May 11, 2007 12:00 pm

Apartment Search Continues…

Our apartment hunting isn’t going as well as planned. We’ve looked at several places so far and none of them have seemed “right.” A few of them were okay or even good, but my position is that since we’re in no rush to move out, we can afford to be pickier with regards to the new place.

One place was nearly perfect. It had a huge kitchen, giant windows (light!), a dining room, a living room with hardwood refinishing, and a bedroom; the bathroom was appropriately modern and we could afford rent. Problem was, we were the second people to be shown that particular apartment, and the first people had already submitted their application for it. I’m actually pretty disappointed we didn’t get it. The price was a bit more than we wanted to pay, but we could have made do and it would have been worth it.

None of the other apartments have really measured up to that one. The first one we viewed would have been like living in some mobster’s flat in the 40’s. The bathroom was old and stained, with one of those pressure-flush toilets like public restrooms have – the ones without a tank. Just… weird.

One was kind of nice, but I hated the floor plan. I never thought I’d be someone with an opinion about a floor plan, but here I am. You walked in and were standing in a hallway that went to the left and right, and RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU was the bedroom door. You would be able to open the door to the apartment, take three steps in and be standing in the bedroom.

At the end of the hallway to the left was the living room. It was an okay size, but it was a giant box because it bordered the bedroom. At the end of the hallway to the right was the kitchen. It was on the “pro” list for the apartment because it was big, tiled, had built-in china hutches (which I love), lots of storage, and a huge window with a window film. In between the kitchen and the bedroom was the bathroom, which wasn’t bad but wasn’t anything special. It just seemed weird to me that the floor plan was this stupid hallway with four rooms off the far side of it. It was the antithesis of an “open floor plan” and it irked me.

We looked at two 1-bed places that were located a bit farther away than we’d have liked, and I think I could have been convinced to rent them if we were getting more value while being that far away. For instance, if we could get a 2-bed for the same price, or if it had a bigger kitchen, or something really awesome that made it worth being so far out. The on-site manager was this wonderfully nice lady with an extraordinarily well-behaved baby that she wore in a baby-backpack while showing us around. I really liked her. The apartments were new, or new-ish, at least, and it was close to a big park, but I just couldn’t justify being that far away when it was still expensive and there wasn’t anything spectacular about the apartment.

Daniel looked at a great place without me (he had to – I was at work) and he absolutely loved it so we put in an application – sight-unseen on my part – but the guy didn’t call us back. I think there was another lady looking at it and they wanted to get it rented as fast as possible so I’m not surprised it’s gone. That one had a giant shared deck and a big backyard, too.

Oh, and to add insult to injury? Our rent is going up. It’s only $25, which we can more than afford, but this apartment is not worth a penny more than what we are already paying for it. I have honestly been considering writing a nice letter to the management company that says “Please do not try to charge more for this apartment, because it is not worth it.” and then detail the reasons why. (Most of which are complaints about the poor construction quality. You’ll recall the mouse incident and the fact that we have pipes running across the ceiling in the bathroom, kitchen, and bedroom. It’s not awful – it’s laid out very well for the space – but… agghgh.) I’d been considering writing this letter before we got the rent change notice, and now I’m thinking I totally should have done it.

I’m hoping we find a place soon with the help of an expert such as a realtor. I’m just sick of people not calling us back, not emailing us back, taking applications but not responding, and renting places to other people once we’ve seen them. Frustrating!

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  • Nicole says:

    Good luck!

    Craig and I will be moving in July too, so we will have to do this whole process.

    We were originally going to have a move in date of May 1, but it got pushed back.

    When I was looking the first time, Craigslist was my best resource, I was looking for a house not an apartment, so I am not sure if it fits your needs, but you may want to check it out.


  • Rose says:

    I feel bad because this entry got so few comments and I read it a few days ago and enjoyed reading it but couldn’t think of anything interesting to say, so I didn’t comment.

    But almost no one else did either, so I’ll just comment and let you know that I read it! I DID!

    …I just didn’t have anything to contribute.

  • Geo says:

    The whole apartment searching process is a pain, but wait till you go find a house! The truth is, nothing is ever just right when you have to think about money too.

    In Danielle (daniel and danielle, weird!) and my adventures, we’ve found it best to have a touch of the impulse buy syndrome. We searched on the web for houses and bought the first one we actually went and saw. Most people said we were foolish, but the same thing happened with our apartment on 23rd and Kearney.

    Did you describe one of those here?

    I was reading your blog post on virb, and then realized the typography is so much nicer on oipom.

    Hang in there, you’ll find something.

  • Geo says:

    Oh, and btw, we love our house and my gravatar rocks. Handsome devil.