From the view of a 20-something dream chaser.

A Place to Call Home

Friday, August 10, 2012

If you are a real adult reading this post, you have probably hunted for your first apartment. You feel my pain. In my first experience finding a place to call home (apart from the one I have with my parents), I was scammed. When someone tells you they are out of the country for business and can't meet you to view the apartment, KNOW that something is up. When they then proceed to request that you wire them funds for the first month and security, CALL THE COPS. Ok, maybe there is no need for you to call the cops, but in no way should you communicate with them further. DO NOT wire them money but DO share your experience online via the hundreds of forums set up just for that. You'd think people would have some decency and not scam innocent movers just looking for a place to rest their heads at night. Wrong!

After I conducted my own research and realized I had almost made a very bad decision, I began my search again for the apartment of my dreams. In New York City. Yes, I know I'm a tad optimistic, but I warned you. I contacted friends I knew who had gone through an apartment hunt in NYC and they suggested sites for me. I then received a text from a friend from undergrad who was also planning to move to New York. We figured it could only save us money, so we decided to be roommates. And this is where it began to get crazy again.

So Deena (that's my friend's name) had a classmate from grad school who was apartment hunting, too. She became Our Third Roommate. After deciding on our musts--three TRUE bedrooms, two baths (yes we were ambitious), reasonable closet space and pets being allowed (for Our Third Roommate), we searched every site we could, called every Realtor in New York (or so it seemed) and made appointments. After getting to New York, we realized how much of spoiled brats we were coming from Virginia. If it had two baths, one of the rooms was the size of a highschooler's locker. If it had a huge kitchen, there was only one bathroom. If it had three bedrooms AND two baths, we heard shooting outside (KIDDING!). Needless to say, we weren't very impressed with what we saw. This was much to each Realtor's surprise after having worked with New Yorkers for so long. And this was only Day 1.

I was pooped. I had never done that much walking in my life! All I could think of was how I wouldn't really need to work out all that much (not that I ever did haha) if I decided to compete again. Right before I went to bed, I received a Facebook message from Hilary, one of my MVO sisters, saying she, too, was apartment hunting in the city. I figured since we hadn't accomplished all that much the first day, we might as well let her join our troupe for the second day. Our Third Roommate had to get back to work in Virginia the next day, so we promised we'd find a four-bedroom apartment that was absolutely perfect for our many needs.

And we did! Hilary, Deena and I fell in love with the first apartment we viewed the next day and knew it was The One. We then learned Our Third Roommate and her dog would actually no longer be moving to New York and we needed to find our second fourth roommate. You might not believe this, but before the day was over, we did. And the next day, we lost her. And we gained another, lost her, gained another, lost him, and finally decided maybe it would be best if there were only three of us. And so there are.

Or so there wereAfter what seemed like eons of searching (it was only about a month), in the end, Deena decided to room with another friend of hers and Hilary and I settled on a 2bed/1bath on the Upper West Side that we couldn't be happier with. Having one bathroom will be a challenge, but we're not complaining. We're actually relieved. This stuff sure can be stressful. We've been through who-knows-how-many applications, ridiculous brokers fees and upfront costs that we're all just glad it's over. Deena isn't too far from us so there will be plenty of opportunities for her to visit and vice versa.

We are happy. After all, it is OUR FIRST APARTMENT. We love saying that. We sign our leases soon. Here's to our New York minute!

Stay tuned for more updates.

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