First, I have to show you guys the song that has been stuck in my head for days. The lyrics make for great reading! (hehehe).
This morning was simply beautiful outside. It was 70-ish, with a light breeze. I couldn’t sleep because I was so excited to “go to the farm” to see this unit for rent. When it turned 7:01 I simply could not lay in bed one iota of a second longer, so I got up, went in the shower and went about my business. I took the folks along again this weekend. I don’t want to get roped in to something by the people at the apartment places, and I honestly want my Dad’s opinion. I respect it. I want their opinions of the places I’m looking at. I mean, it is just me living there and if I pick some place that they agree with, then they’ll feel safer knowing what type of place I’m in.
I knew the way to this guys farm because I drive the main road every day to work. It is this long and winding road, full to the brim with horses of every shape and size. Every color you can think of. The air was country-thick, homey and smelled of saddle soap, horse and trees. We pulled up to the gate and drove a bit down his drive towards the stable. It was a pretty good size stable, about 22 stalls. The guy was pretty nice. The first strike against the place was that the unit was converted from an office next to the tractors and hay balers and stuff. The front door was just an office door, with a window that said private. Typical barn like. When I walked in, all I could smell was horses. If I had been younger, I would have been grinning from ear to ear. In fact, I think I still was. The living room was smaller than small. It had to only be 5 x 8. There was no way that I would have been able to get my couch, loveseat, t.v. and coffee table in there. The kitchen was good enough (no dishwasher). If there is one thing I am willing to give up…it’s the dishwasher. I would hate not to have that, but it is what it is.
My dining room table would have fit nicely in the kitchen. The bedroom had vaulted ceilings and overlooked a meadow. The closet was nil. I mean, it was so tiny that I could have probably only fit a weeks worth of clothes. The laundry room was huge. The birds could stay in there, if worse came to worse, but…I would hate that for them. They have been in my parents front bedroom out-of-the-action for ever now, and I would like them to be at the center of it all. They deserve that. The inside of the place smelled like horses. Not even faintly, it just was there. I don’t know if I would want to go to bed smelling horse, wake up smelling like a horse, going to work and wondering if everyone else can smell horse on me. Another negative, was that the front window overlooked the busy stable area. People would be coming and going at all times during the day. I had a little area for a patio, but riders had all of their boots, grooming stuff, extra helmets laying on top of the current tennants table. I wouldn’t be happy having someone else use my furniture. I guess, though, over time they wouldn’t be strangers any more. I defintely would not get to sleep in on the weekends, that’s for sure. At 10 o’clock, this place was teeming with people. Riders, car detailers, riders getting their mounts ready.
I was so in love with this place. And my parents hated it. They talked my ear off about how they didn’t like it, why it wasn’t a good idea, why they thought I should do better than that. Depressing stuff, really.
We went along our merry way, to this apartment complex by my job. I had driven past it the other day and thought, this is perfect! It was literally 2 minutes from work, in a quiet neighborhood, with new buildings, gated, etc. So, when we went inside today? I was super bummed to find out it was income restricted. I made too much money to rent there.
So, we drove down the road a little further, towards the main street. Highway, really. But, next to the big movie theater, there is an apartment complex that D, at work was telling me about. He said his friend and his boyfriend lived there and they really liked it. So, when I went in, I was expecting nice things because D wouldn’t tell me something if it wasn’t true. He’s a good guy. Anywho, go in, find out that the unit size is smaller than the income restricted ones, and nothing is inluded except sewer and trash. Okay, fine, I can deal. It’s close to work so I can probably spend a little more in the apartment because I’ll be saving gas to drive to work. Everything was extra, like for instance, if you wanted a “lake” view (more like pond view) it was $50 extra a month. If you wanted first floor it was $30 extra a month. They had garages, so if you wanted a garage that was $75 extra a month. The unit itself wasn’t bad. It had washer/dryer hookups, screened patio (balcony was more like it), and it was honestly not a bad size. They have every single unit rented out right now, including the one on either side of the only vacant unit, and the unit on top was rented. I heard not another sound. Opened up the screen door, I didn’t hear the theater noise, I didn’t hear the highway and it didn’t seem to be that bad of a community. The gym was 24 hour and if by chance my washer dryer broke down, they had 5 laundry sites.
The guy is going to call me back when they have a vacant one bedroom for me to look at.
The next place we went to had sounded promising. It was about the same distance from work as I am now, just in the opposite direction. But when I got there, I found that it too was low-income. However, it wasn’t restricted to just low-income. I believe the units were the same price, it just depended on what they included with your rent that determined the low-income thing (i.e., I think it was all inclusive if you were low-income and if you weren’t then the rent only included the rent basically). The place was dirty. The outside needed painting, the stairs were rusty, and the other renters either a) didn’t speak english or b) were loud and trashy. I quickly said no thank you, even though the unit had one bedroom plus a den.
We drove all the way down towards the “beach” (if you can call the beach over here a beach). Dad was insisting that it would be the same drive, if not closer. It wasn’t. Every two seconds was a traffic light. It would have honestly taken me so much longer than it does now to get to work. We couldn’t even find the apartment he wanted me to see. So, on our way to the next place, the saddest thing happened. There were a whole bunch of turkey vultures on the road. I am not at all saying turkey vultures are cute…they are kind of morose…and huge (not kidding, their wingspan is about 6 feet). But, there was oncoming traffic, and the flock of them decided to take off to avoid getting run over. One of them was about to get run over, and it took off towards the woman driving a jeep in front of us. This poor bird couldn’t get lift and smashed into the side of her car. It’s poor self flung at her, broke side mirror clear off of her car and landed in the middle of the road. The woman pulled off of the road, I think she had gotten scratched, possibly hurt from the glass from the mirror. I didn’t have the chance to slow down and see if she was alright, but the person behind me did. The bird didn’t make it. I was quite upset about it.
Though, we trudged along, back towards home. Stopped at the place S and his ex had rented. I wish I had known then, that they were income restricted housing. It would have made me a wiser person to have known that he wouldn’t have been able to support me. I made way too much money there too. They had “market” apartments which were like $200 more a month and nothing was included. If I wanted a washer/dryer, it was $50 extra a month. If I wanted to bring my own, I had to take their renters insurance. What’s worse is you had to take their cable service. It was 300+ channels, with a dVR box for $70 a month. That was just the cable alone. When I asked if I could reduce the channels and take the box away, they said that it was either that or nothing. They didn’t allow you to get satellite, and they didn’t contract with anyone other than the bigger cable company around. If you wanted phone and internet, you had to go through the cable company because they didn’t even do dial up (not that I could survive on dial up at this point in the game). However, it was just the principle of the thing.
The next place we stopped at the woman wouldn’t even see us because it was income restricted and I made too much money. I made too much money for five residents (i.e., it went by if you had one person in the unit you had to make under a certain dollar figure, if you had two you had to make under this other dollar figure). All the way up to five people the figures went to. I. I made more than all of it. What ticked me off was that it was a nice freaking unit. 800 square feet, washer/dryer, balcony, dishwasher etc. Yet, I made too much.
I’m really, seriously, considering writing to my congressmen. Why is it, that in this area, you have to be 55+, or dirt poor in order to have a nice, clean apartment? Why is for the working class you have to settle for small, dirty places with sky-high rent? I pay my taxes, I pay for the underpriviledged (Medicare/Medicaid/Welfare). It is so unfair that I have to find a place that is so far out in the sticks, away from my job that I can afford, just to live on my own.
Apartment hunting sucks. I am going to try to get pre-approved for a mortgage and find a little house in the area. Hopefully, this will solve my problems – because then I won’t have a pet fee, pet deposit etc. The mortgage, taxes and insurance would probably be cheaper than rent anyway.
I wish my folks had liked the place with the horses. I have three places on my list of favorites. My all-time favorite that went up the $200, the horse place, and the place by the movie theater. Sigh.