2B or not 2B
At 1 Tennis Court. Man, I can't believe I just made that joke.
Jessie and I have been in search of an apartment and we looked at what will probably be the one we move into today. The apartment is apartment 2B at 1 Tennis Court. That itself is a pretty good reason for me to like the apartment. That and the fact that it's the same size as the apartment I'm in now for 2/3 the price and it would be for Jessie and me alone. Plus Sophie a future unnamed kitty.
When we first got there, I was immediately getting a vibe of not belonging in the neighborhood. It might have been because I'd never really been in that neighborhood before or that I'm not really out in the day time anymore and it was pretty crowded out. Working the graveyard shift has gotten me accustomed to seeing no one around most of the time.
Another reason why I could've felt out of place is that the area is predominantly African American and here was this Asian dude and a white girl walking around. To the people there, we represent a rising cost of housing and a change in the makeup of the community. The broker mentioned herself that she'd been moving enough people into that building to see the change in the demographic.
That's not to say that it isn't true for where are currently living. I remember a few months back seeing a flyer posted on our front door. It was for a community meeting concerning the influx of rich white kids into the neighborhood which was raising living costs for everyone else. Of course, it's a legitimate concern on their part just as it is a legitimate interest in brokers and realtors to move in people who make more money and can pay more rent. Fun Fact: The minimum annual income required for applying for the apartment was $44K. The median household annual income for the people in that area: $19K. Chew on that for a bit.
OK, done chewing?
So there was that initial uneasiness with the neighborhood, though there was a fantastic fresh market that Jessie was very excited about. There was also a seafood place and a butchers which I am also excited about. When we finally met up with the broker, we walked to the apartment from the subway station. It was a little gross hot absolutely fucking close the apartment is to the train station. I have a feeling I could hear the train coming from the apartment and run in time to make the train. You can see the station from the bedroom window.
We waited a few minutes for the super to let us into the building to look at the unit. He was busy kicking out a delivery guy who was leaving menus. The super seemed way laid back and really nice and he lives in the building so that is all good.
In the past 24 hours, I probably spent about 4 hours trying to figure out the layout of the apartment from the handful of pictures the broker had on the website. I was way off. I had everything going up from the living room but everything went down. Click the link to see what I mean.
Immediate first impression of the apartment: Meh. I think my expectations were raised artificially by photos and my own daydreaming. The place is actually probably in better condition than our current apartment. It's just as big and cheaper. My current concern is with the shower. The apartment has a bathtub that has no shower. The shower is a stall by the bathroom door. I've never been that comfortable using stall showers because I grew up with bathtub showers. It's a small complaint though. When we first moved into the apartment we have now, I was pretty grossed out with the shower. Now I don't give a crap.
So after looking at the apartment, the broker asked us how interested we are in the place and we said we were pretty excited about it. That was a pretty bad idea. She'd mentioned trying to bring down the rent but that really isn't necessary since I can afford the place and was obviously willing to pay the listed price. I am no good at haggling prices, you see.
We left for home and I was still very apprehensive about the whole thing. I couldn't really pinpoint any one thing that was causing it and Jessie tried her best to calm me down. Relief finally came when we got back to our apartment. One of my concerns was that I didn't know the neighborhood at all so I couldn't really feel safe there and that's pretty important to me. We decided to check into the crime rates in the area and we actually found the information on the broker's website. Property crime in the area was about half the national average. Total crime was 20% less than the national average. Both good things. The personal crime rate was 16% higher than the national average. That got me a little concerned and so we compared that to the crime rates of where we were currently living. With the national average at 100, property crime was at 76, total crime was at 129, and personal crime was at 183.
Relief. For kicks, we looked up the neighborhood I work in. Property: 152, Total: 179, Personal: 207. So yeah, there's that.
So at that point, I started relaxing about the neighborhood and started worrying about the money. There's a lot to put up front and I'd be doing it for the time being. I'm certainly able to put it all up front but it's coming out of my savings and I've had that money in there for a while "just in case" and seeing that amount dip considerably puts me off, slightly. But I'll be getting most of it back and my money concerns are all but gone.
Especially since now I'm looking at buying hundreds of dollars of Ikea furniture. Looking at all the great stuff we'll be buying to populate the tons of space in our new apartment got me excited about the place again and allayed most of my fears.
I think I'm done thinking about this. I'm going up to the broker's tomorrow morning to get some paperwork done. I need to get my brother to be a guarantor for me because my annual income (twice that of the median income for the area) is just shy of the required annual income for the apartment. I'm looking forward to getting all this boring adult stuff over with so we can start moving in.