We’re trying to move. It’s taking over our minds. Trying to come up with the ridiculously large deposit, trying to figure out timing – when can we give notice and when we can exactly have the money for a deposit (turns out we have a 2 week window… which is just not working for me), trying to find an apartment that’s less than what we’re paying now, but not as crappy.
When we were trying to move just north of the Golden Gate Bridge, we did drive-bys past the apartments we had thought (via craigslist) were doable. And thank god we did. We realized there was a lot of tricky camera usage and smoke and mirrors happening. The apartments were mostly right next to the free way or in housing developments miles from the outside world.
So this weekend we mapped out a route to all of the apartments we thought were keepers in Berkeley and headed across the bridge. It wasn’t all bad (ok, some of it was pretty bad), but none of it was awesome. And Kamel and I took turns moaning about how much we hate the rental market here, how much we don’t want to be faced with these choices because they suck, how hard and frustrating this is, and how the rental market is just getting worse and worse.
The good parts were that we found the neighborhoods we need to look in, the areas that would be good for us and saw some complexes that had leasing signs that we hadn’t found on craigslist. The bad parts were the neighborhoods we can’t live in (so very many), and the acceptance that we probably weren’t going to be able to give the notice to our current landlord that they demand. That means we’ll be forfeiting our deposit, but the truth is, it wasn’t going to be useful for us anyway. If we give the notice they demand we’ll be paying rent here, and then in a few weeks scrambling to pay a 1500-2500 deposit for the new apartment, and then possibly a few weeks after that paying rent at the new place. And that’s the best case scenario. The worst case is that we don’t find an apartment until days before we have to be out of our current place and then I die of stress.
We’ve had to limit our choices (even though the rent for the apartments we want are $200 less a month than what we’re paying now) because the deposit is way beyond what we could ever afford. I mean, who has that kind of money sitting around that isn’t meant to be spent elsewhere? We’re trying to build savings but we don’t have 3 grand that’s disposable. For a 1 bedroom apartment that’s $1200 a month? It makes no sense. And I want to slam my head against a wall. And I feel like everyone is is finding deals and steals, has a better and cheaper apartment than we do, in a better area. And I don’t understand how they do it. How do you do it? We cannot go through another winter with ants. And if we could trim some fat from our rent bill, that would be awesome. But I’m not sure how we’ll do it.