Notes on Apartment Hunting

Right now I am living a terrible dilemma; I love my apartment, but I have to move out. A year ago, my boyfriend and I decided to do what heteros do and co-habit. We found a fantastic apartment in an old low-rise with air conditioning and a window in the bathroom and two former Crystal Methodists for landlords. Cut to 4 weeks ago when shit went pear shaped and I started eating tuna on the couch pantsless and spending all my time packing DVDs into Always maxipad boxes from the Pharmacy. I don’t want to get into the sadsack Feist-lyrics-details, so I’ll just paraphrase by saying that I am no longer part of a pair.

So yeah, I am now searching for a new apartment. I would love to stay in my current place, but Sweet Christ, I cannot afford the rent on my own. Neither can he, so we are both packing up our things and hauling ass to Hullabalooza. I have been searching my ass off for a new place, but I am having a hard time. Believe it or not, but I am fairly picky. I don’t want to live with cats. I don’t want to live in a basement. I don’t want to live next to people who cook curry for breakfast. But the biggest hurdle isn’t finding a good apartment; it’s finding decent roommate (people – I live in the city. I cannot afford to live in my own).

My first experience with house hunting was when I was 10 and my parents decided to move. My favourite house was a split-level piece of crap with a massive turd floating in the toilet. I would continue to mention that turd for years after; it really had an effect on me. I really never thought I would find a place worse than Turd House; then again, you never think you’re going to have to move out of the home you share with your beloved, but here we are.

I have seen a few places so far, and here is how they have shaped up so far (if these experiences have taught me anything, it’s that people will lie like OJ in a Craigslist ad).

Apartment 1
The ad said 2 bedroom to share with a small business owner. When I arrived I found a woman with an 8-month-old baby. Um, that’s the sort of thing you put in the ad.
- Area is currently involved in turf wars and apartment is often caught in drive-by crossfire.
- Apartment is rented out to Japanese Businessmen on weekends for ‘Requiem For A Dream’ parties.
- There is a baby in the house.

The worst was how she was justifying it. She goes “I knew if I mentioned her in the ad that no one would come!” Yeah, no shit, you fucking flake! She also described her baby as never going to the bathroom and never crying. This is not a cat, madam, this is a child. And I will not be your live-in babysitter, capeish?
Obviously I wasn’t planning on living there with a fucking baby, so I went through the motions of looking through the house. I pointed at a door and was like “is that a closet?” and she goes “oh no, that guy is another roommate! I just don’t know what his deal is – he could be staying or leaving! I just have no idea! Ha ha ha!” Oh Jesus, what? Also the bathroom was on the other side of the apartment – like I would have to walk through the kitchen and living room to get to my bedroom after a shower.
Thanks but no thanks.

Apartment 2
The rent seemed cheap and was in a pretty decent neighborhood, and when I arrived I had high hopes – it was literally right beside the apartment two friends of mine used to live in. Their apartment was terrific, so I thought “this might be the one!”
Well, their apartment never smelled like week-old Chinese food and had clumps of hair roaming the floors like tumbleweeds. The apartment owner was like “could you take your shoes off?” Ugh, I HATE it when people with dirty apartments ask you that. It’s like, really, how much more dirt am I going to add to your place? Like my shoes will take your place from filthy to Chernobyl aftermath. So yeah, my shoes stayed on. Fuck him, he doesn’t own my feet. Anyways, again – went through the motions, and guess what I found in my room? A loft bed. A loft bed for someone who is 5’5. I am 6 feet tall. The guy was like “you can try it out if you want”. Um, no. I was like “are you looking at how tall I am? This isn’t a Marx Brothers movie – I won’t be crawling into that.” Then he was like “so, we sort of need to know right now if you want it…so…?”
Sorry friend, the answer is no.

Apartment 3

I don’t own a cellphone and wasn’t wearing my watch, but I knew from the last place that I needed to get to Apartment 3 asap. I hauled ass down the street to make it to my next appointment, and met the apartment owner at the door after about 10 knocks and 8 doorbell rings. Whenever I talk about his voice, please imagine a grown-ass man with a whispery baby voice.
“Oh my goodness, you are so early! You are so so early!”
What? “Oh, what is it? 5:45?”
“Yes, you are sooooooo early!!”
Uh, my appointment was for 6pm. That’s really not that early. 15 minutes. So he was like “I just can’t show you around right now – I am so busy! I guess you could wait in the kitchen with me.”
So I follow him into the kitchen and he sits down and starts eating a grapefruit. A FUCKING GRAPEFRUIT!!!
I had to stand there while he ate a grapefruit. It was so awkward. I wasn’t sure what to do. He just kept being like “oooh, this is just delicious! Mmm, I looooove grapefruits!” So I did what any good guest would do. I said “yeah…so you are going to show me the apartment now, please.”
The room was sizeable and the bathroom quite clean. The space itself was decent and the street was cute. But you could not pay me to live in a house with a grown man who wuvs gwapefwoot.

So I have many more apartments to look at – I’ll keep you posted. Hopefully more stories, but truthfully? I hope I find a good place. Pray for mojo. Have any good apartment hunting stories of your own? Leave them in the comments section!


deadeye-davi / uncle jesse said...

OMG! This can totally be the basis for the pilot episode of that sitcom we will make!

Alice said...

I once went to look at an apartment that was pretty nice, but the guy had like a pallet of Rammen Noodles by his door and huge metal containers filled with boxes of Jell-O. Maybe that's all he liked to eat but all I kept thinking was that he must abduct girls and force them to eat noodles until they died and then encase them in a Jell-O type trophy. At least he didn't make me watch him eat a grapefruit though. That's just creepy.

The Mayor said...

Oh yeah, grapefruit guy gave me the surrious creeps! Also, one time I was looking at a place and everything seemed normal until I went into the bedroom and dirty underwear were everythwere and a box of condoms was ripped open on the bed. I was just like "ugh...I am too old and not crazy enough to be dealing with this"

tylerface said...

This is reason A I won't rent in Toronto. Reason B; like you mentioned - CAAASH.

I'm looking at the welfare apartments in Waterdown. Wish me luck, as I wish you the same!

Jenn L said...

love the grapefruit story.