Print Story My final entry on apartment searching
By aethucyn (Sun Aug 20, 2006 at 06:35:25 PM EST) apartments (all tags)
At least for a while.
I hope.

I've been looking for an apartment. My original intention had been to get an apartment with a friend of mine, because rents in Cambridge/Somerville are huge for 1 bedroom apartments, and then make these very reasonable steps after that. The problem is that after he no-showed at a concert in June (his girlfriend called last minute to say he wouldn't be coming), I haven't heard from him since.
Still, with me making a career transition, I really don't want to continue paying the huge rents required for living alone. So, with a little fear in my heart, I began checking Craigslist for room/share situations. Now, the thing about these ads is that a) probably 70% of the people who put them, will never get back to you, which seems fair since b) probably 70% of the people who respond to them will not actually show up to look at the apartment. Then there are just the issues of is this person a good match, or can I make a better one, and how long do I want to hold out before I decide?
Friday night, I was to look at one place at 5:00. I got directions off of google maps, and felt pretty sure I could find it without problem. So, I'm walking down a rather major road from Davis Sq, and I'm keeping an eye for my turn. Every street has a sign, until naturally, there's one that doesn't. "Hmmm, what are the chances that this is the street I'm supposed to turn on?" Of course, the directions were so simple, I neglected to note the turn offs before and after. Well, one more block. And then one more block more. Repeat as necessary. As I continue on, I suddenly realise that there's somebody yelling from across the street. "Something-something Bus!" I start paying attention and realise that he's trying to ask if I've passed a bus going in the opposite direction along my way. Really, I haven't been paying attention, and there's really no way to communicate that from across the street. By this point, he's yelling, "Fucking Weird-o!"
About a block later, the street I'm on merges with another, taking on the name of the other street. It is now confirmed that I have gone too far. Now, I can turn back, and almost assuredly get a chance to continue my conversation with the guy waiting for a bus, or I can take the other street back in the way it came, assuming that it would intersect with the one I was looking for. The route with less yelling won. Also turned out that there was a street sign when I needed one off of that street.
When I arrive at the apartment, I'm about 25 minutes late. I feel bad about it. There's a note underneath the doorbell. "Doorbell broken, enter, knock loudly on the door to the left." So, I enter, and raise my hand to knock on the door, when it opens, revealing a woman who is crying. She stops short.
"Hi, sorry, I'm here to look at the apartment."
"Damn, I completely forgot we had somebody coming tonight," she tries to dry her tears, "Sorry, it's been a really bad day, but come in."
Thus do I get the most uncomfortable tour of an apartment ever. Now, I'm not the neatest person. I'm not dirty, but I have a certain level of disorganisation. I'm sure I can keep it to a contained area, but I still worry that I'd still be too chaotic for some people. This apartment actually made me pretty sure that I'd be playing the role of 'neat freak'.
So, I placed that one in the 'truly desperate column'.
I had nothing planned the next day, but a phone call came through while I was sitting at a cafe. Since the apartment was a short walk away, I decided to take a look. It was a nice apartment. And the guy seemed really nice. But there was not really a lot to say on the subject. It seemed a possibility, but I wasn't sure if it would be a good match.
Today, I had yet another place to look at. So, I enter this apartment, and there are cats, which I knew about. Now, I am somebody who can't see a cat without trying to pet it. So I bend down and the big fluffy one immediately comes over to me. "Yeah, he's really friendly," says V, "But the little one is more standoffish." As she says this, the little one is trying to climb onto the messenger bag still slung over my shoulder. "Or, he really likes you."
The apartment is great. (Washer/dryer in the place, yay!). It's clean, but not crazy clean, or maybe it's that it's disorganised but not disaster area. Really, it just feels normal, comfortable. So, I get the full tour, and they offer me some water, and I'm chatting with the two people living there, E & V and also E's girlfriend. Conversation keeps jumping from one subject to the next, trying to introduce ourselves and get a feel for how we'd get along.
"So when do you think you'd be making a decision?" asked V.
"Umm, can I live here?"
Coffee was brewed, and we continued talking for a while. All told, I was there for three hours. I returned in the evening with a check, and I am now the proud owner of a room starting sept. 1 (or possibly a few days earlier).
< Chapter 43 - The Family Tour (Part 1) | BBC White season: 'Rivers of Blood' >
My final entry on apartment searching | 7 comments (7 topical, 0 hidden)
congrats! by Kellnerin (2.00 / 0) #1 Mon Aug 21, 2006 at 04:16:36 AM EST
Sounds like a good deal.

Do not misuse.
Way back when by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #2 Mon Aug 21, 2006 at 11:34:11 AM EST
when I was looking for a roommate (this was before Internet), I posted an ad in the Phoenix. That's when I found that 50% of roommate ads were ads for hookups.

Roommate ads were free. Hookup ads weren't.
Close friendships and a private room can offer most of the things love does.

The new roommates were telling me by aethucyn (2.00 / 0) #3 Mon Aug 21, 2006 at 11:54:24 AM EST
about this one guy who came to look at the apartment who brought a six-pack of Corona with him. He didn't really want to look at the apartment much, just kept saying "Hey, should we open some beers?"
I suggested maybe he didn't need an apartment at all.
"Just lonely?"
"Hoping if he brings the beer, a party will start?"
"Just going from place to place, trying to bring the party with him."
"But seriously, Corona?"
"And the conversation on rabbit mating rituals seemed to scare him off."

[ Parent ]
2) A plan! by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #4 Mon Aug 21, 2006 at 01:33:47 PM EST
a contest! by greyshade (4.00 / 1) #5 Mon Aug 21, 2006 at 02:00:49 PM EST
Mates get beers and choose flats.  Split up and try to start a party somewhere.  Call other involved mates if a party occurs.  Bonus points for having multiple parties and merging them.

Even if no parties occur, you're sure to get some killer stories.

"The other part of the fun is nibbling on them when they get off work." -vorheesleatherface

[ Parent ]
I like your thinking by ad hoc (4.00 / 1) #6 Mon Aug 21, 2006 at 02:30:34 PM EST
I don't have a listing by greyshade (2.00 / 0) #7 Mon Aug 21, 2006 at 03:20:50 PM EST
So you'll have to just drive around until you see the room for rent sign.

I'll turn away all askers that don't bring alcohol with them.  Can't wait to meet ya.

"The other part of the fun is nibbling on them when they get off work." -vorheesleatherface

[ Parent ]
My final entry on apartment searching | 7 comments (7 topical, 0 hidden)