Some time back I got to hear about more Norwegians who plan to move to Mumbai. They off course asked me all kind of questions regarding where they should stay, what is the right kind of flat and such. When I thought about this I kind of understood that after having lived here for some years and seen a number of flats, this is something I might know something about.
Regarding where to stay, I don’t want to be very biased. You can have a look at the map at the home page of Brannigan Relocation. I have only stayed in Powai, which to me is a really nice area. Maybe not the most happening place but it has some nice restaurants and is good for families. The only important recommendation I would like to give when it comes to location is that it should be close to where your office is. The traffic in Mumbai is quite awful, and I would recommend that you do whatever you can to minimize being in it.
So what should you look for when you choose your flat? Ok. Maybe I have to say something about location still. But not location for the sake of location. Flooding is one issue in Mumbai. So to stay in a place where you are likely to get flooding is a bad idea. Try to get your flat in a somewhat higher area. And if you end up in an area that might get flooded, you should try to avoid being at the first floor. Heat is another potential issue. I live at the 21st floor and there is no building next to mine that prevent the sun. During the summer season I must admit that it has been a bit warm. The sun comes in to the flat early in the morning, and it’s impossible for me to sleep even if I want to. Yes. I agree. Dark curtains would have helped. But it would maybe have made it even warmer? And the flat came fully furnished so I didn’t wanted to take the pain of buying new curtains or things like that.
The standard of the flats in Mumbai varies a lot. I’m might offend some Indians now, but I seriously think that they are not that good in maintenance. Or maybe it is the Norwegians who are particularly good in this? I have seen a number of flats that are in really bad shape. The landlord very happily tell me that they can easily get the flat repainted. Well, that’s fine. But repainting does not really cover the main big problems that might be with the flat.
If you like the flat to be fully furnished or not have to be a bit up to you. My first flat was completely empty and I had to buy all the furniture myself. That was a bit of a pain I must admit. Another friend of me also moved into an empty flat. She got a (quite huge) budget from the owner and was more than happy to furnish the flat. The flat I have now was fully furnished when I moved in, and I have been quite happy with that.
You should know that there are some different terms used in India compared with what we are used to in Norway. A 3 BHK have three bedrooms, while a “3-roms” in Norway will have two bedrooms. It is also common here that each bedroom come with a separate bathroom! This is convenient for bigger families which is common here in India. I would rather have preferred to have more space for living than for a bathroom, but well, that’s just me. It is also very common that things like wardrobe and such are built in the building as such. You might remember the guys who made my bed in my first flat? This make for a very efficient use of the flat. In India it is common to use gas for making of food. A stove like we are used to from Norway is very rare. People mostly use a microwave oven, while a normal Norwegian oven is not something you will very often see here.
Hope these advices can help you! If there is anything else you would like to know about housing in India, please do let me know.
Talk to you soon!