Saturday, June 16, 2007

Going on an Apartment Hunt...Want to come along?

We are returned from our brief yet delightful visit to the Southland, where my brother and sister-in-law have indeed created for themselves a Sweet Home in Alabama. And the drive, though it was 15+ hours long, was a feast for this city girl's eyes as it followed the Appalachians almost the entire way. The rolling hills, grazing sheep, ancient farmsteads...I do declare, I have a crush on Virginia, y'all.

But now that we're back, it's full steam ahead with our search for an apartment in Lower Manhattan. Vacancies rates hover at less than 1%, and the average cost for a one bedroom apartment is $2,800/month (we need two bedrooms, so we can tack on $1,500/month for that). We're doing our best to find a no-fee apartment--an apartment in which we don't have to pay a realtor's fee of 15% of the annual rent (you do the math; it's not my strong suit. I just know I don't want to pay it). And if I were The Type, I could be getting good and worked up about it all. However, I've not yet decided if I am The Type, so I vacillate between finding it a bit humorous and being slightly annoyed. Mostly it's annoyed.

Yesterday I found three apartments in a building that is managed by a no-fee company. Price range was good ($3,500-3,900/month--it's all relative), and the location was generally where we wanted to be. The listing said they showed the apartments daily between 5 and 6. Steve and I bundled up the kids and headed down. (Friends from MI and elsewhere: In case you're wondering, the area we're looking at is about a 30 to 60 minute subway ride from our current home on the Upper West Side, depending on whether or not the express trains are running).

We emerged from the subway and wended our way toward the address...

...over the garbage piles

...past the Pussycat Lounge and adjacent Adult Toy Store with its goods displayed front and center

...and finally, under the "Boxing Parlour" sign to enter the building.

Steve and I, with our amazing powers of deduction, concluded that this was probably not a family friendly neighborhood. However, we had taken the time to get there, so we decided to take a look at the apartments.

I'm not sure what caused me to ascertain that these apartments were not for us.

Was it the dingy walls and lack of lighting?

Was it the living room layout of approximately 5' x 5'?

Was it the loft/shanty town structure that most people had assembled in each apartment, so that at least 4 people could sleep in a 10' x 10' bedroom?

OR was it the fact that the super stepped in a pile of dog crap while showing us INSIDE one of the apartments?

Probably the last one.

We're going on an apartment hunt. Want to come along?


max's mom said...

ok, going to brooch the subject ever so lightly...
are we sure it was canine?
and can I say- Hello? Broker!

Ava Ligh said...

yuck! gross! i agree with max's mom -- "Hello! Broker!"

Lorraine said...

Isn't it nice that you had a refreshing time in VA first. Bon chance with the apartment hunt.

gina said...

Wow, we country bumpkins can't even imagine paying that kind of rent for ANY apartment, let alone one in the red light district. I thought that was just the stuff of fiction. I'm sad for you. I'll be praying that something amazing comes along. Good luck!

Sonny said...

Look on the bright side . . . friends of ours are moving to Japan for 3 years (for his work) and the monthly apartment rent is $15,000 American! Yes, I said monthly!

My mortgage is looking so bad now!

I'll make a point to up my next donation to ya'll . . .