So after the anti-climatic real estate journey of 2018 (okay, maybe I’m being dramatic here) but remember I don’t have a job and we were kinda of counting on having a place pretty soon (because, you know – the sooner we lease, the sooner we fit out and the sooner we can start trading .. yay!).
So back to the drawing board we went, namely, every commercial real estate website with listing in the Wallsend area. Many places got lost through my filters for a number of reasons (some were on the second floor, some were huuuuge and some I’d have to sell at least three organs to cover rent each month) but there were a couple that got through and in a time of desperation, I really didn’t have anything to lose.
I found this little place in an awesome spot, with really reasonable rent. The only thing was, it was listed as a ‘storage unit’ but the place had a huge blue roller-door and backed onto a large public carpark. Both very cool features for a cafe. So while I was still slightly skeptical, I told my sister and showed her some of the photos (which honestly left a lot to be desired!) and Kate said, “maybe they just haven’t looked at it through a dreamers perspective” .. and there it was! That was enough motivation for me to put my literal grown-up pants on and meet the new real estate agent, who was absolutely lovely!
She reconfirmed that we wanted a cafe space and warned me that this place may not be suitable, I assured her it’d be fine (quietly confident with my new dreamer goggles on, thanks Kate) and we went in .. well, actually it was more of a duck-and-squeeze through the door kinda job. Which set a pretty fair precedent for the rest of the viewing — the place wasn’t just a storage shed, it was an old run down house, complete with holes in the walls, black-filled bathtub and a kitchen with miscellaneous poop throughout. Totally disgusting. The thought of storing, selling and serving food from this place actually made me feel ill. It is safe to say, no rose-coloured dreamer goggles was going to save this place in my eyes!
But there is always (usually) a silver lining; I got talking to my new friend Sam the Agent and bonded with her about our mutual feelings of vulnerability and lack of safety in the scary storage house – I asked her if she had any other places that might be suitable (even though I had already sussed out every one of her listings on the website) and she told me that actually, one of her tenants had left the country with no notice and hasn’t paid rent in eight weeks, they were taking the case to tribunal in a week or so, and if the tenant didn’t show up, the keys would get changed immediately… Verrrrry interesting!!!
While we would never wish for someone to lose their lease or be mistreated by a landlord – if this lady does is, for some reason, living her best life overseas and doesn’t want her shop anymore – Sam the Agent said it would be a win-win to not put the property back on the market and would prefer to have the lease reviewed, edited and resigned by us! Potential miracle in the works?!
Watch this space..