During a trip to the city today I arranged to see three apartments in the area we were visiting. For those of you who have been following along I have recently been talking about how finding an apartment now-a-days is a very difficult situation. Apartments for many reasons apparently require that you have excessive amounts of paperwork available on hand for the ‘application’, one of which is usually a credit check.
Before I get to my disgust, and shock at my experience today I want to say something that, (even though it is completely off topic from the drama that inspired this post) I think is very important and must be said,….
IF I HAD GOOD CREDIT I WOULD TAKE MY $3000.00 (that I was using for first and last months rent) AND PUT IT TOWARDS A DOWN PAYMENT ON A HOUSE. BECAUSE WITH GOOD CREDIT I WOULD NOT NEED TO RENT YOUR STUPID, RUN-DOWN, GHETTO APARTMENT!!!
Sorry, it had to be said. I think that it is ridiculous to expect a person to have great credit and be looking for an apartment, people over the age of 25 with great credit, work references, and average incomes usually own houses…. or are at least aiming to. I understand if it is an executive condo n the heart of downtown with a concierge at the door and an indoor pool in the lobby, but some basic, builders beige, cookie cutter, highrise apartment in a questionable part of town should not require that I pass a credit check before they will even discuss an apartment with me. Like honestly, are you telling me that EVERY single person in your 100 unit apartment building has good credit, including the crazy man in the hallway, and the crack-dealing welfare mother down the hall??? I highly doubt it!!!
Besides….Half the time now a days a mortgage is cheaper than the insane prices these buildings expect for rent anyway!!!!!
But anyway, I apologize for that little rant, just one of my constant ponderings… Now, on with my adventure….
So, as I was saying… I arranged to see three apartments today, all ranging in price level, in a certain area of the city, while we were down there today. We decided that we would go to the cheapest apartment first, not only because currently our income is not on the higher end of the scale and we enjoy having money to spend. (For those of you who do not know me personally I am a shopaholic!! Not that I spend a lot of money, but I constantly spend money in little bits, and I enjoy thrift stores!)
I will tell you honestly, the thought of possibly moving to the city got me excited, although we were looking more out of curiosity (a what you can get for your money in the city, kind of curiosity) than anything else, I started to remember the excitement that the hustle and bustle of a city environment brings.
But, never-the-less, We punched the address into our trusty GPS, and followed Lee’s directions very carefully. (Lee, is the man that lives inside our GPS and tells us when to turn, which road to take, and how long it will take us to reach our destination. No, I didn’t name him, it’s not like an imaginary friend or anything, he introduced himself at one point…. I am not crazy, stop shaking your head!!)
Anyway… driving along in the traffic of the city Lee announced that we had arrived at our destination of “2700 Lawrence Avenue East, on the left.”
Excitedly, I looked out the window (at what could possibly, maybe, perhaps, one day, be my new home) and I nearly fainted…..
Don’t judge a book by its cover, that’s what they say right? Well THEY are morons!!!!
“To the left” As Lee so kindly stated, stood the most run-down, filthy, ghetto looking apartment building I had ever seen in my life. Smack dab in the middle of a fairly ‘clean looking’ neighbourhood!
Generally, any sane person, would have climbed back into their vehicle and simply moved on to the next property on their list, but I am not known for my common sense, and curiosity got the best of me in this situation…
Upon entering this sleazy (to say the least) building I took note that the trash can in the front foyer was overflowing with rubbish, which was pouring on to the unwashed (perhaps never washed) floor. I passed through the cluster of intimidating looking loiterers that were congregated next to the trash can, and entered the rental office. The woman I had spoken to on the phone had been friendly and somewhat informative; the woman I found standing in the rental office was not so pleased to meet me apparently!! She looked me up and down as she held her young child in her arms, and gave me a VERY dirty look when I started talking to her other daughter, who was smiling at me from the corner. She would not even speak to me, and up and left me with her husband in a huff….hmmmm… yet another reason I should have walked out right then and there, but….blah, blah, blah….
So we got into the elevator with the ‘building manager’ a young colored guy who could not have been a day over 25, and I held my breath as the rickety contraption made its way up the three floors to the apartment he chose for us to view, (even though I clearly stated that I would prefer the apartment on the sixth floor that was also available) and we stepped off into a dark, dingy hallway… just when I thought I could breathe the smell hit me like a ton of bricks..
Now not to be rude, but it is a known fact that larger apartment building in the city have a certain smell to them, it is a mixture of many different cultures of cooking all blending together in a muddle of curry, fish, and various spices. It is a smell that takes time to get used to, eventually you barely notice it anymore, but at first it can be more than overwhelming!
Once the shock of the smell subsided we followed the manager through a mutilated metal door that read 320 in faded black lettering….
NOW THIS IS WHERE IT GETS GOOD!!!
Inside this apartment was the most disturbing situation I have EVER come across! Entering into a small foyer, the smell of the hallway seemed almost pleasant in comparison. The walls (that were probably once a crisp, clinical white) were crusted with layer upon layer of grime. There was trash strewn on the floor, and piled in the corners, and the all the overhead lights were bare bulbs, so filthy with dust and dirt that they were threatening to dissipate at any moment.
The kitchen was nothing more than a closet… NO, seriously… picture a bedroom closet, you know those generic bedroom closets with the double sliding doors? Imagine taking the doors off and shoving a stove at one end, a fridge at the other, and two cabinets with a sink in the center space that remains!!! The cupboard drawers could barely open due to the lack of space.
But what really, really did it for me was the pile of dead bugs in the one drawer that could open, and the live insects that were freely roaming on the counter, stopping only to look at us as if we were invading their space!!!!!
That was the end of it for me, even my deep-rooted curiosity could not convince me to carry on past this point. My bf was beyond disgusted and felt no-two-ways about saying so to the 25 year-old property manager, who was doing a terrible job of acting shocked by the surroundings. (He was not winning any awards for this performance from us, you could see right through his façade of bewilderment… in fact I believe I caught sight of a slight smile on his face!)
Needless to say my excitement ended abruptly at that moment and my daydreams of a fun, fascinating life in the city were carried away with the roaches…. I did muster the strength to attend the other two scheduled appointments, but my heart wasn’t in it, and my stomach was not prepared for another shock like that….
As we drove home in silence I could not help but think of the people who must have lived in that awful apartment… I can be messy at times, but filthy is a whole other story…. Just the thought of it was enough for me to use up an entire bottle of bleach in my kitchen, just because….
And so, as I sat here tonight looking at ads for apartments online I remembered a lesson I learned today… generally as a rule when searching for a place in the city, you will definitely get what you pay for!!!
Possibly, But Probably Un-Related Articles
- Top 10 Signs Your Apartment Sucks (rentersinsurance.org)
- Things to Consider in an Apartment (rentersinsurance.org)
- How to Rent an Apartment when Your Credit Sucks (rentersinsurance.org)
- City Room: Your Worst New York Apartments, Remembered Fondly (cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Cockroach Infestations Increase Risk for Allergies & Asthma Attacks (eon.businesswire.com)
- What Do Cockroaches Have in Common With Derek Zoolander? | Discoblog (blogs.discovermagazine.com)