Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Um, where is the shower?

I've seen a few more apartments this week. All were pretty interesting in their own way.

I had to go through a broker to see the first one, though it was no-fee. This one was a guy from Halstead. They're pretty reputable as far as real estate firms go in the city. My experience was neutral.

The first place I saw was on Mott. The building had a cute entrance though the first door had no lock on it. It just swung open like any shop door would. Not exactly secure. The apartment was on the 4th floor of the walk-up. I was happy to notice that there was only 1 neighbor on the floor and we would not have any common walls. The broker opened the apartment, which was pretty damn cute. The $2400/mo Jr 1 BR's door opened straight into the kitchen, which separated the living area from the bedroom. It even had a dishwasher! I was bothered by the medium-stained cabinets mixed with black appliances but that's a quibble. We checked out the bathroom, which was decent. It had subway tiles and had been recently renovated, though I was disappointed that there was just a pedestal sink with no storage vanity. Luckily there was enough room to put in a small shelving unit.

Back in the apartment, I took a look at the living area and immediately burst out laughing. It was tiny. It was a long room so I could potentially have an office area and a living area. But what about my bed? "Where's the rest of it?" I asked the broker, ready to leave. He waved me back towards him. A door I thought was the closet was actually a decent-sized bedroom. Because there was no window it couldn't officially be called a bedroom. It easily doubled the size of the apartment (that wasn't saying much though, it was about 250 sq. feet total). Suddenly I was willing to consider it again. The closet was outside the bedroom which was odd. But it was California-closetized which was nice. I took a closer look at the living area and its two large windows. And that's when I saw the view: a cemetary. "Well, at least it will be quiet!" the broker joked. Ha...ha...no. Ignoring the creepy view, the apartment was overpriced in my opinion. $2100/mo would have been more appropriate. So I passed.

Next was a studio at Elizabeth and Houston. This one was in an elevator building. Nice foyer. The apartment was on the 5th floor. It was about 375 sq. feet and had three large windows. The kitchen was kind of older and I noticed the floor was pitched a bit near the walls. But it had two huge closets and a large bathroom with lots of storage. It was pretty appealing at $2300/mo, especially when I saw the fitness center and laundry room in the basement. So I asked about incentives -- a free month to be exact. But the only incentive was no fee. Lame. Then I crossed paths with another girl who had just seen the place. She was turning in an application. I took one as well but wasn't sold on the place.

The broker wanted to show me one more apartment on Mulberry. He dropped me off at a coffee shop to fill out an application for the $2300/mo studio. But I didn't want to fill out the application. The rent was too high. So I grabbed a coffee and told him as much when he returned. He tried to pressure me into filling out the application and I got mad. I told him I wanted to look around more and he finally backed down. The super for the Mulberry apartment wasn't around so we parted ways.

Today I saw an apartment owned by the same company as the best apartment I've seen so far on Sullivan St. In fact the listing said the $1825/mo studio was on the same block and I got really excited. I was also skeptical of what $1825 would yield in Soho, since almost nothing I've seen has been below $2000/mo.

Turns out not much. First of all, the apartment wasn't on Sullivan; it was on Thompson. Secondly it was $1900/mo, not $1825. Third, it was ridiculously tiny. I couldn't even measure it accurately because it was laid out so wonky. It was on the 3rd floor of a walkup with neighbors on either side. I knew it would be tiny but I wasn't prepared for what I saw. The entry was a long hallway that opened into one itty bitty room. On one side of the room was a kitchen with a mini-stove and mini-fridge and two cabinets. The other side was the living/bedroom area, if you could even call it that. Those two areas combined measured about 150 sq. feet. Teeny tiny. I opened what I thought was a closet (again) to find a toilet and sink.

There was a guy viewing the place as the same time as me, and he said, "Um, where's the shower?" My eyes were wide. Where was the shower?? It was in the kitchen of course! I know that isn't unusual in Europe, but, well, this isn't Europe. This is the 2nd apartment I've seen like this. All I could do was laugh. Then the woman showing the apartment shushed me! "Don't influence him, maybe he likes it," she said. He just winked at me. I think like is far too generous a word.

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