MEET THE LOCALS: Adam Thompson, Rhylea Millar and their tibetan spaniel, Trevor.
MEET THE LOCALS: Adam Thompson, Rhylea Millar and their tibetan spaniel, Trevor. Contributed

NewsMail reporter shares stressful journey to find a rental

MOVING to Bundaberg to start my journalism career was a dream come true.

Little did I know the biggest hurdle would be finding a rental property that would accommodate my partner and I and our cheeky little dog, Trevor.

Figures out today by the Queensland Market Monitor indicates that vacancy rates in Bundaberg have increased by 1.1 per cent, with 248 new bonds paid during the March quarter for a 3-bedroom unit.

Despite these promising results, it's somewhat at odds with my personal experience.

Maybe I should have hired a PI to help me find a place?

It was an early morning when I received the phone call offering me an exciting job opportunity and I recall jumping up and down and squealing, still dressed in my flannelette pyjamas.

Once I could contain my excitement and realign my focus, we began hunting for somewhere to call our new home.

After two-and-a-half weeks of calling every real estate agency in town and sending an application for the "new" listings, I had actually memorised the rejection.

"Unfortunately this property is no longer available to rent, as a successful applicant has been found to move in."

We contemplated every idea, all of which we determined were unfeasible.

Committing to a long-distance relationship was not an option for us, as different schedules and working full-time would likely put a strain on our relationship.

We inspected a beautiful property at Woodgate Beach but could not justify the cost of fuel and lengthy commute.

Obtaining a loan and buying a caravan was another thought, but there was no availability at the local sites, half of which were dedicated to tourists solely anyway.

The stress of finding a rental consumed me. I would wake up throughout the night in a hazy state and frantically refresh the listings page.

When one night, I found a retirement village advertising openings. I wrote a lengthy email to the manager, practically begging for a place to stay and did not expect to receive a response.

She must have sensed my desperation and sympathised with the situation, as she called days later and offered my partner the caretaker position, which included the caretaker unit. I'm one of the lucky ones.

I've only been here a short time and already I've spoken to others struggling to find a home.

Unlike major cities like Brisbane, there are not apartment developments going up every month and the few listings that are available may not be suited to single or couple occupants or affordable for others.

I'm not asking to make this town into something it's not.

The beauty of Bundaberg lies within the sense of community and the ability to look out your window and see a paddock or beach, without an interfering building blocking the stunning view.

While it is important to preserve the agricultural surroundings of Bundaberg, this is a people-focused community and we need a solution to ensure that our friends and family are not left on the streets.

Rhylea Millar started with the NewsMail this month.



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