Friday, September 19, 2008

Chasing the Dragon...

of the perfect cheap rental place.

This is an addiction I've had for years. This is why I've lived in something over 20 different places. Sure I took a little time out to own a home in Iowa, but that was because I'd run into the world's WORST landlord (and one of my other landlords was a child molester who would stand in the hallway between the various apartments and listen to me the one who inspired me to buy a house was REALLY bad).

I have a rental on the rez AND a rental in Spokane that meet my requirements:
*Maximum square footage per rent dollar (like over 3square feet per rent dollar on rez, about 2ft/$ in Spokane!)
*Laissez-faire landlords (the rez-landlords did not question why there was a deer skelton on the porch roof, the Spokane landlord does not come over unless there is a problem)
*Lots of light and air
*I can walk to everything I really need (groceries, work (well, the Spokane rental flunks this but you can walk to thrift stores so it is redeemed), coffee)

And yet, once I discovered craigslist, I became addicted once more to finding the perfect rental. So I obsessively check craigslist to see if there are better rentals (cheaper? better location? better windows? space for a garden? no lawn care? weirdly entertaining neighbors?).

Craigslist has photos. It links to google maps where you can click on street view and see the places! Maybe THIS one is on a country road that also has bus service...let's check the Spokane Transit Authority website against the googlemap street view and see if that bus stop really IS that close...

But what's the point?
I like my apartment in Spokane even if I hate living in Spokane. Once I'm home. I don't have to drive. There are 3 buses that go past the place and a grocery store across the street. The chick who lives downstairs is in her last year of law school and way to busy to make noise. The guy I share a wall with is quiet too (though may be moving soon). The walls are real plaster so unless someone is being a super a--hole, I'm not going to be bothered. Sure there is the drive to work, but the trade off is no drive once I'm at the apartment.
I'm drawn to the rentals on craigslist that would be closer to work, yet still in Spokane (El Kid needs to stay in school and do other things that require him to a) be in Spokane and b) either be near a bus stop or have me drive him all over hell and we know that last bit ain't happening.
The bus service on the edge of town towards work is spotty at best.
That would mean I'd have to drive El Kid all over town. This would cut down on his independence and cut UP on the actual amount of time I spend driving around town. I would hate that. I'd save about 10miles in the daily total commute, only to drive 15 or 20 around town since there is no bus in the area.

And yet...those apartments or duplexes on the edge of town...they wouldn't feel so much like I lived in town. And yet...I'd have to drive around town constantly often during rush hour. I hate that. Spokane has the worst traffic and road maintenance for a town its size. It's actually famous for the ruts in the pavement. So why would I want to live on the edge of town and then drive in it every evening and all weekend? Why not stay where El Kid can take the bus, I can walk to a thrift store, coffee, and to get groceries?
Why craigslist? WHY DO YOU TEMPT ME SO?

I always have liked looking at floorplans and then deciding why they suck and why I would hate living in those houses. Maybe this is similar. I like looking at the apartments and thinking the grass would be greener...but I hate to mow and I'm allergic to grass so I need to just stop.

Is there a way to block craigslist from my computer?

I should switch to only searching craigslist in Paris and Prague and Petaling Jaya. Then I could at least be finding vacation homes.

Actually, I do search craigslist for various locations. You get some insight into the local culture when you check out what's on the "free" section. Here there are lots of couches and big screen TVs and moving boxes. Things students and the working poor buy then chuck when they have to move to a cheaper place (which they found on craigslist).

In Paris what's free?
A bathtub with no feet that you have to set up on bricks...
Crappy Ikea bookshelf
Moving boxes

You see the difference? In Paris, it's FRENCH crap. In Spokane it's boring American crap.

Wonder if Rekyavik is more interesting?
They don't have a craigslist so we'll never know.

Oh well. Perhaps I can change my addiction to the apartment ads over to an addiction to the best-of-craigslist and think about those poor slobs who write what they think are long creative missives and post them in cyber space as if anyone gives a crap.

Oh wait...uh...Trust me blogging is TOTALLY different.

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