Tag Archives: apartment hunting

Apartment Hunt Part 2, Round 2…..SUCCESS!

31 Oct

Just a few weeks ago, I restarted my apartment hunt, and just last night, I moved in!

Yeaaahhhhh….life’s been a bit of a blur lately, and my apartment hunt was even more speedy–I looked at one place and signed the papers! Technically, this was the 14th place I had seen overall, if you count my ill-fated attempts with Mr. Smokestack  a few months ago. But the apartment is beautiful, naturally outside my price range, but not outrageously so, and the clincher: It’s 20 MINUTES FROM WORK. I don’t think I had admired the atomic clock on the stove for more than 15 seconds before I was signing the lease and whipping off certified checks like I had been born with a pen in my hand! The place just felt like mine though….the timing was right, the savings had been saved, and if I had to suffer through one more soul-crushing commute, I was literally going to kill someone. Times were dire, let me tell ya. Plus, did I mention it has a fireplace? A fireplace, people. I can’t get over it.

Of course, the second my brain was filled with apartment details, my work day was filled with insanity, and it’s been a crazy few weeks trying to find time to fit it all in. For the past two weeks, I’d been getting home at 9:30, scarfing down cereal, and then rushing down to an unheated basement to paint my old furniture. Then it was back up to my laptop to spend a ridiculous amount of time planning my bathroom color scheme, which never materialized, and picking a couch, which barely did….but more on that later.

So many more details to share, but now it’s time to hop on the subway and unlock my front door….all before 7 pm! I never thought I’d ever look forward to an evening commute, but it looks like there’s always room for change!


Apartment Hunt, Round 2, Part 1

17 Oct

Please. You all knew this was coming. The second I signed my offer letter I was back on the time-suck of doom, aka Craigslist, looking for apartments. My criteria this time was simple: My apartment must be less than three hours away from my workplace. Considering that pretty much any other place in the WORLD would fit this criteria, it really left the field wide open!

My last apartment-hunting excursion was eye-opening, because I finally got the picture that living in New York City is WOAH. EXPENSIVE. That sentiment then basically overpowered my entire search. A one bedroom apartment in an area I like, close to an express train? WOAH. EXPENSIVE. A studio apartment with all utilities included? WOAH. EXPENSIVE. The realization that 75% of my paycheck would be going towards my apartment? WOAH. REALLY EXPENSIVE!

Needless to say, I didn’t get an apartment six months ago, but times have changed, paychecks have fattened (slightly) and ends of ropes have arrived. Naturally, my internet search became all-encompassing, and I learned some things about New York I didn’t know before. For example, did you know that the Upper West Side apparently runs from 59th street right up to the Bronx? Or how about the little-known fact that Columbia University spans about 80 square blocks? O, you didn’t know that? O, because actually that’s not true? Huh. Strange.

Apartment hunting in New York is just so overwhelming. So many places, so many Google maps to peruse, so much guilt over the obscene amount of time I spend online looking! But in the end, this is going to be my home. So if I’m going to do it, I better do it right.

I’m Actually Thinking Some Rational Thoughts

25 Mar

I’m about three weeks into serious apartment hunting, and it’s been quite an experience. My first foray started out a bit rocky, (recall cigarette smoke, Axl Rose) and since then, I’ve seen a few more places but haven’t been completely sold. You’d think I’d be so desperate to find a place that I’d live in a cardboard box if it meant I could chop my commute in half, but the minute I start inching towards the reality of actually making a decision, a strange thing happens to my brain: I begin to think rationally.

Rational is not the first word I would use to describe myself, but when faced with real life and its enormous expense, I start thinking things like “Is it really necessary to have an apartment when you have a place to live already?” or “Wouldn’t it be a good idea to wait until you’re hired on full-time instead of being freelance?” and “What about your car?” And that, ladies and gentlemen, is when I know I’ve gone crazy. When my car suddenly becomes something important to me.

But my rational thoughts have a point. Sure, it’s inconvenient to spend five hours of my day trapped on a New Jersey Transit bus, but what else would I be doing with my time? As much as I say I want to learn to play cello, or take an evening French class, would I really do it? And as much as I hate my car (with a fiery, burning passion) I still spent a significant chunk of change on it, and leaving it to rot in my parents driveway–while satisfying–seems like a waste of money. Plus, monthly rent money could go towards more vacations, the new camera I’ve been eying, or a nicer apartment in the future.

Could it be that I’m not only thinking rationally, but like an actual adult???

The Hunt

14 Mar

This weekend I officially started my apartment search. Now, I’ve been casually searching for New York City apartments since I was in 5th grade, but on Saturday, I made it official, hired a realtor and then became sufficiently horrified and depressed.

Listen, I’m not rolling in the dough, so to speak. But my budget isn’t so unrealistic as to be mocked! And yet, everyone I’ve emailed or talked to on the phone has chortled light-heartedly when I share the news of my search and my expectation that I’ll find something. The first realtor I met with didn’t even bother showing me anything within, uh, 70 blocks of the location I want to live! Then he suggested I learn Spanish, showed me five apartments all facing a dirty brick wall, told me I could always buy my own stove and then blew smoke in my face. Literally. He smoked. And blew it in my face.

Needless to say, I was less than enthused. I saw one place I liked, but wasn’t willing to risk being attacked by drug lords on my way out the door, since this was basically what happened when we left.

But surprisingly, I wasn’t too discouraged. I had decided I didn’t want to live where he ended up showing me for a variety of reasons, but actually being able to walk around and get a feel for the place set off visual alarm bells. Plus, I didn’t really feel a connection with the realtor. He was twice my age, an 80s metal head, and yea, did I mention he literally blew smoke in my face?????

Later that night, I saw another two places in the area I had originally wanted to look, and sure enough, absolutely loved it. It was convenient to subways, close to a college and a park, and had that jazzy New York feel. Unfortunately, the place he showed me was minuscule and over my budget, but at least it was in the general direction of what I’m looking for. Plus, the realtor had an affinity for Boar’s Head cheese, and pointed out every Bodega on the way, which I found more entertaining than washed-up Axl Rose references.

So it’s back to the drawing board for now, but my foray into apartment hunting was actually pretty exciting! I felt like a real grownup…looking for apartments, preparing to be poor…it’s all part of the process, right??