Apartment Hunting in Athens

Another thing off my summer to-do list, whoohoo! My family and I drove to Athens early Sunday morning to do business there on Monday. It was a fun, exhausting, crazy, and scary day, and the best way to tell the story is to go through my itinerary.

MONDAY, July 25

8.30 – Meeting with Mr. Teacher

My parents and I arrived at the location a bit early. All parties were only half-awake during the tour of the house. Everything in the house was either new or like new. For the amount of space he was offering, the rent was cheap at $465. I fell in love with a child’s room, which was roomy nonetheless and had a miniature closet. :3

The only problem was that the owner wasn’t absolutely sure he would be renting out the place to me. He needed at least one other person guaranteed to sign the lease to be able to rent it out to me. :(

9.00 – Meeting with Bob

Again, we were early. My dad and I decided to look at the exterior. When we stepped out, the outside smelled of kitty poop. Wrong verb. Reeked, seems to be more appropriate. Despite the smell, my dad and I went back into the car and decided to wait longer.

I was checking out the neighborhood and made the mistake of looking to my left. As I did, a naked guy decided to open up a window. I saw his pubes and everything. *barf* I hurriedly warned my parents, and my mom was willing to get out of there asap because I might end up living with a nymphomaniac. To be polite, I told my parents to still see the place and just decline the offer later. At ten past 9, there was still no sign of Bob so I called him. He then informed me that the place has been rented. I’ve never been so relieved by a failed attempt at business. :)

10.00 – The greedy landlady

At $370/month, I thought that this apartment would be an easy choice. My parents were sold even though we haven’t actually seen the place. When we walked in, the place was wonderfully roomy. The bedroom itself must have been 200 sq ft, and the bathroom had enormous counter space, with two sinks to boot! The backyard had what the landlady called a “chill and grill” with chaise lounges, a new grill, and tall trees for shade. It was amazing, and one can hardly imagine why anyone would choose not live there.

Well, we found out. The application process (me: writing down my in for landlady, her: putting them on file) required not the $50 I was expecting to cover costs of credit checks and whatnot. The cost of the application was a security deposit (one month’s rent) plus one month’s rent. That’s a whopping $740 just to apply. I’ve talked to a lot of renters even before I came to Athens, and this was very, very unusual. Not to mention suspicious. I understand that the security deposit often doubles as “earnest money” but what she was asking for was ridiculous. And greedy.

She wanted my money. Badly. Well, she aint gonna get it.

11.00 – Rally back at the hotel to rant about crazy landlords so far

12.00 – Meeting at the Lopsided House

She greeted me with a smile and apologized for the painting job that was currently going on in her property. For her asking price, I was surprised at how little space there was. :( The kitchen looked roomier than the bedrooms! However, that wasn’t the worst part of it. The building was lopsided. From the outside, it looks fine. Walking inside the house felt more like a nature trek than a walk through a city home. She explained it to us  – apparently some really bad water damage ruined the foundations of the house and they added some 9 inches to one corner to lift the house, but it didn’t do much good. Fabulous. Her selling point though that she was literally a hop-skip away from campus. And if only she didn’t keep asking me to find a room mate, I would have been willing to stay with her.

1.00 – Rally back at the hotel for lunch and rant some more about crazy landlords

2.00 – Meeting with Mr. Topless

I seem to have the kind of luck that lands me random men without shirts. *sigh*

Anyway, this house was one I was particularly excited about because the rent was cheap, and it was an actual house. I also read up on the floorspace and yard space, it was one hell of a house! If I decided to stay there, I would be living with 2 guys and 2 girls, which I figure was an easy way to network in a town where I knew no one. The house was also a comfortable walking distance from campus, which means I won’t have to worry about transit expenses. Sweet.

When my parents and I drove up to the house, there was a bearded, topless youth on the porch. I thought, okay, I guess maybe the manager forgot to inform the tenants that I was swinging by. No biggie. While walking up the steps, the gentleman (insert sarcasm) stood up and asked me if I was Kristina. I said yes. He informed me that he was the manager. *shock* Okay, granted, it was a hot day, but I thought he would at least put on a shirt, especially after I told him I will be coming with my parents.

He opened the doors and we get punched in the face with a mixture the scents of dog, old laundry, and whatever else lived and moved in that house. He apologized, he said they were in the middle of renovating. He showed us the basement room which was one of the places for rent. The wall closest to the outside had no wall to speak of, just wood shavings and cement or whatever. That wasn’t the worst part though – the basement room was next to the beer pong room. Nice. What kind of place has a room just for beer pong? This one, apparently.

The backyard, which was one of the house’s selling points, had a hot tub with a burst pipe and stacks of beer cans everywhere. There were also suspicious looking zip lock bags and plastic containers of loose tobacco leaves. Lovely.

When he walked us to the second floor, he showed us the bathroom which was white underneath all the brown all over it. The counter space and tub was equally nasty. At that point, I had no interest in the place whatsoever, since while a lived-in living room and bedroom I could accept, the bathroom is a place you get naked in. You want it spotless and germ-free, two adjectives that could have never described the bathroom I saw. *shivers*

When he showed us the second bedroom, there was just piles of rubbish everywhere, there were shirts on the windows serving as curtains. I pretended to ask questions, to be polite, then told him we’d show ourselves out.

There was one redeeming aspect of my visit there. Despite the mess, they had one neat cubic foot – their stack of Magic cards.

3.00 – OU Visit

After our horrendous experience with Mr. Topless and the house of horrors, we were glad to walk through the woodsy campus of OU. It occurred to me that the uni spends an incredible amount of time and effort in maintaining the landscape and historical exterior of the school. I have pictures, but those are for another post.

4.00 – Meeting with Ms. Dairy Queen.

This was another house that I was really looking forward to seeing because I’ve spoken to the current tenant and it seemed like we would get along. The agent was late (tsk, tsk) but my parents and used the time to talk about my housing options. At this point, the first house was the only viable option, unless this house turned out to be just as lovely.

When the agent arrived in her lovely red mustang, she walked with a girl about my age. I was surprised, but not offended, this was how she made her living after all. Anyway, when I walked up to them, I learned that the girl was actually my room-mate to be! Yay.

Once upstairs, the first thought on my mind was how hot it was. The afternoon sun (which compelled our Mr. Topless to be shirtless that afternoon) was shining right on the house. It was unbelievably hot. The agent informed me that I could get air conditioning. (I was angry at that point because if you know you will be renting out the place, you should have the AC ready. Like WTH.)  The hallway was teeny tiny and the kitchen had enough space for one person to crouch to load the dishwasher. Cute.

In the end, even though the girl would have made a lovely room mate, I couldn’t accept. The rent was too high for very little space and for quite possibly getting heatstroke in what can be lovely springs and summers in Athens.

RUSH – end of business day deal!

My parents and I then rushed to the renting office of the first house and filled out an application. I’ve already signed the lease and paid the deposit. Whoohoo. When I informed Mr. Teacher of my decision, he said, “I’m glad you took the place. I liked you and your parents.” :)

I’m moving to Athens by the end of August. <3


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. ahromada
    Jul 28, 2011 @ 12:09:56

    You could have just stopped after the first house. :p


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