Someone said to me recently that I was “the Queen of apartment hunting.” He knew I usually have good luck finding a decent landing pad when I’m forced to take flight. He told someone else she should ask me for advice.
Actually, I am more like the Joker, staying a dance or two ahead of the royalty. But here are my tips for finding the perfect pad. In addition to talking to everyone and walking around neighborhoods, I search online once or twice a day. I can tell now just by looking at ads what they really mean and what the pads will look like.
cozy – claustrophobic. So small you can spit or throw spitballs at any wall from anywhere. And soon you will want to.
charming – dilapidated. So outdated even the era has been forgotten but the termites are having a good time.
near beach – closer than Yuma, Arizona.
minutes from beach – if you get in your car west of Yuma and drive fast.
ocean view – often means peek view, a tiny sliver you can see from your shower window or up on the roof.
near night life – party town. Forget sleeping.
friendly community – common patio or courtyard. The party has come home. Forget quiet evenings and weekends, privacy and sleeping.
off-street parking – can be anything from carport to shared driveway. First come, first parked. Not good if friendly community.
street parking – good luck.
new floors and carpeting – how new? Got rid of ’70s shag in 1997? Fake wood with a decade of scuff marks? Linoleum with an impressionistic pattern of heel and peel marks?
recently remodeled – how recently? Veneer and stainless steel do not a new kitchen make especially if the oven is not self-cleaning and the refrigerator is not self-defrosting.
laundry room – see my blogs, The Laundry Room, Part 1 and Part 2. Start stashing your quarters.
laundromat nearby – good luck.
There are words in ads that have no meaning whatsoever, such as:
- one of a kind
If an ad sounds too good to be true and the rent is low, then it probably is too good to be true. It’s one room in a house, or a vacation rental and not available year-round, or it’s being sold, or the creepy manager wants to sleep with you.