Saturday, August 2, 2014

The Interim: Apartment Life

The house hunt continues.

Or... make that condo hunt.

My realtor and I have come to the conclusion that my small budget will go further in a condominium living situation rather than in a traditional home.

His line is that a condo offers "more bang for its buck". (My realtor may possibly be related to Ned Flanders.) And, my argument agrees that---while the month-to-month out of pocket would be higher---the condos that we've looked at so far are definitely in much better condition than the houses (ie. possible crime scenes) that are listed at the same price point.

Further proving my point is the fact that none of the houses and their beautiful yards had a lawn mower, a snow blower, and a husband to employ use of such devices bundled into the titles. So, a condo it is!

In the past week, I've had one condo showing sponsored by a drunk homeowner who shamelessly insisted on being present. Well, he was mostly present in the bush he fell into on the way up the two flights of stairs... and then later on the couch on which he slumped sideways while spouting out numbers that made no sense mathematically to the sober.

Not the guy.

If there was ever a time and a place for obnoxious Google Glass, this showing was the appropriate setting! Since I didn't have a spy cam at the ready, this picture I found online can paint a somewhat accurate picture of my experience. Except my guy manage to hit the bush completely dead center. None of this sloppy half-miss stuff I found on Google. (Whose search engine, by the way, had an alarmingly varied amount of "drunk in bush" images to choose from. Although, half of which were just pictures of former president George W. and Laura Bush, for some reason.)

The showing was co-hosted by the drunkard's wife/girlfriend who was under the influence of a greater than or equal to substance of choice. She traipsed through piles of dirty laundry while trying to persuade my mother to take off her shoes to "feel how soft the carpeting is!" Unless the place is actually carpeted in the six inches of used socks, tees and undies... I could not even tell you the color or texture of the actual flooring. (There was, however, beige Berber wall-to-wall carpet in the full bath for some strange reason.)

Needless to say, I'm still searching.

In the interim, my parents and I have holed up in a short-term apartment rental that has been a crash course in shared-wall living for all of us. This crash course being a necessary one, though, seeing that the final landing pad for all of us will be our own respective condos and/or townhouses.

Here's a short list of lessons learned so far:
  • On move-in day, as we carried the first load into the apartment, the neighbor kids decided to climb into our U-haul to peruse what kind of neat stuff we own. Lesson learned: We no longer have a private driveway. Your belongings are not your belongings until you play a good defense at your vehicle and a speedy offense to relocate them indoors.
  • Two weeks in and I'm still swearing there's a raccoon on the roof. Lesson learned: We're on the bottom level of three stories. Those are your neighbors.
  • No matter how cautious you are with setting the water temperature in the shower, it will not remain constant. Lesson learned: You now share a water heater and pipes. Every cleansing risks burn or frostbite.
  • There are train tracks that run behind our apartment complex. I'm not used to living near trains. The first night, I thought, "How nostalgically American!" Now, they're just unnecessary alarms clocks at ungodly hours. Lesson learned: At least they keep away from my morning and evening commute!
  • Our apartment community is a very large one. Every cluster of buildings seems to have its own large decorative rock. Each large decorative rock seems to have assigned to it one fifty-something-year-old alcoholic. They sit on their designated rock each evening, with that night's six-pack disassembled around their feet. Sometimes they even visit each others' rocks, which is kind of sweet. Lesson learned: You can't pick your neighbors, so be grateful when they're nice ones.
  • I have never before had to share a washer and dryer with anyone that I wasn't related to. This is also the first time in my life that I've had to scrape up quarters to do so. I must have become jaded somewhere along the line, because I'm convinced that everybody's trying to steal my clothing. I've even taken to counting my panties after every wash to be sure there's no perverts lurking around the shared laundry room. Lesson learned: When you purchase your underwear in packs of four, nobody's probably interested in them.
  • As I mentioned, we're on the lower level of three stories. Our apartment is 50% submerged below ground. A neighbor kid was running along the side of our building and "fell down" right next to my bedroom window. He laid there moving his head in vain at every angle trying to peep down into the apartment-issued horizontal blinds that I don't completely trust, while I sat on the bed staring back at him in disbelief. Lesson learned: Get undressed only in the windowless bathroom.
  • Everything I do, I must do from my bed. These are very close quarters that only a bed and a long dresser fit into.  My bed is now my seat, my dinner table, my bill paying station, my reading nook, my couch, my dressing area, my hair-doing station, my laundry table and, oh yeah, I sleep there too. Lesson learned: I'm sure glad I have a bed! Or I'd be seatless, tableless, nookless, couchless and sleepless too.

Here's to more adventures in making it work! *clink*