When I first arrived at the beginning of my new life, I was in for more of an adventure than I ever thought possible. Of course I neglected to plan the most important thing involved in moving to a new city: Securing a living space.
It was the beginning of August in Minneapolis. Everyone and their brother was visiting the Mall of America or checking out the art fair at Loring Park. Or maybe even the state fair. So there were very few available rooms that I could afford. I was waiting on my last check from my previous employer, and I didn’t start my new job for a couple of days yet. So I had very little money in my bank account. Luckily I had some of those fancy hotel reward points left over from the few months I spent in Milwaukee, which I was able to use to get a free room.
After this free night ended, I had the task of finding a hotel that would allow me to stay for an extended period time without paying right away. Eventually I stumbled upon a hotel. It was beautiful really. A thing of luxury. And after I got my head out of the clouds, I proceeded next door to the Days Inn.
This stay lasted for about a month. All the while I was looking at apartment after apartment. The first place I went to seemed too good to be true. It was affordable (for the area), the pictures showed flawless carpeting, amazing windows with spectacular views, and many amenities were included. Parking garage? Convenient! Laundry facilities? Stellar! A pool and workout room! Wow, sign me up!
I get to the leasing office and meet with the agent. We discuss what I am looking for, my price range, etc. This particular company had 7 buildings in a sort of little village. He mentioned that the studio apartment I had originally called about was no longer available, but that was ok because there were 7 buildings. Surely they would have something suitable.
WRONG. Not only were the pictures online that of the most expensive penthouses (of course), but the leasing agent kept trying to show me units that were well over my price range. Two and three bedrooms. All I wanted was an affordable studio or one bedroom! He showed me ONE unit that was in my price range. I was surprised that it was even an option. Honestly it looked as if the previous tenant had placed catnip underneath the carpet and let their cat go nuts. It also looked like this cat ate a lot of spaghetti.
The next place I looked at was in a great location. Right by Loring Park downtown. Within walking distance of everything I could ever need. There wasn’t a guaranteed parking spot, but I figured there had to be other options. So I went to look since this was was a pretty affordable place, and so close to everything.
After searching for a place to park for a half hour, I met the landlord and we walked up to the top floor of this beautiful old brownstone. The apartment was.. shockingly tiny. The entire floorplan (bedroom, kitchen, living room, and bathroom) was about the size of just my bedroom at my parent’s house.
Back home, a place like this would have gone for about $300. Here, it was $800. The wood floors were scuffed and scratched. The only window in the place had a wonderful view of a brick wall. There was no laundry or parking included. I was pretty sure my couch wouldn’t even fit through the door. And if by some miracle I got that couch up the stairs and into the apartment, it would have taken up a majority of the living room.
I spent the next couple of weeks slowly losing hope as I continued to cross possibilities off of my list. One shitty place after another. At one point I started looking at apartments that I knew were way too much. Simply because I could. I wanted to see why on earth these people thought it was ok to charge more for rent than what my car was worth! One place in particular really stuck out to me. It was a breathtaking studio. Brand new. Again, the whole unit was about the size of my room at my parent’s house. The one outside wall was almost all window. The view wasn’t anything special, but the apartment definitely was. There was every imaginable amenity, and everything was meticulously taken care of. But the catch? Parking was $130 a month! On top of the $1150 they charged for rent. Sure, sign me up! Let me just go ahead and sell my vital organs online. That should be enough right?
After searching and searching for what seemed like forever, I finally found the one. It was the best apartment I had looked at. The most amazing view one could hope for, all recently remodeled. Free laundry AND free parking. You can’t find just one of those perks anywhere in this city, much less both of them at the same place. I HAD to look at this place!
I responded to the Craigslist posting expressing my interest and made an appointment to look at the place. When I walked in, I knew it was going to be mine. It had to be. There was no other way that this was going to go. And I would make sure of it.
For those of you who don’t know me, when I decide that I want something, I get it. Not because I am lucky (though I’m sure that plays a part), but because I am fucking stubborn. And I will go to whatever lengths I have to, to obtain said desire.
Which is exactly what I did. I jumped through hoops that I shouldn’t have been able to even climb through. I scaled mountains that I never should have even known existed. I was unstoppable!
Now, I know what you are thinking, “How hard can it really be to get an apartment?” First of all, shut up! Maybe for YOU it wouldn’t be hard. But for me, it wasn’t exactly a cake walk. I had to somehow prove that I could come up with two grand to move in (not to mention the thousand dollars a month after that). With a job that I had barely even begun to understand. With what could very well be a record for lowest credit score possible. And with a past rental history that was less than perfect. To say the least.
Fortunately, my landlord took a chance on me and I now spend my nights sipping Mountain Dew from a wine glass (don’t judge), relaxing on my big ass couch, and enjoying the view.