Monday, May 30, 2011

Apartment Hunting 101

c2011 (S)

The basic premise is that I need a place to live, one where I can smoke, have a cat and live comfortably. I need to be able to handle the cost on a fixed budget, and moving to another town to save a hundred bucks a month on rent makes no sense at all.

I say that because there is a nice one bedroom townhouse in Thedford, Ontario for a measly $490.00 month! That's about forty-five miles from here, much of it on two-lane secondary roads. (Whatever.)

Even so, I need to be able to ride my bike back and forth to my brother's place, and my sister's place, and things like that. It seems unlikely that I can keep my van on the road much past the end of summer when the insurance, license sticker and my own license come due.

In the free big-name online classifieds, there are 103 one-bedroom apartments available in the area, ranging from a low of about $450.00 a month plus utilities, to a high end range of over a thousand a month. Again, I don't want to move to Brigden, where they don't even have a grocery store, and all of the other cost/tranportation factors come into play. The 'one bedroom+den' page is blank even though the main page says five items are on it. Two bedrooms would be nice. One prime consideration is a ground floor unit, or a private/seaparate entrance. I say this because of the cat. I'm not giving up my cat! This also brings us to the question, (a five-hundred dollar qustion,) of getting him fixed so he doesn't spray.

So far I have eliminated ten or twelve of them with a quick drive-past.

I have a couple of small bills to pay, and it would sure be nice to get some groceries in here, just to keep me in a holding pattern for a bit longer. So I will essentially be fast-talking my way into a place with a one-month rent deposit, and hopefully that is considered the last month's rent, so then I can pay the first month's rent prior to move-in. The day before, in other words.

Then, all I need to worry about is security deposits on electricity, internet hook-up and maybe a phone, although phone and cable TV aren't my highest telecommunications priorities right now.

At some point, I need to get all my stuff, much of which is heavy and bulky, into my alleged new 'home.'

When I called the housing authority in April, I was told that my name won't come up for geared-to-income housing until September. Originally, I was told 'May or June,' but that's just my tough luck.

They also said, 'Let us know how to get in touch with you.'

I don't have time for you.

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