Off-Topic: Adventures in Apartment Hunting Part 1

Dorothy once clicked the heels of her red shoes and said, “There’s no place like home”. For almost a year now, Steff and I have been talking about find our own place that together we could call home. Over the past month or so, we’ve taken the next step and have been actively apartment hunting. It’s been an interesting journey to say the least. After looking through hundreds of apartment listings between the two of us (more her than I to her credit), we booked appointments and made our way out to places we thought we could call home. The results? Click through to find out!

(Not the actual house)

House #1: Old House

We were equally excited/nervous about going into our first appointment. We were excited about the fact that we finally got to hunting for a place after months of discussion and that we found a house that was within our price range. On the other hand, we were nervous about going through this process, as we’d never done this before.

Going into the house, we really liked the fact that it was pretty roomy. We had access to the main floor and the top floor, which would have given us way more space than we were expecting. The place also had a driveway that would fit both of our cars. It was also nice to know that the landlord had been spending the last few months renovating the place.

However, it had some big drawbacks. The biggest one for me personally was that it’s old. For whatever reason, I have a stigma against houses built before 1960 and aren’t in tip-top shape. I’ve had this stigma associated with old places for almost my whole life for some reason. Some of the more quantifiable disadvantages to the place were that the landlord’s mom lived in the basement, the fact that you could hear everything happening in the house from every room, utility costs were really high and we would have 0 access to a washer or dryer.

Steff was more sold on the place than I was, but after that first appointment, we agreed that we wouldn’t put serious consideration into any home unless we were both in love with it.

(not the actual house)

House #2: Crack House

The pictures in the ad made it look like a cute and livable space. When we reached out to the landlord, he said that he wouldn’t be able to be there to show us the place, but we could look at it ourselves by accessing the key in the lock box located at the front of the house. We found it weird that he would trust us like that, but whatever.

Driving into that area, Steff and I felt a bit…uncomfortable. It was easily one of the sketchiest areas I’ve ever been to in Canada. It was an old area that was designed in a really weird way. Detached homes were only detached by 2 or 3 inches. Many of the homes on this street appeared super tiny and/or didn’t have access to parking. The house we had an appointment to see didn’t have access to parking. On those grounds, it was already D.O.A.

We decided to look inside anyway. What we found was memorable to say the least. It was the tiniest house either of us had ever seen. The ad said the house was 1,200 sq ft, but that was a flat out lie. At most, it was 1,200 sq ft if you include the back yard. The single-floor house itself had to have been notably less than half of that.

Besides being a place that was…cozy…there were a number of other fails. The second bedroom was clearly just the dining room with walls around it, as the room’s light source was still a chandelier. The master bedroom was small, still had a bed in it, and had a washing machine at the foot of the bed. I wasn’t sure what I found more weird; the fact that there was a washing machine at the foot of the bed or the fact that the house had a washing machine but no dryer. In the closet of the master bedroom was a door in the floor that let you go under the foundation of the house, which freaked Steff out more than any of the other oddities in this place. As if things couldn’t get worse, the fridge had rotting food in it and smelled disgusting and the bathroom had a giant patch of mould growing just behind the toilet.

Unless you were planning on using it as a crack house, or as a rendezvous point for your secret love affair, this was not a place of value. As we drove away, I gave the landlord a call to thank him for the opportunity to check his place out. As if things weren’t sketchy enough, he then dropped the price and promised to build an extra room at the back of the house to accommodate a washer and dryer. We could not get away from this property fast enough.

This is running a bit longer than anticipated. I’ll break it out into multiple parts. Stay tuned to find out how the rest of our adventures went!

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