Monday, November 24, 2008

Elinor Approves the Rent

I found the perfect apartment. It is (almost) everything I wanted – good price, nice location, plenty of space, charming woodwork. Yep. I found the perfect apartment. But it wasn’t easy.

When I first started my search everything I found was too expensive, too small, too hot, too cold, too far or too dangerous. I learned the real meanings of words like rustic, cozy and beautifully redone (rundown, small, expensive). I learned that the most wonderful prospect can be disqualified by one fatal flaw – like one that had no lock on the front door, or another where you couldn’t stand upright in the bathroom.

After a while, I had a system. I narrowed down the neighborhoods that I would allow myself to look in – based on average rent, proximity to work and interest. Then I started calling, looking for the apartment with the best combination of factors. When I got a call back I would start with THE most important element and work my way down the list.
* RENT - It had to be within my budget, or I would end the conversation there – no need falling in love with a place I can’t afford.
* UTILITIES - I wanted a place where I could control my own heat since I like it on the cool side.
* FLOORS - I really needed a place with carpet since I don’t have any rugs.
* SECURITY - The door needs to lock. Pretty simple.

So, after finally knowing what I was REALLY looking for, I set out to fall in love with an apartment … and I found one! It meets all my basic needs, plus I like it. (More to come.)
All in all the apartment hunt was a rewarding experience. I came away with what I wanted, and I came in under budget. I feel like Elinor in Sense and Sensibility:

The house … was on so simple a scale, and the rent so
uncommonly moderate, as to leave her no right of objection …

In other words, she found a place SO perfect that she HAD to take it.

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