It’s that time of year again, time to think about leases ending and moving one more time. As my couple of loyal readers may recall, I started asking a lot of these same questions this time last year. Namely,
-why are places so expensive here when wages are so low?
-how can the listing say an apartment is close to two things on opposite sides of town?
-how can people, in good conscience, rent hellholes like these?
After a whole lot of frantic Craig’s List refreshing and a bit of driving, slowly and stalker-like, through neighborhoods I like, hoping to see For Rent signs, I was starting to have my doubts. And then last week happened.
After lots of misses, I finally saw an apartment on Craig’s List that I thought might work. I emailed them back right away. Scheduled a showing. Asked for the application, so I could have it all ready to go. At the showing, I tried to ignore the other people also checking the place out. I wandered around, looking into every closet, checking out every nook, trying to envision my furniture, my art, and myself in the space. And despite the low ceilings and the funky closet spaces, I thought I could make it work. The place had more charm than anything else I’d seen, by a long shot. I thought I could make it mine. And that alone was worth the extra couple hundred bucks I’d probably spend every month. I handed over my completed application and crossed my fingers.
The next morning, I get an apologetic email from the owners. They’ve decided to put the house on the market, so the two tenants (upstairs and downstairs) would have to be ready for showings, the lease would now be month to month, but they’d dropped the price a bit. I thought about it for a little while, because by this point I had decided that this was the place for me, but with strangers wandering through and constant uncertainty that this might be the month they kick me out, I decided it wasn’t worth it. I don’t want to move and attempt to feel settled, only to be politely asked to leave.
Going back to the beginning was a big letdown. The same five places are listed over and over on CL, some with “one day special!!!!!” as part of the title, two or three times a week. Ugh. Mobile homes starting to look like more of an option?
And then another opportunity quickly presented itself, one I hadn’t really considered – having a roommate. I was ready to live alone (was ready last year…), to get over the roommate thing, especially semi-random roommates. But then the roommates of a friend who lives just off campus decided they were ready to move. She didn’t want to leave the house, where she’d lived for five years. So she asked if I’d be interested. It’s a 3 bedroom house, but it would be cheaper with just the two of us than the apartment would have been for me to live alone. Plus, people willing to rent out basement rooms are often total weirdos, let’s be honest. It has a yard with a picnic table and a tree with a hammock. I can actually plant things directly in the ground and not in an ever-growing number of pots. We think we might even be able to paint.
And so after deciding, over lunch, that we were both at a point in our lives where the college house scene – lots of posters and sheets covering crappy couches – was no longer our scene, we decided to take on a project and move in together.
I had so made up my mind to be done with roommates, but I came to see that a lot of the things I didn’t want to repeat were with roommates I didn’t know very well, or who didn’t communicate openly. Moving into a house, versus an apartment, but with a roommate felt like a lateral change at first. But now I’m excited. A bit of space to breathe and decorate and settle in is exactly what I was looking for. I’m excited to clean this place up and make it mine. Well, ours. And that’s cool too.
My organization class also starts next week, so May is going to be busy. I’ll try to post here about some of the upcoming changes – exciting, spring, fresh changes.
My move may not be quite this artful:
(video via Renee Anne, via Desire to Inspire)