I’ve been looking for an apartment in Minneapolis/St. Paul for over a month now. It’s a pretty difficult task since I’ve never been there, know very little about the area, and am trying to find a place while I’m in Virginia. I would really like to find a place with as many of the utilities included as possible so I don’t have to worry about them. A few days ago I found a place that sounded absolutely perfect. 4 blocks to campus, 4 1/2 blocks to the inter-campus shuttle. It was in the basement of a faculty member’s home – the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, even. $450, ALLLLLL utilities included (even Internet!). It sounded absolutely perfect. It was so cheap, and sounded so much better than everything I’d been looking at. I looked up the house on zillow.com and found out that it was worth $374,000, so I figured that it most likely was not a dump, especially since the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies lived there. I was tempted to sign the lease without seeing it, just because it sounded so perfect and like everything I needed. I asked if they’d be able to send me some pictures of it via email, though, and they agreed.
It took them a few days to finally get them to me, but I did get them today. And I tell you what. That place is GHETTO. Piece o’ trash. It just looked absolutely disgusting. Mouldy baseboards, mouldy bookshelf, rusty bathroom, old ugly, rusty heating unit in the bedroom, no sink in the “kitchen” area (really just a room in which they put a fridge and hot plate). How in the world are you supposed to wash your dishes?? Wow. It was such a disappointment. It sounded so perfect, but ended up being worthless.
Lesson learned: don’t walk blind into a major commitment, even if it sounds perfect.
Back to the drawing board.