In two weeks I'll be the proud renter of a much nicer apartment. Long story short, when I was out of work for 5 months, I moved out of the 2BR 2.5BA 2-level "luxury apartment home" in Sunnyvale to a no frills 1BR cut-rate place for less than half the rent. Just being practical.
There's a long story behind why I chose the place back in December 2001. I'm not telling it here (someone hold up the APPLAUSE sign, please).
So now that I'm back at the job I was laid off from, at about the same salary, I'm moving to nicer digs. If they had given me a rent break when I was struggling, the folks at the lavish Briarwood Apartments would have gotten my repeat business. But because they were a-holes about it, they won't. Another long story for another time. Okay wise guy in the back, you can stop clapping now.
Plan A: I started out looking for a place with a dishwasher which accepted cats. No, I don't mean to give the cats baths in the dishwasher. Hmmm. Maybe... no, don't go there. Right down the block I found the lovely Village Lake Apartments, and came this close to putting dibs on a 2BR/1BA. But when I went home and crunched the numbers from the floor plan, the actual living space was smaller than the 1BR I'm in now. And the dishwasher in the model unit they showed me looked like it was from 1970. So I went back to see if they had a 2BR/2BA, which had better numbers, but they didn't have any coming available. And they didn't keep a waiting list.
For a couple of days I followed a friend's advice (Plan C) and looked at cottages, since they are nice places for cats and pianos, but the ones I saw were either too small or looked like they would come down in a high wind, or they were at the end of a long driveway behind one or two other homes. I went that route when I first moved to the Bay Area, and never again - too many times of not being able to get out of the driveway because the drunken coke-snorting bum in the front house had parked his monster truck across both lanes, and then invited a dozen friends from the Small Penis = Huge Truck Club to park there too.
One amusing thing about all three cottages I looked at is they were within two blocks of Easy Street. :-)
So with the cottage dream shattered, I went to Plan B, finding a townhouse apartment (which is a fancy name for 2 floors) in my area code. Apartments.com showed me only two. After carefully considering all the pros and cons, the little voice in the back of my head, which belonged to one of my more Hedonistic co-workers, said "go for the one with the washer/dryer in the unit". Which I did.
The price on the web site was a tiny bit out of my range, but they also said "ask about our specials" so there was hope.
I took off at lunchtime, even brought a check with me just in case, and talked to a very charming and attractive young woman named Camille. She showed me on a map of the complex where a unit was available immediately, and wrote down a price a couple hundred smackers below the web listing's. I asked if there was anything coming up later (like in a month, because I have to give 30 days notice) and she showed me another unit, but said it cost more. The number she wrote down was a whole $25 a month more. She drove me out to the available one, and gave me the tour, and I was happy with what I saw. Of the apartment. Get your mind out of the gutter.
As we were getting back into the golf cart, she said they could only hold a unit for 14 days, but when I did the math that got us to October Fool's Day, which fit into my move plans just fine.
So I wrote out the check for the deposit, went home to get them my offer letter to make a copy, and then to the store to buy a $9 money order for the credit check (a truly bizarre ritual). Signed a 13-month lease, which got me free rent for November. And I need to go to the bank and get a cashier's check for the first month's rent & pet deposit (a very reasonable $300 - my ratty place charged $500). I don't need to do that till the move-in date, but I figure I may as well get it done tomorrow, get it out of the way. I think I'll lose maybe 12 cents in interest.
So on my way out, I drove by the unit, and noticed it there was a back entrance to the complex nearby. Decided to try it, and LMAO when I saw it was Ada Avenue. Two blocks from Easy Street. :-)