We have been very busy finding a place to move, we looked at 21 apartments before finding what we really need. Why? because here in Cuenca some owners don't take care of their property but expect the renters (that is you and I) to pay for the repairs, for us that was unacceptable, so the search took longer, another issue was bathrooms with no mirrors or enough lights and wall colors that will give you anxiety vs. calmness.
Security and lack of elevator was huge for us as well, be aware of all this, and when they say they will fix something, make sure it is in your contract with a time frame. Make sure you check toilets, underneath of sinks for leaks, hot water is a must here.
The rent prices have increased significantly since we came last November, especially if you want furniture and if you have pets. Pets have a different meaning in this culture.
I kept a log of all the apartments we went to see and locations in case somebody needs information.
Speaking the language and after seeing 21 apartments has made a huge difference for us and in helping four families to find a place for which they were grateful and happy. This was free to them from our part, and one of the four who is an electric and mechanical engineer put the lights in the bathrooms for us and another couple came this morning to help us pack, it was so nice, the exchange of kindness, loved it!
Last week walking in Cuenca I found this store where they make curtains, pillows and all that sort of things for the house and at a very reasonable price. The owner is Daniela Delagado. She doesn't speak English, but if I have time I will be able to help you, here is her information: Cortinas Daniela (no sign outside yet). Address: Tomas Ordonez # 10-18 y Gran Colombia, Phone: (07) first if using a cell then 282-2211, her cell is: 09355-1761.
I shall stop now, has been a long day and tomorrow will be too.
Hope this will be helpful for all of you.