I was going through the same BS looking for an apartment in 2008 (and it took me 6 months to find a suitable place). I thought that this time, if I tried more upscale realtors and maybe since I was looking for a place that cost a little more, I wouldn't be lied to by scumbag realtors. I've been selective about who I CHOOSE to do business with. .... and it is business. I'm giving you my money. You are doing a service for me.
Kuwait can be biased and realtors can ask personal questions (and get away with it under the law). This includes stuff like marital status, religion, nationality, age, if you intend to have male visitors (hell-to-the-yes I am!) Whatever. It is a frickin free-for-all. They discriminate the MOST against single male Kuwaitis of all ages. That would suck. You're a professional guy who doesn't want to live with mommy and daddy anymore and no one will rent you an apartment in your own country.
The question I hate the most is, "Are you married?" Many places rent to families only. Let me 'splain something to you, Lucy.... children are not your best bet in renting an apartment. My dogs aren't going to use crayons on your walls or tear out your lighting fixtures or scream all night. They don't bark and no one sees them. Being married doesn't make you a better person (it just gives you the opportunity to pile more shoes in front of the door and in the hallway). Your "family" status doesn't either (and go to any party in Kuwait and see how many married people are cozied up - either they are hoochies or they are cozied up to hoochies, drink in hand, loud music playing). Being married is not a quantifier in my opinion.
So what is my standard answer when asked that question? 'I am a manager, not a prostitute.' and no - I am not going to provide you with a fake marriage certificate just to get me in the door. I'm not a liar either.
Be firm with realtors: "I am NOT married. I have dogs. I want an apartment for X amount of money." If you can help me, I will pay you. If you can't help me and have already formed an opinion of me based on marital status or pet ownership, stop calling me. There are enough realtors out there who CAN and WILL help. (And I'm going to list them on another post with explanations of why I like them.)
Ok, so here is what happened to piss me off (this time - shut up!):
I had friends call realtors (cause I got sick of the stupid questions/answers). They gave them my requirements (in Arabic, English, Farsi - whateverthefuck they wanted to hear). My friends pre-qualified the realtors, in effect.
So, one seemingly nice man showed me the perfect place - a basement apartment, 3 bedrooms, same rent, run on the side for the dogs, private entrance with shaded car parking right above. Perfect. Dogs? No problem at all! Dogs seriously? No problem! You can even put gates here and there so that they can play outside. I was happy and already planning the decor and how to fit my furniture. Happy, happy, happy. BFF was beaming from ear-to-ear. All good.
The contract was ready even before I provided all the necessary documents. The mandoob came to my office so I could sign it. All good so far. So I had someone translate the contract to me (it was only in Arabic). I told the mandoob, "You know I have 2 dogs, right? Is it in the contract?" Mandoob: No dogs, madame! Not allowed. He called the owning company immediately and they verified. No dogs. I called the realtor and he literally shouted at me, "Why did you TELL them that?! Why did you tell them you have dogs?!" Huuuuuh? Maybe because YOU didn't, a-hole.
Why are people dishonest? I don't get it. It is so easy to be honest and you don't have to remember your lies or feel guilty (not that dishonest people would) about them. (I complain about this all the time and I think it is something that most inherently honest people are befuddled by.)
Disclaimer: To say that I don't lie is a lie. I do lie, but little lies. However, not even to the extent of saying, 'Of course not!' when my sister or BFF throws something at me like, "Does this make my ass look big?" Sorry, but your ass looks big. (But then, I'm not going to go on and tell them that, 'It doesn't matter what you put on because well, you have a big ass.') Big asses ARE in fashion though, right? Especially in PuertoRicoKuwait where it is Land O' Ass.
... I digress....Sorry
Next little ditty about dogs and apartments (not asses, sorry again.)
A Kuwaiti home owner advertises his basement apartment in Bayan. It is frick-in BAgorgeous! (Cribs - Kuwait) Marble, elegant fixtures. Price is eh... ok, but for what you get it is fine. I'm in love. He also advertises "No realtors/commission. Deal with owner." So I call him. Dude is "hmming, emmmming" about the dogs. He's also talking to friends at the same time he's talking to me (why list your number if you don't want to do business - or just call me back dude?) He said he has a dog, but he knows dogs bark. (I could counter with "that's because you haven't trained him properly and your kids probably scream too... but I don't... think pretty apartment....) He's not too convinced and tells me to go see the place. Having been traumatized recently on this very subject from Assmonkeys from Hell in Rumaithiya, I decide not to look at the apartment. The following week, I see the same apartment listed with a realtor on their site. I decide to call the realtor and ask him to negotiate on my behalf with the owner (and I provide the name and phone number of the owner and tell realtor that I don't HAVE to pay his commission by phoning him/realtor but that I am willing to pay him to negotiate on my behalf). About thirty minutes later, realtor calls me and says, "He doesn't want dogs." Well yeah - no shit. But I thought you would have at least tried.
So now I want the Bayan apartment. It is stuck in my head. I send what amounts to a 3 page typed SMS via Whatsapp to home owner, complete with my LinkedIn bio link, and the promise of references - personal and professional - from high places to low places. (Hey - worth a try, right?) I notice that dude has a photo of himself on WhatsApp with what? A little dog - looks like a Pomeranian. Ok, now I get it. A "yap dog". They yap. Its what they do. Little dogs often make better watch dogs for that reason. You want a dog to silently bite a thief's arm off? Choose a big dog (like a German Shepherd or a Rottie).
Why don't SOME dog owners understand dogs? Sigh.
You want the best dog to guard your farm and wake you up when any intruder large or small comes in? It's actually not a dog, but a peacock. Best warning systems ever. Better than motion detectors; Those bitches scream their heads off at any little thing - and they're so pretty! (Wait... that reminds me of some girls I know.... stop it, Desert Girl. Bad, bad, bad!)
I've seen a LOT of apartments and heard a lot of BS advice from people. "You'll never find a place that will accept dogs. Moslems don't like dogs." Bullshit. "You'll never find an apartment in your price range (600KD). Most good places start at 700." Bullshit. I've seen apartments that are willing to rent to pet owners (and GOOD realtors like Zamina/Comfort Real Estate will place ads that specifically state "Pet Friendly" so you don't have to ask and feel bad when they say, "No". I've also seen some nice ones around 450 KD (which is what I was previously paying). They are out there. You have to HUNT and be willing to work for it (and maybe have time).
What I do NOT want:
- An apartment for upwards of 600.
- An apartment where the owner lives in the same house OR right next door (been there, done that).
- An apartment where the owner talks to or looks at me suspiciously (refer to the "I'm not a prostitute" above).
What I DO want:
- Pet friendly (2 dogs - a German Shepherd and a Maltese/Poodle - blind/deaf)
- Single-woman friendly
- 600 KD and below
- 2-3 bedrooms
- Prefer a ground floor with a yard or a basement with a yard area
- Areas: Rumaithiya, Bayan, Salwa, Mishref, New Messila, or Abu Alhassania
Anyways, that's all the griping I'm going to do for today. Really.