What have I gotten myself into now, I wonder. I have wanted to move for the past couple of years. Our lease ends July 1st and when the renewal reminder came in the mail, I had kinda freaked out. It started as a few fleeting thoughts about more space, a new neighborhood, possibly a pool… I expected these thoughts as they’ve made an appearance here and there but generally the thought of actually packing boxes, renting a U-haul and spending weekends without sleep because everything needs to be in its place was enough to snap me out of it. Not this year. The flame ignited within me grabbed ahold of this idea and it’s not going out until it’s burned me to ashes.
So I start looking. And looking. And looking some more. Know what I’ve found? A TON of shit that pisses me off!
I don’t remember what all was required of us when we moved into our place now, but I can’t imagine it was THIS hard to do. I expected rent to have gone up a bit, I just didn’t realize “a bit” was about $300.00 more than we’re paying now and for less space. Not including utilities, of course. That’s if I want to live anywhere near civilization. Prices come down the closer I get to Iowa and Wisconsin but… I’m a city girl.
The application fees used to be about $20-$35, now it’s averaging $50. Per person. Why? “Well, it’s to cover the cost of processing your application.”
“Really? Are you sure $100 will be enough to screw around on the computer to get the same information that I’m giving you right now? I mean, you don’t actually DO anything other than fax and forward information, right? When it comes back approved, can I get the money refunded or put toward a rent credit?”
“Well, uh, it’s a one-time processing fee- I’m not really in charge of that, you can talk to my manager…”
“So he can tell me the same thing? No thanks.”
That happens when I’ve found a place I’m even interested in. The ones that don’t make the cut are because of the following reasons:
There are no phots to go along with the listing. You want me to rent your place but you can’t be bothered to take a couple of pictures of it? Just about every phone has a camera and an internet connection. There is no reason why there shouldn’t be a picture of the place YOU are trying to rent.
There are photos to go along with the listing, BAD photos. I know what a light socket looks like, thanks. Seriously, someone had a picture of a wall outlet. And of a mirror, that had no reflection because the flash was on, so it’s just a giant white spot in the middle with an interesting frame that’s made up of the photographer’s shadow.
If you’re actually trying to get a nice picture, pay attention. There was a cigarette that had been smoked partway, put out and then set onto of the mantle.
The pictures are blurry. Are you epileptic? Were you having a seizure during the first bedroom photograph? Or is this place in such a bad neighborhood, you snapped the shot as you were running by the place?
You zoomed in on the toilet. WHY God? WHY? Could you at least have sprayed a little Lysol first? Were you afraid I wouldn’t know that the lid could be lifted and wanted to show it in its full working condition?
There are 7 pictures total. 5 of them are of the front of the house. The other two are the garbage cans. What are you hiding?
If you’re going to leave a phone number, please either answer the call or call me back! I’ve left so many messages, looked at so many places, I can’t remember them all. I don’t want to bother you by calling repeatedly but there’s still a big question mark next to your address.
The absolute worst part about finding a new place to live so far, has been the fake ads. I’m getting better about being able to tell which ones are real and which are not. How do I know they are fake? Well, the ads are real but I inquired about two different properties and got almost the same response one right after the other. This is basically what the reply was:
This house is super cheap because- I will be dropping by, unannounced to check (that’s not creepy at all…) that you have kept it well maintained. My wife and I are leaving the country for an undetermined amount of time, so we need to get this taken care of quickly. Come by the place, see if you like it, I am unable to meet you there because of business but check out the location etc. Never mind the for sale sign in the yard! We were going to sell but decided to rent instead. Do not knock on the door or ring the bell, they will have no idea what you’re talking about. It’s a long story. Please send x amount of money to this address and tell me when you want your keys. Please, also fill out this application (which includes all of the “normal” questions but then asks for a picture of my family?) and we can do business soon.
Wow. It’s a long story? Let me make it a lot shorter. NO.
So here I am. Three days to either settle down and sign on for another year or, put in our 60 notice to vacate and HOPE we can find a place to move to.
How did we ever move before?