Monday, May 15, 2006

Candidates for Home

I must have walked five miles today (uphill through the snow in both directions . . . yeah, like this city has any hills), crisscrossing the neighborhood in which I expect to live.

The first building I saw is one of the two candidates for Emma's New Home status: it's a mid-rise (maybe 10 stories), with laundry indoors, and with decent-sized apartments that have big kitchens with attached dining areas and dishwashers. There's likely to be an apartment that faces south opening up in my timeframe; the manager will know for sure later this week. Price? $800/month, with the first month free.

Then I saw a bunch of crap, mostly around $750/month. All had outdoor laundry access. One had spongy floors (I think they put some kind of cushion under the fake hardwood floors), which was kind of eerie. None of the kitchens was tiny, but one was from about 1947. The built-in cabinets in that one were kind of cool, if you want to know, even with 50 coats of paint, but that was a two-bedroom and the guy who showed it to me didn't know what it cost. The one-bedroom in the building was $750, so the two-bedroom was almost certainly over $800. The laundry room had one washer and one dryer, for more than a dozen apartments, which doesn't seem like enough (and what if one breaks down?). One other apartment had a kitchen that's smaller than some closets I've had.

Finally, three hours and too many apartments later, I saw the other candidates for ENH status, or, rather, saw two apartments in the building that likely houses the apartment I'd want. One had a separate dining room ($750), the other had an eat-in kitchen (which really was big enough for my table and chairs) ($725)), and the building manager used to play handball--at one of the places I used to play, no less. He has an Irish accent you could cut with a knife, too. It turns out that a south-facing apartment on the third floor (it's a walk-up building, which means even more stairs to do laundry) is about to come open this week, once they finish evicting someone, and it's one with the eat-in kitchen, i.e., $725, and the manager said he'd try to get me a dishwasher in there, too. If he succeeds, then I have to decide whether it's worth $75/month to not have to schlep down three flights of stairs to wash my kitchen clothes each week. The laundry room is pretty decent, though, so I'd probably just bring a book and sit there while things spun in various machines.

I'm seeing a place tomorrow, too, that looks pretty spectacular, but it has a July 1 date, meaning I'd have about 24 hours with no place for my stuff. The candidates from today would facilitate a June 15 lease, which would enable me to vacate here in a reasonable fashion and would probably also enable me to move on a day other than our anniversary. Part of me is leaning toward the second candidate--I liked the guy who's managing the buildings, and they seem nice and well-kept, and it's clear the owner is willing to maintain them. But indoor laundry AND a dishwasher? If they really will give me the first month rent-free, then the price is nearly a wash over the course of the year (which I hadn't thought about until just now). I'll wait and see whether a south-facing apartment comes open, I guess, and wait until I see the apartment in the 3rd-floor walkup, and decide then. I could keep looking, but I suspect I've seen a pretty fair sampling of what's available, and either of the candidates could be home. Plus, then you guys won't have to read my whining about finding an apartment--don't worry; I'll find some other whine-worthy material.

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