Operation CasaQuest is in full swing and not going so well. I’ve been looking for places to rent since mid-April, and still nothing. A few things have contributed to this:
- People do not seem to know how to return calls and e-mails. This is an ongoing problem in my life in many domains, but it is most irritating now.
- We have a dog. A big one. That said, he’s far better behaved than any small dogs and most children I know. Yet, because some irresponsible asshole dog owner somewhere along the line trashed an apartment, no one wants to rent to people with dogs. In a big city, this obstacle can be overcome by sheer volume. In a small town, however, this is deadly. The real estate market is controlled by a very small number of people, and they have all colluded to not allow pets. Oddly enough, they have no trouble renting to the irresponsible, petulant children who attend New Job University. Which leads me to…
- Spouse and I are adults. With advanced degrees, a sense of responsibility, and adult manners. We like clean, well-maintained houses where we can live comfortably and entertain our like-minded friends without embarrassment. Many of the rentals in New Job Town and environs cater to either 1) students or 2) rednecks. (I acknowledge the inherent classism in that term, but if you knew my family…) This means a lot of matted and stained carpet, sketchy wallpaper, peeling paint, malfunctioning appliances, and general filth. We did not live this long and work so hard to live in such places. Yet, if we want to avoid them, we find only properties renting for north of $1500/month in a fairly economically depressed area.
- We have furniture and a washer and dryer. We desire to part with none of these things. We’ve found a few somewhat OK places, but they end up being furnished (houses of faculty going on sabbatical) or sans hookups.
I will throw a frickin’ party when we actually sign a lease on a place. This is not a productive use of my time, especially given that we may only live here for 10-12 months. My patience is wearing thin on this.