Confessions of a Laid-off Lawyer

Just Your Average Joe Blogging Away His Debt—In One Year or Less

Liming Around Town

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Total Black: $2,835.30
Total Red: $234,907.81

Long but interesting day.  Met with two realtors.  Both of whom took me to see very different apartments.  I viewed seven different spaces today and, by the end of the day, settled on the one I want. 

Yesterday, just after landing my iPhone died.  There I was, cautiously driving along, without a map to guide me, and without any bearings on where I was going, when thankfully I came across a McDonald’s.  I figured I’d run into McDonald’s, grab lunch, and charge my phone.  But that didn’t work out so well.  I did get lunch, but couldn’t find an outlet.  So back on the road I went, driving around some more when I came across a Radio Shack.  I stopped and bought a car charger for the iPhone.  Without it, I don’t know how long I would have wandered and certainly wouldn’t have been able to find the hotel I ended up staying at.  Because of my battery dying, however, I lost pretty much all of yesterday for apartment hunting.  I hadn’t planned on being incommunicado.  So today started fairly early.

The first realtor I met with I had contacted a few weeks back when I first started planning this trip.  She had been a bit difficult when I reached out to her back then and that didn’t change much today.  First I had to navigate my way to one of her company’s offices just outside of the downtown area.  Nothing wrong with that, but later in the day the other realtor picked me up at my hotel and drove me around.  Nice touch, especially when you don’t know you’re way around town.  This first realtor had asserted weeks back that very few of the apartments her company managed allowed pets.  And that’s where she stayed.  Didn’t budge.  In practice, that statement is rarely set in stone.  Most landlords have a bias for or against dogs or cats.  Some will allow dogs but not cats.  Others the opposite.  When I asked if she could check with a few landlords that they were, in fact, immovable on that point, she didn’t respond.  So she had two strikes against her before I got in her car to see what she was peddling.

After a short five-minute drive, we arrived at a gated condominium complex.  That surprised me somewhat.  Not what I was expecting.  Then she informed me that both spaces that she was showing me were in that same complex.  Not much for variety.  Seemed a bit like a waste of time too.  If you only have one property to show me, why not just send me the pictures?  That’s when I got nervous.  Sure, I was thinking, I have the money to extend my trip a day or two more if I needed to scout out a few other options, but would not be ideal.  I assumed she would be showing me two different locations.  Not two in the same complex.  Condos are clones; not really anything different to showcase.  At any rate, both were nice.  Furnished.  Included a washer and drier.  But neither included utilities and rent would be $1,000 a month.  At least the complex had a pool.  Had I not seen the space I decided on, I probably would have settled for one of the condos actually.

After my brief tour of the same two units, the first realtor drove me back to her office.  Inside she gave me a few touristy things like maps and a weekly guide.  She had been in a rush because she was flying out that afternoon—to New York of all places too.  And frankly, that might have also been a half-point against her too: rather than subject me to her crazy schedule she could have passed me along to another agent who may have taken her or his time with me.  But that didn’t happen.  Another agent did come by as this first realtor and I were parting but only to ask why we were back so soon.  She thought I’d be signing a rental application there on the spot.  Call me formal, but I wasn’t going to cancel the appointment with the other realtor in my haste to secure an apartment, especially since—small world, eh?—one of the two condos  this first realtor showed me was the same, mentioned in A Room With a View, that caused me to slow my apartment hunt down and ultimately take this trip.

I drove back into town, grabbed coffee and breakfast, and walked around a bit.  Then I drove back to the hotel to await the next round of appointments.  As soon as the second realtor arrived, I realized I would be in good hands.  She explained that she would be taking me around to see about five different apartments.  I ran the computations in my head, realizing that meant quite a few hours with her, and she must have sensed it because she said we should just “lime.”  She’s born and raised in the Caribbean and explained to me that liming is a Caribbean expression for just relaxing and laying back.  Just hanging out.  “Let’s lime,” she told me, meaning that we’d take the day and just drive all around town, looking at the different apartment options.  And that’s what we did.  From one end of town to the other, up and down and all around, we went from place to place.  But it was the first place she took me to that I liked the best.  And it was the one I ultimately came back to when I had to make a decision.

Fingers crossed that I’ll get it.

Written by Laid-off Lawyer

May 11, 2010 at 20:07

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