apartment search 2011: move in june edition

the apartment search continues. i looked at two more apartments yesterday, both owned by the same couple. they were on the same quiet, well-located block (near downtown, the university, & the grocery store). the first was a two-bedroom on the second floor of a duplex. the doors & stairway were so comically narrow that i couldn’t imagine how jared & i would get even one piece of our furniture into the apartment. the current tenants have cobbled together a life out of ugly futons & folding tables–not exactly my decor of choice. the ceilings were low, & both bedrooms featured hideous blue carpeting & mirrored closets (very 1973). everything was wood paneled, & the paneling had been painted white. several tacky, unfinished cabinets had been built into various nooks & crannies. it seemed like a nice place in which to commit suicide.

the second apartment was far superior, & also far cheaper. it had ceilings more appropriate for people that are not running for head of the local lollipop guild, brand new hardwood floors, & a kitchen that had more 1950s flavor & less of a 1970s TV dinner aesthetic. there was a pleasant little back deck area with a well-maintained brick pathway & rose bushes. there was also a little windowseat in the living room (i have an obsession with windowseats). however, the bathroom was carpeted. that is a pretty significant dealbreaker. the carpeting was obviously relatively new & it looked very clean & not at all moldy, but still. who the hell carpets a bathroom? when i commented on it, the landlady told me it was original to the house, & that the antique clawfoot bathtub was built over it. removing the carpeting would necessitate moving out the tub temporarily. she also informed me that the house was approximately one hundred years old.

let’s parse this out together: the house is a century old, & the carpeting was original to the house? so she WANTED me to think that the bathroom carpeting was one hundred years old? like somehow that would make me feel BETTER, as opposed to making me want to flee to county health services for tuberculosis treatment? i mean, she was clearly lying. the carpet was no more than ten years old. but why lie in such a counter-intuitive manner?

the deal was officially broken when i inquired about what kind of deposit they require. she explained in a very straightforward manner that all of her properties are professionally cleaned between tenants. this includes carpet shampooing & floor waxing. the cleaners are paid out of the departing tenants’ security deposit. this is illegal in kansas (& most/all other states). the security deposit is there to pay for repairs involving damages above & beyond reasonable wear & tear. it is not a standardized professional cleaning fund. if these people really do hire professional cleaners between tenants, that’s great, but they’re not allowed to use tenant security deposits to pay for that little perk.

so we decided that they are crazy landlords & that any funds we would be saving on rent (this apartment was really cheap) would instead be sucked out of our bank accounts bit by bit as the landlords illegally gouge us for little things.

we have an appointment to look at a different place tomorrow, owned & managed by other people. it’s a little one-bedroom house. living in a little house (no neighbors in the building letting their dogs shit on the porch or blasting blues music at volumes loud enough to trigger an avalanche) has been jared’s & my impossible dream ever since we found out we were moving to kansas. i have seen photos & the place looks fairly cute. we would be allowed to paint the walls & decorate any way we want. it’s in a nice quiet family-friendly neighborhood, it’s affordable, & it has a washer & dryer. it has a big yard, which i don’t care about now, but i guess if i ever take up gardening or want to allow my future child to play outside, it will be nice. i did a walk-by & the property is not as well-maintained as some i have seen, but it’s also not as bad as some i have actually lived in. so…we’ll see.

the only hitch at the moment is that the lease starts in june. & the lease on our current place doesn’t expire until august. & jared & i were kind of planning to spend the summer living in boston. so if we decide we like the little house & want to live there, we’ll have to find a summer sub-letter for our current place & then pack & move a few weeks after jared finishes school for the semester, & then turn around & go to boston immediately. & if we’re going to boston together, the plan was to find a sub-let there & live together & bring charlotte with us (i am getting sick of leaving her with cat-sitters–i just worry too much). but of course it’s not easy to find affordable sub-lets in boston for couples, especially when you have a cat coming with you. so it may not be practical. jared would have an easier time on his own, because then he could just couch-surf if need be, & i could stay in lawrence with charlotte & take care of settling the new house.

kind of a bummer, in some ways. next summer i will probably be pregnant or have a tiny baby. this is kind of my last summer of freedom & it would be great to spend it hanging out with friends in boston. i still get homesick for boston all the time. lawrence is okay, but it’s a little dull sometimes. word on the street is that summertime in lawrence is awesome. lots of sneaking into pools, kickball games, & hanging out. if i stayed in lawrence, i would get a membership to the city pool & go to kickball games every weekend & maybe even visit friends or have friends come stay with me for a while (jessika rae? are you reading this?). & i could also fly to boston to hang out with jared & boston folks a time or two. hopefully i will have my driver’s license by then, so i can just do whatever i want.

please cross your fingers for me & hope that the tiny house is not a hellhole full of spider eggs. thanks.

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