Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Slight change in plans...

So I know that I was supposed to have my post today be a weight loss post.  Unfortunately, it appears that scales are in short supply at the moment, and so I have nothing to actually write about.  I will be going to the gym tonight where there is most DEFINITELY a scale and thus TOMORROW will be weight loss Wednesday.  Ooh.  I like that.  We might just stick to that.  It has a certain ring to it.  Of course, if it turns out to be a weight gain on Wednesday, that has a far less positive ring.  Either way, tomorrow.  Weight Loss Wednesday.  Get ready for it, cuz it's comin!

So rather than just let a whole day go to waste, I thought I'd keep you updated this month on my apartment search.  My reasons for this are 2 fold:

First, I want to try to keep straight when, where and how much each apartment that I saw was.  So this will help in that way.

Second, I want to scare the ever-loving wits out of you so that people stop moving to New York City, making this the only real estate market that DIDN'T crash and instead seems to have flourished in this recession.

And so I begin.

This apartment was found on Craigslist.  I found it listed at the end of April.  Keep this in mind in case I don't scare you right out of NYC:  Always check listings AFTER the first day of the month before you want to move.  New listings come out then and not really before.  You'll have more to choose from and not freak yourself out.  So this particular apartment was sort of a desperation viewing.  It was listed at 102nd Street and 2nd Avenue.  That would be the neighborhood known as East Harlem.  But in my desperation, I convinced myself that just 3 blocks down is actually the Upper East Side and so it's Fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine.  Really!

Let me tell you what I observed as I walked the 3 blocks from the train to the apartment:

1) Approximately 3 white people.  Let me explain... or do I even need to?  I clearly have no issue living around people other than just white people.  In fact, I tend to prefer it.  However, the stereotypes that are linked to non-white neighborhoods tend to play out simply because the stereotype is in place.  So those situations are something I'd rather avoid.

2) Every fast food joint known to man.

3) 2 different schools which means lots of kids, which could go either way.

4) Christmas decorations still hanging on a fire escape.

5) Approximately 52 men of all ages totally willing to be my boyfriend.  So there's that...

The apartment was situated between two delis.  Across the street were the projects that I walked directly through to get to the apartment.  Catty corner was a charter school.  2nd avenue is a rather busy street, and so there was a lot of street noise. 

BUT, everyone was really friendly.  It was a community, and everybody knew everybody.  The guy that showed me the apartment was really nice.  To be honest, I forgot what I was about to look at.  But it turns out it was a 1 bedroom apartment.  It was small, but it's just me and the Puk-meister.  So it would be enough room.  Wanna see it??  Okay!

So this is standing by the bathroom and only closet facing the front of the apartment. 
The kitchen is to the right, there are 2 windows on my left.
 I guess that area is supposed to work as a living room. 
It would be small, but it would work.

When I look directly to my right from the picture above this is what I saw
The bathroom was not cute, but I could spruce it up.
I would, however, I have to leave my beautiful shower curtain behind, and
I don't feel good about that.

This is the kitchen.  The whole kitchen.  It's about 1/5 the size
of my current kitchen.  This... would be an adjustment.
But do-able if I had to... I think.

This is the first shot of the bedroom. 
Two windows that over-look a kid's playground and the street. 
It would definitely fit my bed, dresser and night stand. 
That would be it.

This is taken standing at the windows facing out toward the rest of the apartment.
There is the one and only closet.
I would be Ikea Solutioning that all up and down.
So if I'm being honest, this is not that bad.  The walls were newly painted.  The floors were freshly polyurethaned, and everything seemed to be OK.  It wasn't great, but I'm really not expecting great.  And it was a space that I could make my own with a little paint and some decorations.  The question is, do I want to deal with the neighborhood that comes with this place?  I'm not sure.  It really might not be so bad.  It really might be awful after the sun goes down. 

This apartment is going for $1250/month.  The guy that showed me the apartment couldn't tell me what the move-in cost was or if there was a broker's fee attached to the apartment.  And I have no idea what utilities are included, but since I see baseboards I'm going to guess that heat is not.  I'm waiting on an email back from the broker about these questions.  But mostly, I don't think I'll take it.  It took me nearly 40 minutes to get back to work after I saw the apartment, which is double my commute now.  And you know how much I LOVE my commute. 

Also?  The apartment smelled like powdered doughnuts.  Fresh powdered doughnuts.  And I can't live with that kind of temptation day in and day out.

But it did raise my hope a little bit that I might just find something pretty good in my search over the next month.  I have enlisted the help of my newly licensed friend Amy, who has a few places for me.  I was supposed to go see a couple places after work today, but it looks like that guy is flaking out.  Oh!  That happens all the time too!  They are much like cabbies, in that way.  You are standing right there, willing to get them paid right then and there... and nope.  They just don't take it.  Who knows.  But it comes with the territory.

So the process has started.  Look forward to lots more posts just like this one!

**** **** EDITED TO ADD **** ****
Heat and Hot Water are both included in the rent.  There is no brokers fee, but a month's security, first and last month's rent are necessary to move in.  Which makes it a total of $3,750 total to move in not including any moving costs (truck rental, boxes, etc.). So figure $4,000 move.  Into a place bordering the projects.  Hmmm.

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