June 26, 2012
Not Looking, ME Newsletter Vol. 5, Issue 26
I’ve been everywhere, man. Places I thought I shouldn’t have been; places I thought I could stay in. but the truth is somehow nothing feels right.
After an exhaustive search, and many nighttime test drives, I have not found a place that meets my minimal expectations. I’m not looking for the Ritz Carlton, but there are some things I am truly not looking for. Anything that smells like smoke after it has been deemed “move-in ready” is not what I am looking for. First come, first serve non-covered parking is not what I am looking for. Communal laundry is very much not what I am looking for. I am not looking for “first floor” apartments which are in the basement, or “second floor” apartments which are up three flights up.
I am not looking for ways to blow $50.00 aka as “Give us $50.00 to be put on our waitlist and if anything comes open we will call you and you get the benefit of coming to our community events.” Huh? I am also not looking for, “No, we don’t have a wait list.” When I ask, “Really? You won’t mind if I call once a week?” The young agents gasps, “Oh, no! I’d call more than that. If I was you I’d call every day!” I am not looking for “We even have a free year-round gift wrapping service.” Or “We’ll take your suits to the dry cleaner and feed your pets while you are away (for a small charge of course).” I am not looking for liars, but I’ve found plenty of them. I did come across one agent who subtly discouraged me from plunking down $50.00 to be on a waiting list, by encouraging me to drive around and look at the locations of the available apartments. Once I did, I understood. Judging by the gaggles of outdoor stoopers, beater cars and overflowing trash bins, I did not return to that office. He didn’t hound me, either, for which I was grateful.
I’m not looking to pay an extra $70.00 a month for the eternity of my occupation for “upgraded” appliances aka known as anything newer than the standard ones in apartments that appear not to have been renovated since 1976, at least. I am not looking for an $850.00 apartment with $8 for trash, $30 for water, $40 for pets, $35 for a covered parking space, $50 a month more for second floor, another $20 or so for third floor, and +$70.00 a month for upgraded appliances and closet bi-folds that work smoothly. Actually, I was looking at that apartment closely because the normal rent was $975.00. An email from the leasing agent announced a super deal new price of $875.00 a month, so I went on over that day, on my lunch ½ hour, and was told, “Oh, yeah. We don’t have any more at that price. Filled ‘em all.” So the final price of this smaller, older, non-upgraded appliance apartment would be either $1138.00 or $1208.00. The first being a non-significant savings of $62.00 a month (turning off the spare phone would cover that) or a whopping $8.00 over my proposed current lease.
Add on moving costs, even with help from friends with trucks, there’s always gas and lunch to buy, boxes, tape, newspapers, time, the hassle and stress of packing, starting and stopping utilities, changing addresses, and the price of general annoyance, and I cave. I just can’t take the pressure or uncertainty anymore. I’ve spent hours figuring out where I can trim my budget and my already sparse life. I have some viable alternatives: $50.00 to turn off second phone – the one I use to find my primary phone when I misplace it. That also incurs a $140.00 fee, but that’s about 3 months and then I’ll have 9 months of saving $50.00 = $450.00. That’s almost 4 months of the extra $120.00 increase. I could cut Netflix loose. I haven’t watched any movies since December, anyway. At $8.00 a month, that’s $96.00. Not quite up to covering the increase but helpful. There is the $15 a month accident insurance I’ve been carrying for years and have never had to use. Savings = $180.00. So, there I’ve covered 6 months so far.
What else? Less frequent haircuts also includes less gas use for the drive to Lansing. Buy fewer kitty treats. Less use of appliances – wash by hand instead of using the dishwasher and laundry only once a week. Water is included in this lease, electric and gas are not. Oven use only once a week – cook for the whole week at one time. That’s a fun challenge. Heat as required by lease, at least 65 degrees. Cooling, only as needed. I like being warm, that’s not going to be a problem.
I could even eliminate what little use of fun money I allow. And I’m ok with that because I’ve already had a quite a bit of fun this year.
Posted by jaselin at June 26, 2012 09:51 PM