Reflections…on Room hunt in Fort Mac

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Ever heard of the intensity of house-hunting (more than house snatching) at Fort McMurray? Well, the following is a condensed “Dummy 101 House/Room Rental Guide” for prospective settlers in hopes of increasing efficacy of this gruesome process. For those who have never set foot in Fort Mac (local abbrev. for Fort McMurray), I present you unbiased advises extracted from a young metropolitan’s experience, which was hardly the Alice in Wonderland type of story, more like Alice in Iceland if you know what I mean. I assure you that this writing took vigorous cerebral processing, so it’s def a worthwhile read and I hope this may benefit you someday, that is if you ever get the chance of making it to Iceland 🙂

Advice #1: Be Honest and ask important questions right away.

Be upfront honest with the subletter or whoever that’s responsible for the room/house rental. Ask if you stand a chance in getting the room/house/apartment. Some renters sublet on a ‘first come first serve’ basis, whereas others may not be the case. If you learned that the subletter rents at a ‘first-come-first-serve’, don’t bother with the place anymore because you know chances are, you are not on the top of the list and you have less than 10% of getting the place because usually decent places get snatched up at lightening speed. There are renters who walk around with a checkbook and ready to give one-year worth of rent right on the spot. This advice advocates energy and time consumption, which are crucial when you have less than a week’s time to find a rental place on your own.

Advice #2: Have at least one friend/friend’s friend in town.

In case anything goes wrong, you would always have the alternative of turning to that local friend for help. Do not be afraid to turn away from scamming population, because that local friend will be behind you and ‘catch’ you when you ‘fall’ (not literally of course, slip-and-fall on ice depends on one’s height and weight, it’s good to be short and average built in this case because you get less impact force 🙂 excuse my inaccurate use physic terms I’m a biologist 🙂

Advice #3: 95% lease/rental starts at the beginning of the month.

Try your best to arrive at the end of the month and contact potential room/house/apartment rentals ahead of time, or have the local friend check out the place for you ahead of time so you can at least have a place to stay for one month (temporary or not pending on personal preference) while search for the next best thing. Most places do not require long-term rental.

Advice #4: Do not bargain. Renters are always the underlings

Fort Mac is not the place for bargains. Prices are outrageous, but resistance force does not exist because of the high turnover of new comers i.e. renters who come and go after getting what they want from the city, let it be monetary gain or great work experience (to enrich the c.v.).

Advice #5: Do not be afraid of downtown housing. Just do not stay out late at night.

Do enjoy life and make friends at Fort Mac. Take advantage of local entertainments e.g. bars and grills, local hockey games. Fort Mac has a vibrant theater culture, which has prominent financial backings. Do no be surprised to see celebrities make friendly visits to the city because of $$$ that the city’s willing to pay.

With all that’s said, had it not been for God’s sufficient grace, I would have never dreamed I can find a great place to live starting March less than a week. Without God’s help, I could not have been on top of over a dozen of potential renters whom all lined up for that one particular place. A huge thanks for all those who interceded for me. Never can one underestimate the power of prayer! What a comforting thought that I’m being loved and cared for by so many back home. Thank you, local Christian friends who took me under their wings without hesitation. Their loving kindness reflects their upholding faith in Christ.

Faith, simple yet profound word, underlines one of the most treasured qualities regarded by God. Abraham, the father of faith, led a life of trusting God. Took a great leap of faith at seventy-five years of age (Gen 12:7) when he moved his entire household from a bountiful land, Haran, to land of Canaan–the Promised land by God. Though the journey was according to God’s Will, it was not always smooth sailing. Abraham encountered difficulties and danger as he made way to the Promised land. His attempt to solve issues by his own intelligence lead to the aggravation of the situations. However God, being the ever so Merciful One, took each of these opportunities to educate Abraham to rely on Him in uneventful circumstances. This unchanging God preached the same message thousands of years later, during New Testament time as God in flesh, aka Jesus. He told his beloved followers to “Come to [Him], all [those] who labor and are heavy laden, and [He] will give [them] rest.”(Matt 11:28) Likewise, when many strive according to God’s Will today, expect no shortage of boulders up ahead. One comforting thought is that unlike Napoleon who will eventually meet his end at Waterloo, we faithful sons of God will not ever experience such because God abides with us every step of the way. Fear not little ones, just have faith!!

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