What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?
Name three things that you wish you had brought and three you wish you had left at home.
I wish I brought my vacuum cleaner as Mumbai is terribly dusty. Otherwise, I've been able to buy anything else I need. I wish I left all my oven cookware behind as ovens don't come with flats. It is an appliance I'm not willing to buy.
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What advice would you give someone preparing to move to your area about the actual move, choosing a neighborhood and finding a home?
The best advice was to bring a great mattress; Indian mattress are not like ones at home. Bring your vacuum cleaner; I have a Kirby so it really hurts that I left it behind. Choose a very good moving company; I thought mine did ok until I heard war stories from other expats (I did send an apology). Get your PAN card ASAP; you can't sign a lease agreement without one. Be very clear to what you want and make sure the settling in people stick to your guidelines as they will waste your time showing things that don't fit; I knew what was on the boat and needed 4 bedrooms and they kept showing us 3 bedroom flats. I knew that I wanted to be close to Indian culture without sacrificing access to expat shopping. I did not want my husband and children to spend more than one hour on commuting. Ask Indians for advice; so many freely helped us navigate the waters. They were our saving grace.
What type of housing do you live in? Is this typical for most expats in your area?
We live in 2000 sq ft, flat; 4 bedroom that 3 bedrooms have 2 floor to ceiling wall closets; 5 bathrooms as the smallest is for the maid; 3 patios with 2 small patios attached to 2 bedrooms. The kitchen is small with one sink and a built in stove and a patio for the washing machine. I had to buy the refrigerator. I have a storage room with shelves. I have wall sliding glass doors in 2 bedrooms and the living room, and large window in the dining area, giving the place lots of light, and unfortunately, heat. We have an AC unit in each bedroom and living room. It is smaller than most expats' homes. They tend to live in much larger flats.
How did you choose your neighborhood and find your home or apartment?
We live in Powai; I chose the area by finding the middle spot on the map between my husband's office commute and my kids' school bus ride.
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Are your housing costs higher or lower than they were in your home country? What is the average cost of housing there?
Lower than home. My area is around 1 lac; we pay less than most expats in Powai, and much more than most Indians. Our electrical bill is much lower than expats, but have my Indian friends falling over in shock.