The windows of the two-room apartment in Sompasaari offer amazing views over the Gulf of Finland. From the window, Melemed can see Katajanokka, Vallisaari, the church tower of Suomenlinna, Lonna and Mustikkamaa.In his former home city, New York, Melemed would have to pay a rent of approximately EUR 5,000–6,000 per month to have a similar view. Compared to these prices, the level of rent in Helsinki seems reasonable.
In New York, Melemed, 26, lived in Upper Manhattan by the George Washington bridge. All this sounds very exciting and fascinating for a Finn. Despite the attraction of the metropolis, Melemed moved to Finland one year ago. It was music that led him to the Nordic countries.
Melemed had previous experiences from Finland as in 2017, he won the internationally distinguished Finnish Maj Lind piano competition. At the same time, he became interested in the Finnish language. Melemed has thoroughly embraced the language and the Finnish way of living.
Apartment and tenancy agreement that fit personal life situations
Soon after moving into his new home, Melemed took part in a raffle and won a Lumo gift card that encouraged him to try out the car-sharing service that Lumo offers to its residents.
Lumo homes and 24Rent have agreed on a cooperation for the use of 700 cars and vans in over 30 cities around Finland.
“I was already familiar with the services of 24Rent as I used their rental van when moving from Masku to Helsinki,” Melemed explains.
Melemed lived for about one year in Masku, near Turku, before he started to look for an apartment in Helsinki. A new apartment was found in the newly constructed Sompasaari area.
The car-share vehicle felt like it was my own. I know how it works and where everything is located. I don’t use petrol, which makes me feel good.
In May 2021, Melemed moved to Fregatti Dygdenin kuja along with many other households. The brand-new apartment has a large balcony and gets the rays of the morning sun. Melemed plays music on his keyboard.
“My grand piano is waiting for me in my old home in New York. It will soon be shipped to Helsinki, after which I will have to find storage space for it.”
The work of the performing artist takes him to different parts of Finland. Melemed has concerts in different cities, such as Lahti and Naantali. Travelling to the concerts is easy by using the car-share vehicle. Melemed is not planning to buy a car of his own as one is not necessarily needed when living in the capital region.
He has used the Lumo car-share vehicle a few times; for example, when travelling to Nuuksio National Park for a day outdoors or visiting a friend in Matinkylä, Espoo.
“The last time I used the car was to drive to Ikea with a friend. I have used a Toyota Corolla and a Hyundai Ioniq. Both cars were hybrid vehicles with automatic transmission. I don’t drive manual cars.”
“The car-share vehicle felt like it was my own. I know how it works and where everything is located. I don’t use petrol, which makes me feel good.”
According to Melemed, the car-share service is extremely easy to use. The user doesn’t have to worry about insurance, maintenance or changing the tyres, as all of this is included in the service of 24Rent. The customer is quickly supplied with the car of their choice. For Melemed, the closest pick-up point is located on his home street next to Shopping Centre Redi. He completes the booking on the My Lumo service and collects the car by using a mobile application.
“I once did something wrong and had to change the car for another one at the last minute. I called the service to ask if I can swap cars. I had the new car within five minutes.”
Sustainable city life
According to Melemed’s experience, many things work better in Lumo apartments compared to the apartments in New York. Waste management, for example, has been efficiently organised, which makes it easier to take out and sort the rubbish.
“The systems in Helsinki are state-of-the-art.
In New York, many people have their own car, but in Helsinki, you can travel around using public transportation. Melemed is a frequent user of the metro, commuter trains and buses.
“During the summer, I have also cycled around a lot. It’s easy and safe to travel around by bicycle in a city like Helsinki. That’s not something that people do in New York.”
Melemed praises the services of Lumo housing: the rent includes a free internet connection of 100 Mbit/s, free paint for decoration, a sauna that can be easily booked and the use of a shared club room.
Many dogs also live in the building. There are sometimes two beagles in the elevator. Melemed reports all sightings of beagles to his mother who also owned a beagle years ago. His mother should visit Finland to meet the cute dogs.
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