If I seem like I’m in a bad mood it’s because I’m apartment hunting. Again.
And believe me, hunting is the correct term. It’s a jungle and if you even glance at the apartment that I’ve got my eye on I will regress a few thousand years and go all cave woman.
It’s not that I went into the San Francisco move blind. I knew that rents here are astronomical, even though studies point to those price rises slowing. The fact is they’re slowing from “how many meals can I get out of a packet of ramen?” down to “let’s splurge on vegetables this week!”.Want to move to the second most expensive rental market in the US? Come to the Bay Area! Unless you want the most expensive, in which case get yourself a place in San Francisco city or Silicon Valley.
Still, I’m not really annoyed by that. The frustration comes from people taking the opportunity to get into the rip-off business.
Take a little spin through Craigslist and you’ll find every cupboard under the stairs, wardrobe, shipping container and tarpauline-clad carport listed as a “cosy studio apartment” for a fee that takes two weeks to work off. That’s if you’re lucky enough to earn the average wage for the city.
Nothing screams opportunist more than an ad that spruiks the entire apartment before mentioning that there aren’t actually any cooking facilities in this “living space”, but helpfully suggesting that you can bring your own microwave.
Here are a few snippets from my favourite ads that I’ve stumbled across recently:
“You get a private entrance, what do you want a kitchen for? I mean, I guess you could have a microwave if you’re going to be so picky about it…” Price: $1500 a month
This guy is on the defensive from the get-go. “Look, I said it was a small room, but all you need is a place to throw down your swag and maybe catch a shower every now and then. Oh, and by the way, I don’t allow proper kitchens, drugs or smoking. You people disgust me.”
One of my absolute favourites. You rent one room in a big building. Further down the ad it says that you get to share a bathroom with the occupants of three or four other apartments, but there’s no other mentions of kitchens.
I don’t understand. Who requires a place for a bed and a shower but not a place to prepare food? And why would you pay so much for the privilege of eating microwave dinners? If there’s some logical explanation for this PLEASE hit me up in the comments.
I’m complaining a lot – and I know what you’re thinking: “Why don’t you just wedge yourself into a three bedroom apartment with seven other people?”
Because communal living is fun and not at all messy. It’s just like camp: we just rinse the visible food stains of the dishes and no one ever cleans the toilets.
I’m not bitter. I just can’t subject other people to living with me. It’s not fair on them.
More news from the jungle as it comes to hand.Over and Out.
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Hi, I’m Katherine
An Australian expat who loves living in San Francisco and helping other Aussies make their dreams of moving to the US come true. Read more on my about page.