Monday, February 23, 2009

The hunt for an apartment

So I need to be out of my residence on March 7th, and I am having so much trouble finding an apartment! I am stressed out and frustrated. Being an American around here is tough, because it puts a target on your back that says, "Hi, take advantage of me. I have money." Which I don't.

I have a fairly modest price range of no more than $1,000 pesos per month (or less if possible!) and just that alone has been trouble. Sure places exist that are well within that range, but again, they find out I'm American and suddenly there are all sorts of other fees, or the price mysteriously goes up.

So far I have looked at 2 apartments, and I have about 3 other prospects on the horizon. And let me tell you, none are particularly appealing.

First, on Saturday I went and looked at a place in a neighborhood called Palermo Hollywood (yes, it's really called that) a cute, kind of trendy area of town. The rent was $950 pesos (sure!) and the room was fairly large and came with a huge roofdeck with a grill and all that jazz. It was a nice space. I'd have been living with a local porteña woman and an English girl. The porteña sat me down and we had a great conversation, and I'm thinking to myself, "This is perfect! Nice place, nice girl, nice price, what more could I want?" and then suddenly she says, "So, by the way, in addition to the monthly rent, you also need to pay me an additional $300 USD." So I say, "Oh, like a deposit that I get back when I move out?" and she says, "No, just give me $300. I did some renovations a while back and I need to recoup the costs." ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! So basically she wanted me to just slap down $300 bucks for some "home improvements" I had nothing to do with. Jerk. I thought about it, and realized the whole thing left a sour taste in my mouth. I don't want to start off a living situation feeling like already right off the bat I'd been taken advantage of. So scratch that place off the list.

Then, there was the place I saw yesterday. It was in a great location in Recoleta, just a few short blocks from where I'm staying now. The price was only $900 pesos. But I walked in and saw the room, and although it was big and had a small balcony, the bed was right on the floor and there was literally nothing else in the room. No tables, no closet, nothing. Then I realize that it's a woman and her 17 year old daughter who live there and rent out several rooms. The woman started going on and on about how one boy living there now doesn't eat enough so she makes him dinner, and how she likes doing people's laundry. Wait, Mom? Is that you? Then it suddenly hit me, so I asked, "Can I have friends over?" and she stumbled through a long answer about how they could come for dinner, but I'd need to call and ask first.

Um yeah. I celebrated my 18th birthday almost 10 years ago, and am officially an adult. I think I'm all set with moving back in with Mom. Argentina style. Scratch that one off the list too...

THEN there are my beloved/ horrifying prospects. First, there is the 21 year old boy who contacted me asking if I'd like, for $700 pesos, to share his STUDIO APARTMENT, and kindly offered to "put up a screen for more privacy." Is this really what it's come to??

And of course, there is the room that was offered to me with 2 other men, and it sounded nice enough until I found out why the girl living there now is moving out. Apparently one of the roommates, a young French guy, has some sort of sex addiction that he likes to act out almost daily with different women ON THE LIVING ROOM COUCH.

Dear god.

And last but not least, we have the one I'm supposed to go see tonight (and you KNOW I'm desperate because I am still willing to go see this place), where apparently the ceiling is about 5'8", which coincidentally is slightly shorter than I am, and where the roommates all smoke inside the apartment. For the record, I absolutely hate smoking.

So yeah. I'm frustrated, and likely to be homeless in the near future. Ugh.


Hi, I'm Erica. said...

Quick elaboration on the story--

I checked the place out tonight (you know, the one with the smokers and the midget ceiling) and actually really liked the guys who live there. But the room. THE ROOM! There were two available. The first had the midget ceiling and was approximately the size of one of those cardboard refrigerator boxes I use to make forts out of as a child. The second had--get this--NO DOOR. Yes, there was a curtain. Charming. UGH.

I'm checking out yet another place tomorrow after work, so please wish me luck! xoxo

Karyn said...

Hi Erica:
I am sending you lots of prayers and envisioning you in the perfect place for you! One that is comfortable and very affordable and where you feel at ease, peaceful, happy, creative and all that other good stuff!
Love you!

Hi, I'm Erica. said...

Thanks, Karyn!! Glad to see you're reading the blog!

Good news-- I found a place yesterday that I love, and I'm moving in on Sunday!!!!