Ever since Rotterdam made it onto the lists of ‘European cities you absolutely have to add to your bucket list’, our city has officially become a place to be. The city is undergoing a rapid transformation and I think it’s a fact that the international recognition is well deserved. Cool places such as SoDoSoPa are sprouting up everywhere.

For this reason, my prescient uncle told me years ago to sign up with a housing corporation, in his own characteristic friendly but peremptory tone. “You know, sign up with one of those websites, so that you’ll be eligible for social housing at some point. The sooner you register, the better, because there aren’t many places available.”

Nonsense, I thought at the time. I won’t need a place any time soon. For the time being I’m fine where I am. Moreover, I had the feeling that by the time I might feel like moving house, the housing shortage would have been relieved somewhat. After all, there are plenty of rooms for students on the market, aren’t there? And at reasonable price points, too. Right?

However, what seemed to be an issue that wouldn’t become relevant to me any time soon did soon become reality. A month and a half ago, I was told that the house in IJsselmonde where I currently live will be demolished. This part of town, which has grown old and run down, will be torn down, to be replaced by a new housing estate. Even IJsselmonde will be transformed. At some point in the near future, it will probably grow into a yuppie nirvana. So how did I feel about this? Well, I had mixed feelings. I was feeling nostalgic. And worst of all, I had no idea where to go, because the housing shortage really did turn out to be more significant than I had believed. My uncle had been right, after all.

Because the moment you wish to leave the student bed-sit you have outgrown, it turns out that it’s not as easy as all that. Finding an affordable place in the social housing sector quite literally requires a ten-year plan. A nice home – your own ‘villa’ to the north of the bridge, preferably with a bath tub, and without flatmates whose lives resemble those depicted by the artist Jan Steen – is very hard to come by. Suddenly, I was confronted with the down side of Rotterdam having become the place to be, because apartment rents had skyrocketed.

But after a search that took several months, just when I was getting desperate and ready to settle for less, something unexpected happened. In a stroke of magnificent luck, an estate agency specialising in privately owned rental homes suddenly offered me a house – near the Witte de With street, of all places! And it’s not just any home, either; it actually has a bath tub! Just last week, it seemed as though I would never find the home of my dreams, but soon I will be in my very own personal paradise! Our city is full of great places. You just have to learn how to find them.

Pooja Guptar  is taking a Master’s degree in Media & Business