Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Apartment Hunting

We’ve done our fair share of apartment hunting in the last several years, thanks to multiple different jobs and moves. This is the story of the worst apartment showing we ever had, several years ago:

We arrived at the apartment building at the scheduled time of 2PM, but the manager was nowhere to be found. I called him and nobody picked up. And this was after he went on and on when I talked to him on the phone earlier about how people didn't show up to see the apartment and never called to say they weren’t coming.

So we drove around and looked at some other random places in the area. We saw one place that seemed pretty nice and had a 2 bedroom available, but only one bathroom. And it was the same price at the first place we looked at that had 2 bathrooms. Plus it was practically ON the train tracks. A second place we found looked like some kind of slum with the gate duct-taped together.

I tried calling the place we were scheduled to see and to my surprise, the manager picked up this time. Apparently, his cell phone had run out of batteries, which is why he didn't answer my calls, although it didn’t explain why he didn’t show up at the door. He apologized profusely and said he'd be happy to show us the place now.

So we drove back to that apartment complex again. The manager was in the basement, fixing some sort of "really bad plumbing problem," which he didn't elaborate on at the time. He was this kind of doofus guy who looked like a heavier version of Trey Parker. The apartment was pretty small for a two bedroom two bathroom, but what really struck me was that it was completely uncleaned. The carpet was dirty and the kitchen was really filthy. I don't have high standards about cleanliness, believe me, but you'd think they'd try to clean a place that they were trying to lease out.

Then the manager showed us our "porch." I use quotation marks because the porch was just the outdoors. There was this little square right outside the apartment, not separated from anything by any physical boundaries, that he was calling our "porch.” It was kind of ridiculous. He actually said, "This is your little square. You can put things here."

When we were out on the "porch," another tenant was coming out of his apartment. "Hey, is it really bad in your apartment?" the manager asked the tenant.

"Well, the carpet is still pretty wet," the tenant said.

I don't know why the manager chose to advertise this in front of us, but he then explained that the plumbing in the building is really old and when the building filled up with tenants in the last year or two, there was a huge "backlog of crap" (the manager's words) and two apartments got completely drenched, but all the apartments were affected by the flood of shit. At that point, I cast a horrified glance in my husband’s direction.

Yeah, so I was not moving into an apartment that was literally a shithole.

To add icing to the cake, we asked about parking and found out that we only got one parking spot, even though it was a two bedroom apartment and you couldn’t really go anywhere without a car. We asked if it was easy to park on the street and he was like, "Well, theoretically you could. But I wouldn't want to do it." (We had guessed that anyway, since we didn't find parking that easily and had to *gasp* parallel park.)

We also asked about the fact that the apartment was close to the railroad. I'd lived close to a railroad before and I knew there could be varying degrees of loudness. "It's really not that bad here," he said. "You can barely hear the trains at all. Well, except for this one really big, loud train that comes by every night at one in the morning." (You really can't make this stuff up...)

We told the manager we'd think about it and he gave us some forms to fill out if we came back. Mostly he was very interested in getting us to sign this form saying he had shown us the place. In any case, the second we walked out the door, we quickly called back the apartment we had seen the day before, which suddenly seemed like a palace.

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