Update – November 8th

So I spent Sunday doing mostly nothing — except sending in the last of the apartment applications, which at one point included sending a $17 fax as one of the applications needed to be faxed and my online fax service was having trouble sending things to Australia. That was a 17-page fax, at a dollar per page. Which was the cheapest option in the area, including my hotel which was $2 per page! Such outdated technology.

Anyways, I’m glad I spent the money, because I got a call first thing this morning from the estate agent that that one went to saying everything looked in order and, half an hour later, a return call saying I could come tomorrow (Tuesday) to sign the lease.

I needed to get a bank cheque (similar to a bank draft in Canada) or money order to make the first payment… I opted for the former. I knew that Westpac bank had an agreement with Scotiabank in Canada to allow use of their ATM network for no fee (on either end of the transaction) so I went there to get one. Unfortunately, that’s as far as the agreement goes. The only way to get the bank cheque was to withdraw cash from the ATM and bring it into the branch… after multiple attempts to withdraw even part of the money I needed from my account, I got locked out of my Scotiabank debit card altogether, and determined that my Meridian Credit Union daily limit is easily under $500 (at which point it was hardly worth even trying to withdraw cash!) The alternative to get the bank cheque was to do a cash advance on my credit card – which the bank could do. I can’t wait to find out how much of a service charge MBNA will levy – hopefully it’s minimal and they’re just happy to charge me interest. Fingers crossed on that one. Anyways, I now have the needed bank draft (after a $10 service fee from the bank!), as well as a chequing and savings account from the bank – most shocking was that, besides being free of service charges, the savings account gives 5% interest! 5%!! In this economy!!! Even the best of the best savings accounts in Canada give slightly more than 2%! It’s crazy. The guy who set up the account told me their loans, though, are at like 8% prime rate – so I guess it’s not THAT weird. But still.

Anyways, so the update is that there’s not really an update I guess — I tentatively have a place, but will be much more comfortable and certain once I have the keys in my hand! Which will hopefully happen around 2 PM tomorrow!!!

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