The search… for space.

For the past 6 years or so I’ve lived in the same apartment – and it’s time to look for something new.

Now I’ve considered finding a house, but my savings aren’t quite at a level where I can make a considerable down payment, so I’m still renting and saving up in the mean time. Two things I’ve learned over the past few days are – I’ve got a deal on the place I currently rent – and there is a HUGE difference between $800/mo and $1200/mo.

Yesterday I got to check out 5 different apartments with the help of a local realtor. The requirements were simple, at least 1000sq/ft of living space and pets had to be allowed as I have 2 cats. That cut down the number of available locations significantly (the pets part) but left enough to spend an afternoon hopping about Warwick.

Our first stop was Ryerson Rd, a converted barn with an 800sq/ft apartment and a wild view out the back. Unfortunately, the space was oddly configured and thh actual living space was more like 4-500 square feet. Not to mention the bedroom was actually a loft – not a good thing for 2 people who are afraid of heights. Tack on that the entire property just went on the market and that ruled it out. I wasn’t about to have to worry about someone showing my apartment for the next year while I pay off th elease.

Second stop, place in Warwick. 1800’s victorian, HUGE apartment, big rooms, plenty of space. The wallpaper and the wiring was circa 1930, but the rest of the interior was gorgeous. I may just go for this one if the wiring can handle A/C.

Third, dump in Warwick. I knew from the street name that it wasn’t going to be too good, I didn’t imagine how horrid the interior was. First of all, the place was a mess, but secondly the carpets were crap, the walls were crap, it was barely lit and totally run down. I wouldn’t have rented it for $800, let alone $400 in its current shape.

Fourth, dump in Warwick. Well, it wasn’t too bad, another 2nd floor apartment that reeked of mildew and old people. Not to mention it looked like they just dropped a fridge and a stove in the corner of a bedroom, the place wasn’t entirely legal either.

The last place we checked out was eccentric to say the least. It used to be a rehab center that was converted into apartments. Converted on the cheap in some spots, high quality in others – the bathroom was gorgeous, the living room had a pretty decent lean to it – enough that a wheeled office chair would be a BAD thing – odd that they’d install brand new hardwood floors on a room that wasn’t level. The doorways? About a foot shorter than I was. The roof was also crooked, after replacing a slate roof with shingles, they didn’t reinforce the roof with closer beams so it visually sagged. Also, to get to the place, you had to park in a big lot across the street then go around back, under a cluttered deck, up on to the deck and to the back door – through a field of wasps that’d scare anyone.

So we’re 1 for 5. There are 2 more we’re supposed to check out that may be accepting of pets if asked. Still, with an initial cost to just get in of 4 times the typical rent, it may just pay to buy something instead of giving someone a nice fat check only to rent.

Suddenly, a condo doesn’t look half bad.

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