Get a root canal. Get punched in the face. Pass a gallstone the size of Wisconsin. Watch a “Jersey Shore” marathon (and/or read Snooki’s “book”). Drink watermelon-flavored Four Loco. Spend 24 hours locked in a small cage with all my ex-boyfriends…sober. Listen to a Yoko Ono album on repeat. Go on a date with Charlie Sheen. Work as Charlie Sheen’s press agent. Hell, work as Charlie Sheen’s liver.
All things I’d rather do than go apartment hunting in Boston ever again.
For the past month, my husband and I have been attempting to navigate the jungle that is the Boston real estate market while staying in temporary housing. However, there’s been much less real, and much more surreal.
There was the sweet apartment in a cute neighborhood that was amazingly within our price range. The photos online showed a cozy two-story complete with an adorable spiral staircase. What the photos didn’t show was that the entire place was approximately the size of my college dorm room, the kitchen was quite literally in the hallway and the spiral staircase was so small, anyone above a size six ran a good chance of getting permanently wedged between the two floors.
There was the completely renovated apartment that was drop dead gorgeous with its hardwood floors, big kitchen and complete lack of any semblance of a closet.
There was the landlord who didn’t like the looks of my husband’s credit report so asked for a co-signer. When we got a co-signer, he wanted a statement from the bank saying we had paid off our cars. When we got him that, he wanted us to pay a huge pet fee, in addition to first month’s rent, security deposit and the agent fee. When we said we could get him that, he asked for our first-born.
(OK, perhaps I’m exaggerating slightly…but only slightly).
There was the nice college-esque pad that wasn’t available until June.
The affordable apartment that didn’t take dogs.
The slightly less affordable but still manageable apartment that did take dogs, just not ones over 20 pounds.
The totally awesome apartment that took dogs that we could afford if maybe we sold off three-fourths of our major organs (and some minor ones for the security deposit).
And then, finally, FINALLY, we hooked up with a great real estate agent who found us the mythical “perfect” apartment. Spacious, newly renovated, nice neighborhood, reasonable rent, great porch, dog-friendly, storage space, washer and dryer, tons of closets, small yard, even a freakin’ drive-way. We immediately filled out an application and wrote a check on the spot.
Of course, since the check was from out-of-state, they needed a cashier’s check. Which I couldn’t get from a local bank without opening an account which I couldn’t do without having a permanent local address. Luckily, the landlord said he would accept a money order, which I got after hitting up four different Western Unions (three of which said they don’t do money orders and/or their machine was broken) and making a frantic phone call to my bank in Texas to temporarily raise the daily limit on my debit card.
But all of it, the craziness, the frustrations, the pure lunacy of it is worth it for this apartment. Which should be ours tomorrow pending the signing of the lease.
Or at least that’s what our real estate agent said when she talked to the landlord’s real estate agent who was informed by the landlord that tomorrow we could probably sign the lease.
(Just have to finalize that whole “give away our second-born” clause in the fourth paragraph).