Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Moving On: Part Two

Without realizing it, I have been living in real estate bliss. Though my previous apartments in the small town of Sackville NB. may have been a bit run-down I have definitely begun to appreciate them a lot more now that I've faced the possibility of paying $800-$1000 a month for much smaller, much dirtier apartments in the city. So a few weeks ago, with the news I had gotten into Neptune Theatre's training program and wouldn't be able to work full time, I re-adjusted my living needs and resigned myself to living with a roommate again. So F and I were back together and looking for a place to call home in Halifax.

Now with a roommate I was confident I could find a real "adult" apartment that would not have holes or sketchy landlords, and would be within the price range I had set myself earlier when looking for a single apartment. Unfortunately my roommate was not quite on the same page. F was still willing to sacrifice some quality for price. So I took a minute, tamed my control freak tendencies, and dove back into the search with a lower range but determined not to give up my dream of a sophisticated adult apartment. I also have to mention that this apartment hunt was largely conducted by myself, though through no fault of F's of course. She is currently interning for the summer back in Sackville and therefore doesn't have the ability to come looking with me, but had to watch from afar as I pulled my hair out in frustration.

Before now, I had never realized how ruthless this apartment hunting business was in larger city. The Sackville process is easy, see apartment, like the apartment, tell landlord, sign lease. But in the city there's appointments and applications and credit checks and reference checks and previous landlord checks and car checks and check cheques. It felt like a circus. And that wasn't even the hard part. Just making appointments seemed to be a hurdle I could not jump. I mainly used Kijiji to find places and people to contact and spent the majority of my time emailing and calling various landlords but with no luck. It wasn't that I wasn't finding places that suited our needs but that I was having trouble getting people to call me back. You'd think when trying to rent out your apartment you would actually respond to potential tenants. When I finally got to talk to someone and make an appointment to see a place, more often then not it was cancelled because they had rented the place to someone else.

After a month of seriously looking I was starting to get worried and extremely frustrated. I was close to giving up and declaring my new home under the McDonald Bridge in a refrigerator box, when I got a call to see a place during my lunch break.

It was an ad for a basement apartment I had responded to. I hadn't really given much thought to it because neither F nor I really wanted to live in a basement apartment but at this point I was willing to try anything. I went over on my break and found two guys standing outside the apartment waiting to see it as well. "Well shit," was probably the first thought that went through my mind. I didn't want to have to compete with them. The landlord shows up and lets us into the apartment and the minute I walk in I'm amazed.

Let me just say that I have never really been impressed by basement apartments before. I don't know why but I just have never really seen one I like that much.

However, this place looked awesome. New hardwood floors, a very new looking kitchen with white cupboards and one of those ovens in the wall separate from the stove. I've always love the idea and look of those! The kitchen leads down a step into a cosy living-room, off which are the bedrooms. And get this! The heating is IN THE FLOORS! I'm pretty sure that is the most exciting aspect of it for me. That when people come over in the winter and are like "Oh my feet are so warm!" I can say all nonchalantly, "Oh yea, our heating is in the floors." Anyway.......I love this apartment and while I'm off daydreaming about what furniture would look best in the living-room and what colour tea-towels would match the kitchen decor, the other guys looking at the apartment are bonding with the landlord. Apparently they come from the same area/town/county in the maritimes, which is basically like discovering you're long lost siblings out here. Then he turns to me and asks where I'm from and I cringe inwardly. Being from Toronto isn't going to win me any brownie points. It's a well known fact that the rest of Canada hates Toronto and doesn't regard people from there very highly. Something I will probably write more on later. I briefly consider lying, but figure that will come back to bite me in the ass, so I just tell the truth and wait for the comments to begin. Instead he just says "Oh, you don't seem like you're from Toronto." I take it as a compliment and a few minutes later I leave with an application in hand.

I want this apartment. I'm tired of looking and this place is the perfect combination of what F and I want. Sophisticated "adult" look for a reasonable price, $1,100 a month with everything included except internet. I call F the minute I get back to the office. I want to get the application in before the other two guys. I get all the info we need and call the landlord back to arrange a time to give him the application. To my surprise, and delight, he tells me that F and I can have the apartment, no application needed. He thinks we're much better candidates than the other guys and usually prefers to rent to girls anyway. HA! Talk that boys! We arrange a time to go over the lease and everything is settled.

Now the lease is signed the deposit paid and we move in on September 1st. I have no photos to post yet but will definitely be putting some up after moving day. 20 days to go!

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