Apartment Hunting Woes
During the past few weeks I’ve been looking for a home for my boyfriend and me. Although I could probably tolerate another couple years in the comfort of my parents’ house, I think it’s about time to claim my independence. I don’t know, I guess there’s just something momentous about creeping up on the ripe old age of 25 that makes you reevaluate where your life is going and whether or not it’s acceptable to be a college grad with a full-time job living at Mom and Dad’s.
I’ve been frequenting Craigslist on the regular, hoping to find that proverbial diamond in the rough — a one or two-bedroom apartment in a Cleveland neighborhood called Tremont. Some of Cleveland’s best bars and restaurants are in the area, and it’s home to a lot of young professionals because rent is reasonable and it’s trendy and stuff.
After looking at only two places, I decided apartment-hunting is a lot like Black Friday — or at least similar to a situation where you’re trying to obtain the same thing as someone else and you both know there can only be one winner.
The owner of the first apartment I looked at held an open house, and for whatever insensible foolish reason, I thought I was the only one who’d show up — WRONG. There were about seven other people there, not including the people who were leaving when I got there. The landlord requested we email him if we were interested in applying. By the time I did, the apartment had already been snatched up. So that doubled as a bummer AND a waste of my time.
The second place I looked at was a unique three-story loft, one of just four units in the building. When I arrived, a male (presumably my age) showed up to view it. He seemed like a nice guy. But I immediately didn’t like him and the fact that he wanted what I wanted. It almost felt like a job interview. I could feel him eyeing me and couldn’t think about much else other than how silly it was that we were trying to outdo each other.
This guy bragged about where he worked and how like, totally awesome it’d be if he could live here … in MY apartment that I already claimed (in my head).
In the midst of all this apartment-hunting hoopla, I managed to successfully avoid a Craigslist scam. A woman who says her name is Maria Garcia posted an ad for a newly renovated four-bedroom house in a great location for just $800 a month. I was a bit skeptical, but I inquired anyway. She responded via a long, grammatically incorrect email that basically said she’s a “KID’S DOCTOR” working in Alabama and she’s not charging for any utilities. The “application” for the house was typed out in the body of the email and included questions that read like statements: Do you have the payment with you and How soon can you pay the deposit.
She then proceeded to text me.
I’m not really sure what gave it away — if it was the sketchy text messages or when she told me to ignore the sign in the front yard and NOT call the phone number on it. Hmm … It turns out, this house is actually on the market via a realtor (thus the sign) and goes for $1400/month. Not $800. And after I called her out for being a scam artist (or lack thereof?) she reposted the ad and lowered the price to $750. Some people.
When you’re on a budget and in a constraint in terms of location, I suppose it’s more difficult to find a decent place to live. But WHO KNEW this many people want to live in Cleveland? Cold, gray, ugly, fat Cleveland.
UPDATE: We’ve ultimately decided to stay in the boyfriend’s current apartment indefinitely because right now it makes the most sense and saves us both headaches. And whenever we decide to take on the animal that is apartment-searching, we’ll remember two things: be aggressive, and if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.