Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Adventures in Housing Part Three

You get the general picture inflated prices, greedy prejudiced landlords/property management companies and plenty of competition. I saw a cool little place yesterday, just a couple hours after it had been listed. It was in one of those funny little micro 'hoods that seem like the middle of nowhere in the middle of urban sprawl. Small white unassuming wood house with no less than THREE (3) giant (REALLY BIG) palm trees and a a weeping willow in the back. My rabbits will love eating that willow (not all of it), I thought....Next morning I called to have a look see inside and BOOM it was already spoken for. Not even one day and it was gone. I've seen some horrors in the drive-bys. One place bragged 2BR/2BA, quiet, enormous deck (I imagined bunnies binking amidst an extensive container garden). Ha! the place was socked in the redwoods, never saw the light of day and examination of the deck revealed the beginnings of disintegration. I didn't go inside but am pretty sure I could smell the mould. In a fit of righteous indignation. I Emailed the property company back, just a single word, "shocking", they were asking $1750. Others had more subtle but none the less insurmountable problems. Little house, cute inside, both bedrooms open onto a small yard, both have big sliding glass doors. Looking down onto the little house and really right into the bedrooms are the window eyes of the two story next door. Creepy, no can do. A tall townhouse literally cut like scissors by a two streets meeting at a 30 degree angle. House at the bottom of a ravine, potential landslides and no sun.

There are other factors involved in location, beyond sun and Feng Shui. There is Megan's Law which makes it possible to look up to see if and where the sexual offenders are in the neighborhood. One landlord had the Megan's Law link as part of his app requiring all applicants to be aware of it. When I looked up the address I found a sexual offender just two doors away from the rental. I remarked on this to the landlord and he said it is actually law that ALL landlords inform their tenants as regards Megan's law. So far he has been the only one. I decided not to apply for that rental, but having looked at the sexual offenders map several times checking other properties I seem to have the thing close to memorized....

A couple times I have found possible housing and filled out the app and one time I didn't fill out the app. It asked for the actual numbers of the bank and credit card accounts. This was at an open house and the landlord was there.
"You want the numbers of my accounts?"
"Yes, it's on the form, it was the only one they had at Staples."
"Can I hand it in without the numbers?"
"It would incomplete, I cannot accept incomplete forms."
"OK, well I hope you find the perfect tenant, I really can't give you my numbers."
"OK, well, good luck finding a place."
I walked out dazed, unsure if I had fallen into a Kafka novel or just needed some chocolate.

Another time I found a decent place and the former tenant was running the open house, turns out she had lost her job as a Civil Engineer and was moving into a house her parents had. I had asked her two days before if pets were allowed and she said she had called and not gotten an answer. It cost $30 just to submit an app, I filled it out and paid my money, though in the back of my mind I knew it was throwing pickles down a rat hole.

Not all potential landlords have been anti-rabbit. There was one guy who talked my ear off every time I called who pro-rabbit because his mom had had a house rabbit and she said it was the best pet she ever had. That house was really too far out in the boondocks. Then there was the guy who was a sustainable landscaper and rode a sort of bike cart to all his jobs. He'd turned his yard into a permaculture demo complete with chickens, bees and worm bins. He lived in an apartment in the corner of the house and was eager for rabbits contribute to the worm bin. Unfortunately the DS nixed that place as being too close to where he lives now and wanting to live somewhere more different. One listing I charmed with my Emails and the guy actually called me to say I sounded like such a nice person, just right, but they had decided to take the property off the market for the time being. That one had a persimmon tree in the front, I love looking at persimmon trees when they've lost most of their leaves and fruits hang, orange, sweet and promising........


Rabbits' Guy said...

Adventures in Housing Part Final.

"And they lived happily ever after!"

Keep going .. we're all right in this with you .. uh .. sort of.

Clovie Boy said...

I certainly hope this story has a happy ending!

Love the pics...Haven't you heard from Clint yet?

bunnits said...

Just the thought of having to relocate makes me shudder. Keep us posted.

Paula said...

You're doing a great job wading through the waters, we eagerly Pt 4! And more if need be.

NanU said...

Good luck with the search. You'll find your place eventually.
While overall I think Megan's Law notifications are a positive thing, be aware that a person can get on the 'sex offender' list for just about anything - an unwelcome pass at a colleague, an emergency pee in an alley, sex between consenting teenagers... These "offenders" are lumped together with people who really are dangerous, and once on the list you're on it _forever_.

Crafty Green Poet said...

oh gosh, I hope you find somewhere soon. Lovely photos of the buns,

bunnygirl said...

What a hassle. Good luck to you and the bunnies. I'm sure your persistence will pay off.

d. moll, said...

RG-we are trudging forward to that final phrase of happily every after, indeed we are.....I think sort of....
CB-no Clint yet......I imagine the letter has to go through various levels of assistants before it gets to the Eastwoods.
B-I'm used to it by now :)
P-there will certainly be more than part 4.
N-at the Gov. site the types of offenses are listed. Most of the ones I looked at were infractions with a minor, but some were more grizzly and there were some multiple offenses.I realize that all these people have done their re-hab or whatever just want a quiet life. I agree with you that it can be unfair as well as protective :(
CGP-somethings got to give in the universe of housing :)
BG-I am certainly learning a lot!

The Fab Furs said...

Oh lease us a home where four buns can roam,
Where the seahawks and banana slugs play;
Where seldom is heard a discouraging word,
And the skies are not gloomy all day.

Oh give us a yard where the free range chard
Grows plentifully down the side;
Where the bunnies four go hopping along
Like fairies on a woodland ride.

And in deference to Friday Night Lights (H.S. football): Go buns go! Fight! Fight! Fight!

d. moll, said...

FF-what a fab song! BTW I love Friday Night Lights, not a big fan of TV in general but FNLs is top flight.

B L said...

Just learned Eugene is NOT a good place ... so forget anything I suggested about that. It's nice up here where we live ... except the mayor of the neighboring gave Glenn Beck the Keys to the City. Except for that. There's no Sarah Palin day ... yet.

B L said...

There's no edit function. Aghhhh! No spell check is bad enough, but no edit either?

Lisa said...

Hang in there :-/

RoadBunner said...

Moving is a major pain especially when you have a fur family. In the end I am sure it will all work out. I hope something wonderful pops up soon!

mum of critters said...

Sad that DS nixed one but I understand somewhat the challenge there; i think, anyway, maybe not! I wonder how many, who require a payment for application processing which is supposedly to pay for a credit check, actually do the credit check. I suspect they pocket a lot of that money. I paid a few of those looking for a rental before I found this. It wasn't quite as challenging as what you face in SC but tiring nonetheless. I don't envy you but sort of relate as I am living the same nightmare looking for a job... tho my future boss may not care if i have rabbits or not!