On Saturday, May 18, 2019, we drove back to Charlotte; we went to the leasing office, where we finally got the contract. We had to read and sign it on the spot. (It was about 45 pages.) We paid what we had to pay. Then we finally went to our apartment. We got the apartment key and finally entered our unit! We still liked the apartment as much as it first appeared, and although we knew it was empty, it was a shocking feeling that there was really nothing inside. A fridge, a dishwasher, a washing machine, and a dryer in the apartment are definitely an advantage. There are also cabinets in the bathroom, but that's all.
We still had the rental car that day - since we didn't have our own yet - so we took advantage of the situation and quickly drove to Ikea.
We couldn't buy the larger pieces of furniture because they didn't fit in the car. These were ordered online a few days later. For the first two weeks, we slept on the floor (it was bloody uncomfortable as we didn't even have a mattress…). But we didn't have a chair to sit on either.
We ordered furniture from IKEA. At first, everything was fine, except that the couch had a defect. We reported this to IKEA, but the exchange didn't go so smoothly anymore.
They kept calling us multiple times to make an appointment, but even if we made an appointment 10 times, they still couldn't get everything right. So it wasn't easy to gain everything. We also complained about it but haven't received any answer yet.
IKEA exchanged all defective products without a word, only their carrier is not the most suitable!
Internet was hooked up on Sunday (May 19), with us inquiring about possibilities on Saturday. We wanted the internet asap, but we really didn't expect it to be solved the next day. We were lucky with that.
We asked for our boxes for Monday the 20th. As agreed, the suppliers also came, and everything went well.
North Carolina's exclusive electricity supplier is Duke Energy. Before moving in, we had to give the leasing office the customer ID the electricity supplier gave us. As such, Csibi had already contacted the service provider while we were in Charleston. They asked for the necessary information (name, address, move-in date) and then emailed further instructions. We had to register on their website and leave a deposit of 200 USD (this was necessary as we hadn't had any contact with them yet). After registration, we received the customer number. Everything went well, and it was much easier than we expected, much easier and faster than in Hungary.
The meter reading does not have to be reported regularly anyway; the electricity provider is up to date on the consumption. (We also access the data through their app.)
In Charlotte, you only have to sign a contract with the water company if you own real estate. Therefore, the processing is carried out for us by the apartment complex.
Everyone has a single trash can (13 gallons) that can be left outside the door from 5pm to 8pm every day from Sunday through Thursday. Your trash must be in a trash bag, tied up and not torn, or it won't be disposed of. Anyone can take their bag to the main container if necessary. Still, it should also be thrown into the container in a rubbish bag. Not many people take this opportunity because all are very convenient.
The mailbox is a mystery because it has nothing to do with the apartment number. We do not know how the postman knows which mailbox to use. We have a theory, but it hasn't been proven yet.
In addition to the mailbox, there is also a parcel locker machine. Anything that doesn't ship via USPS (FedEx, UPS, Amazon Prime, etc.) will be put away in this machine.
Mail carriers and couriers come several times a day, but also at weekends.
A bit about the costs:
- The rent is around $1600/month.
The additional costs:
- Valet trash and pest control: $33/month
- Electricity: consumption-dependent, of course. The air conditioner consumes the most. We use it not that much as we didn't have air conditioning in Hungary, so we're not used to it. The heater also runs on electricity, but we don't know how much it will be. Currently, the monthly bill ranges between $35 and $75/month.
- Water: ~ $35/month
- Internet: $45/month (for the first year, Spectrum, 200 Mbit/s)
- Renters insurance: ~$180/year (Geico)
Since then, the apartment has been laboriously furnished. We love living here!