Being a financially independent woman seems fascinating until the ‘H’ word chooses to haunt you day and night. To many, the apparent fear of finding the right house for one’s own self seems to be a selfish desire. But, to some others, it is more than a mere wish.

My return to Chennai, after six years, had given me a taste of this scenario. Personally, I have no grudges against the city. Its vibrant culture, sea breeze, and fine blend of simplicity and luxury never ceases to amaze me. The house hunt, on the other hand, makes me wonder if the tale is quintessential of Chennai or not.

What often broke my heart was not the set of rules, but the amount one is expected to pay as a security deposit. The average sum amounts to 10 times of one’s monthly rent. This is applicable even if you occupying a space that is two square feet larger than that of a  chawl  in Mumbai.

Hence, searching for that ideal home, for a single career-driven woman, is difficult. The experience becomes worse when a woman is a fresher or a mid-career professional.

Not only does hygiene and security become a concern, but societal norms such as age, the possibilities of live-in relationships and more have left many women hopeless. No offence, but there are many men who prefer live-in relationships as well. Many men are attacked in the middle of the night too.

So, here are few tips that could help you narrow down your choice to that one special space.

1. Visit the place: Photographs are tools that you could use to make wise decisions. But nothing beats the joy of seeing the place in person.

2. Strike a balance between money and comfort: Know your limits and choose a home that gives you good vibes. The deal should not prompt you to burn a hole in your pocket!

3. Try to avoid middlemen: Indeed brokers know best. But remember that they demand a fair share of the rent when you first move into the house.

4. Document every detail: Ensure that you have documented the proof of the deal or any conversation with the house owner, as well as the others who were involved during the house hunt (For example, the payments of the rent)

5. Know your housemates (if you are sharing the place): Brokers and house-owners are not hostel wardens! Not all of them believe in screening the occupants of the house before letting them occupy the space. So, make an effort to know your housemates. Lest you end up sharing a space with a people who have not respect for space or value personal hygiene. You also would not want to share a house with people who have disrespect the norms stated in a contract and are likely to convert the house into a hub for drug dealing!