Sunday, April 6, 2008

N/S, N/P, no money

I'm beginning to rethink the animal kingdom hierarchy I learned in high school biology.


You know, humans above non-human primates, moving down to other mammals, with microscopic dung-balling insects at the bottom.

Well, in my reorganization, landlords in this city are even further down the hierarchy than the dung denizens.

I tried to greet our re-re-entry into the rental market (after flaky-almost-landlady decided to sell our perfect apartment mere days after telling us we could rent it) with a sense of optimism. After all, the month is just beginning!

After a wasted Sunday spent wandering for hours, alternatively in sopping boots or crammed into an open house in an apartment described as "roomy" but really better described in apartment ad speak as "cozy" (which really means sardine can), my optimism feels a little in the puddles right now.

It's hard to conceive of the fact that when I rented my first apartment, only seven years ago, I got a large suite for a third of the price I can now afford-- yet I'm hard pressed to find a place even as nice as the first one! It all is a little dejecting that we are in the best financial shape of our lives, yet we can't seem to improve our living situation. For instance, we looked at an apartment that was easily the same size as my little garden suite, with a kitchen that two people couldn't even stand in at once, for $500 more a month. Am I outrageous for thinking that paying in the quadruple digits a month should include a lack of mold or water damage and something other than that ubiquitous threadbare beige carpet? 

Even worse is how quickly the decent places get scooped up. There's is literally no time to consider. Three of the four places we looked today were open houses with many other people floating around, with each trying to outshine the others. When 23-year old hipster girls are flirting with a 60-something landlord, it's time to check out. Not to mention how landlords give you the apparently "first" available showing time, only to rent it out before then. Or the one who managed to rent it out in the two hours I was in a meeting after I had gotten in contact with them!

And I've mentioned the frustration of navigating through apartment rental ads to begin with...

Honestly, we may just put some stuff in storage and move the Duke into my suite until we find something worthwhile. It is better than putting $500 more a month into some jerk's pocket to move into the same apartment somewhere else. I'm just feeling grumpy that despite looking professional and financially secure on paper, it feels like the city wants to keep me at 18.

22 comments:

distractedspunk said...

Yep, yep, yep. Amen.

I'd be more verbose, but you hit it on the nail. Seems no matter how far we advance, we never get too far anyway, do we?

Stephanie said...

I feel the same way! Shouldn't I be grown up now? And, like, have a house? Instead of paying $1000+ a month for a tiny apartment in a beat-up building with gouges in the walls and mice scampering around my countertops?

Good luck, girl!

brandy said...

Ahh love, I'm sorry this is happening to you! I think the most frustrating part is exactly what you said- feeling like you are in the best financial shape and STILL not finding what you want.

I think putting Duke's stuff in storage and taking your time might make the whole situation less stressful. Fingers crossed things improve! Keep going...

Surfergrrl said...

you are preaching to the choir sister. As I get older, I keep paying more, but keep getting less.

Tin Ma'am said...

amen sister, I hate moving in general, but the whole seeking an apartment thing is just so... ugh. Well, you know.
I think th esecret is to have a trusted friend in the real estate industry. If I didn't have that, I would just give up.

Psychgrad said...

I was shocked when I moved to this city to see how high rent was here too. Thankfully, the vacancy rate is higher, so you don't have to act as quickly.

If you can avoid it, don't settle because there will be a better option out there.

Miriam D said...

I feel your pain... I've moved three times in the past three years and I hate it. I also have to sublet my room soon and I'm incredibly nervous I won't find anyone.

Half-Past Kissin' Time said...

That's life in the Big City, I guess. I'll keep my fingers crossed for you!

lspoon said...

In my experience it's the trying to rush getting into a new place the prohibits it from happening. So I say, move the Duke in and keep looking! :) I hope you find a place soon! :)

Ant said...

Try over here. I've never experienced anything quite like the dog-eat-doggedness of when I had to find a three-month let in London.

Have you ever thought about trying to get on the property ladder yourself? Even on a pittance there are usually some options available, sometimes requires help from willing family members but it's well worth it. (Plus you've got two salaries to draw from...) You'd have to tighten your belts for a bit but you'd also have moved to a much greater position of strength...

the frog princess said...

Oh darlin', I do feel your pain. When I was looking for my current apartment, I was ushered into a "studio" that was, in reality, a 10x10 room, eye level with an elevated highway, for $1000! Are you f'ing KIDDING me? My first DORM room was bigger than that "apartment"...

It's a brutal market no matter where you live. I wish you luck!

(Though honestly, if you find an ad on CL that sounds good, is in a neighborhood you're okay with, and doesn't have pictures... go out on a limb and check it out! I had several disappointments, but that's how I eventually found this place!)

Deutlich said...

One day, when I'm all grown, I'd love to get my own place. For reals. Unfortunately, the money sucks right about now. Blah.

Nilsa S. said...

Man, you sound like my brother who lives in NYC. He ends up moving every few years, which sends my parents into fits. Because they feel like he's always staying in the same place, if not moving back a few paces, while shelling out more and more money. It's insane!

Keep your chin up. You'll find something that suits you just fine. Though, it may take some time.

Ashley said...

i am going through the exactly same process and it is a nightmare. the ads, the landlords, the showings, the overused adjectives leading potential tenants to believe that it is actually "cozy" or "bright and airy" when in fact it's just small with bad insulation. blah.

Katelin said...

oh man, i can't wait to move out of my parent's house, but renting scares the crap out of me, oy.

Jess said...

You've hit it on the head here. We have all been there. Reading this is bringing back all those frustrations.

Good luck finding a place!

Jeff said...

Hey you! I need to play a bit of catch up to see what's been going on in your world but for now, good luck in the real estate hunt!!!

Therapeutic Ramblings said...

That sucks. I have to move in 2-3 months (not really sure, floating date), and I have 1 really good option....and then everything else. That 1 is dependent on my job...so I need to get that job!!

di.di said...

I work and make enough to make ends meet, plus some extra spending money for myself, I am still staying with my parent.. how boring is that? but at least i dont need to pay any rent..

Yoda said...

Good luck with all that.

Apartment hunting scares the shit out of me. I was happy that my employer had an agent working with me. I'd have never found anything so quickly.

mcgee said...

amen, amen, AMEN. i'm currently on the lookout for a bigger place than we have now, but rents are through the roof from when we first moved here two years ago. the same size unit we currently rent is being offered for $500 more a month in our building. gaaah.

wishing you luck...

Jocelyn said...

This is why I can admire many aspects of big city life but not go there myself. It gets me too locked up in things I don't want to have mattering to me.