the floor and they would complete the finishes prior to our move. The idea of us counting on the construction getting complete in around a month made us nervous.
The building had the best amenities – theoretically. I say theoretically because the pool, air conditioned lobby, and cafe were all still under construction when we visited. Since our assignment was three years, these items being under construction didn’t really bother us too much. They told us the amenities would be completed in 2-3 months, but even if they took 6 months we’d still get to enjoy them during our stay. As of the time we posted this, 3 months later, our friends in the building say that their flats were finished in the promised time frame, however those amenities are still under construction with no evidence of progress.
A unique characteristic of the Andonia building is that it was completely owned by the developer who built the building. We learned that typically a developer will build a building and then sell off the flats to individual owners to either occupy or rent out. What we found was negotiating with an owner is much more flexible than negotiating directly with a developer. We asked for a few items in our offer and all of them were rejected…no counter, just rejected. In a culture where negotiating is more the norm, we ultimately felt this reduced customer service for the tenant. For this reason, we did not select Adonia.
In the end we selected Somerset, and we hope you loved it.
Love, Mom & Dad