|I needed to rent an apartment—and fast. —by losgofres via Flickr|
For the past few months, my New York City living situation has been in a constant state of flux. So much has changed so quickly, but you can get the best of the gory details in my last blog post. In summary, this is what’s transpired.
My once-loved Brooklyn apartment went from being an exciting redeveloped loft into a mouse-infested nightmare where hot water was considered a luxury. I now understand why men use the “take a cold shower” joke as a way to get themselves out of any potentially romantic mood. It’s because when you’re forced to take a cold shower, it’s literally impossible to focus on anything else (other than the fact that a mouse may come crawling out of the pipe above your head.)
|Mice are not this cute in person!–by Pam Pham via Flickr|
Meanwhile, after I survived sharing a room with mice and lived with a lack of modern conveniences, I managed to find another apartment I truly wanted. Six weeks and three unresponsive landlords later, they now have $4,500 of mine (I had to pay a deposit) and have stopped communication entirely. I’m only hoping that one day I can get the money back, but I’m not holding my breath.
For the sake of continuing the story, I’ll skip the details about how I met Craigslist strangers at coffee shops to apartment hunt, and read through ads from potential roommates who ordered “vegetarian households,” with “no TVs allowed” and “mandatory overnight guest permission forms.” As much as I liked college, I’m done living in a shared space with pointless rules. Call me crazy, but I think normal adults can handle a minor concept like having a modicum of respect for the other people living in their apartment. Perhaps that’s just me.
Regardless, my saga continued when I found what I considered to be the “perfect apartment.” In Midtown East, it was a large four bedroom with a doorman, laundry facilities, and even a living room large enough to fit a full-size, wrap around couch – the kind I refer to as a “regular house size couch.” The apartment, then occupied by three twenty-something women, was about to have the master bedroom open up.
Larger than a studio, and with a private bathroom and two-walk in closets, I quickly did my best to suck up to the current occupants so they’d pick me for the available spot. Much like a job interview, I felt slightly judged when I met the potential new roommates. It’s impossible to know what perceived habits or small spoken words may make them choose someone as a live-in companion, and I wouldn’t even try to figure that out.
Still, I couldn’t help but take it personally if the residents of an apartment that seemed perfect never asked me back for a “second date.” I’m not trying to romanticize it, but this apartment chose me. And with a price of less than half of what I’d thought I was going to spend, I was pretty excited.
I began the approval process just in time, as the management company wouldn’t be able to approve me any sooner than January 29 – and I had to be out of my Williamsburg apartment by January 31. Talk about calling it close.
|I had to be out of my apartment by January 31. Where would I live?—by Zack K via Flickr|
The paperwork and application process was fairly painless – a rarity in a city where renting an apartment is more complicated than buying a house any place else in the country. So, despite the poor reviews of the landlord on various New York websites, I moved ahead with the process.
If you’ve been following my housing debacle, you know that these posts have a theme best described as “one landlord after another screwing me over.” And this was no exception – after three days, I found out — I hadn’t been approved.
“Why?” I asked, somewhat perplexed.
My credit is solid, I have a job that makes over 80 times the rent, not 40-50 (which is the typical NYC requirement to rent an apartment), and I’ve never been involved in legal action. In my head, my response to finding out I wasn’t approved was, “My dear lady, please consult your papers as I’m quite sure you must have made an error.” Although in reality it was probably a combination of me coughing, sobbing, and mumbling confused pseudo-words mixed with cursing.
Without going into details, I hadn’t been accepted for somewhat less-than-legitimate reasons. To overcome that, and hopefully put an end to my housing nightmare, I bit the bullet and offered to pay the entire year’s worth of rent (yes, twelve months’ worth of New York City rent) in advance.
And no matter — I was rejected.
I had to go back to the drawing board yet again –and with only 48 hours to go before I would literally be homeless, I had to get very creative in my apartment hunting.
|Loft for rent–Is this my next place?–-by andy in nyc via Flickr|