Wednesday, August 13, 2008

"Plan B, thy name is tequila."

Now that my visit to my Mom's is out of the way, Ms. K and I have turned our focus towards restarting our previously frustrated apartment search. There's nothing like a spin through Craigslist and a couple of humiliating calls to brokers to get the gut churning. Yes, I have an awful credit score. Yes, Ms. K is in worse shape. I'm just praying that we can find an apartment, preferably minus a broker, where my income outweighs my credit score.

For those who live outside of New York City, let me explain the apartment hunting process here.

1. Search Craigslist.

2. Email or call a variety of anonymous people about available apartments listed. Brokers have the cream of the crop rental listings, but they charge a 10-15% fee of the yearly rent for their services. You don't have to go through a broker, but the options are definitely limited.

3. Go look at 1,500 apartments during a stressful two week period, most of which pass for crack dens.

4. Pay an enormous amount of money for said crack den.

The thing that is humiliating about this process is that you're handing over very personal financial information to someone who then judges you on your desirability as a paying tenant. And when a broker hears your credit score, they basically want little to do with you (unless you have a guarantor on the lease). I got really lucky with my apartment hunting search three years ago since the place I found was for rent by owner. But dear God, having to start this process again in worse shape than I was three years ago is really making me nervous.

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