Monday, June 14, 2010

Apartment Living

I’ve heard stories this week that make me glad I’m not a renter with or without a roommate.  I know both of these people well and have their best interests at heart.
The first is soon moving to San Francisco.  He would like to rent an apartment before he goes so as not to waste time upon arriving.  He found an ad on Craig’s List for what looks like a nice place in a good neighborhood.  Before agreeing to rent to him, the owner requested that he have a friend come take a look at the apartment.  She didn’t ask for a character reference, just a friend to show up in person since he isn’t there.
He has no friends currently in SF, but said perhaps one of his sister’s ex-housemates could stop by.  Then he started to wonder why the owner was so intent on this step before offering a lease.  I’m guessing the place may smell either of smoke or cat pee.  Any other thoughts?
The other person recently moved into an apartment in upper Manhattan with someone she had never met before.  They seem compatible enough.  But recently the housemate suggested they buy a 40” TV.  Fine if you are making lots of money or have a trust fund.  But if you are on a student loan, that’s an unnecessary stretch.  I’m sure she’s torn, but it’s a tricky situation.  The easiest decision is to just go along with it and cough up $250 or whatever half of one of those monster TVs costs.  If she doesn’t, she will probably feel funny about watching it.  I think she had been sort of hoping for no TV at all.  
Living in a house we own with a roommate that I have had for decades has its share of issues, but none like the two above.


Blogger Cyndy said...

The idea of roommates splitting the cost of a TV makes me nervous. How long are they planning to live together? How will it work when one of them moves out? I think it's a much better idea in roommate situations for one person to buy the TV, another to buy the couch, etc. so you at least know what you own when moving time comes around. Splitting the rent is as financially intertwined as I'd want to be, especially with someone I just met. But maybe that's just me.

2:41 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Cyndy -- I quite agree. A TV won't divide nicely when they part after a year or so.

8:48 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

The agency through which I rented on the Hill dictated that everyone drive through the neighborhoods and check out the place from the outside to make sure they were comfortable with the location before wasting the time with an agent. I think it's fairly common.

12:05 AM  
Blogger Steve said...

Cyndy already posted my comment!

9:31 PM  
Blogger Kellyann Brown said...

as people who rent their property to others, my parents are often quite choosy about who rents their houses. They say that every time a tenant moves, it cost them about a thousand dollars to get it ready to rent again. That in mind, if a hell's angel showed up as your son's "friend", that would tell a little bit about him, wouldn't it?

Spitting a t.v. isn't always a good thing... especially since there will be cable, etc... other expenses down the road and then who gets the t.v. when they move? I would suggest that each decide to have "private" t.v.s in their own rooms, with no "public" t.v. in their living room. That way your daughter can opt out of any television if she so chooses. If the roommate want public television for ball games, etc., they should consider discussing this. There is nothing harder than trying to study when someone is playing the television really loudly (believe me, when we were sharing that studio apartment, sometimes I just had to say, "I don't think I can write this paper if you are going to be watching television.")

6:49 PM  

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