Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Adventures in Housing Part Two


California and Santa Cruz in particular, though maybe not as much say New York City, is a housing nightmare. Real estate prices are intense to say the least. To buy an small empty lot by the railroad tracks on the lower Westside costs $419,000. There is a house around the corner going for a million bucks. It used to painted purple but got a color lift to mauve for the sale. There is nothing special about it, it is on a small lot and the basement has been renovated so it could be rented to students or person sans green card. Renters can expect to pay an average of $900 per bedroom. For a single studio type situation it's about $1200. There are up sides though, while most of the country is paying for AC and heating one can actually live uncomfortably without either of these modernities. Having lived without heat for a couple years I can't recommend it, but it is entirely possible. Most landlords feel it entirely within their job description to let you know, without you even looking at the residence whether or not it would suit. I emailed a listing which bragged an office that could be a second bedroom laying out the human and rabbit situation. The response was that there would not be enough privacy for myself and my son. I guess it is only suitable as a second bedroom if it is for the same person as the first bedroom. I would be easy to become despondent, but on the other hand it's hard not to have bit of fun with this. What follows in an actual Email conversation, word for word. Having requested and received a description of a townhouse reduced to $1695 that considered 1-2 well behaved neutered cats OK. I wrote:

I have four well behaved rabbits, all fixed, they are house rabbits......are rabbits considered OK? I can put down extra deposit for them....

thnx
dmoll
The response was:
Four rabbits!!!?? That is the funniest thing I've heard!!!
Rabbits eat wood and wires! This is a very nicely maintained property.
I can't exactly speak for my parents but I believe that while renting people typically have to restrict the number of pets they acquire. How is your income, your credit, and your references for yourself and your rabbits? Is there anyone else in the household other than you and your rabbits?
Then I wrote:

Actually there are millions of people who keep rabbits as pets not for food. Clint Eastwood and his wife Dina have a house rabbit named August. You can see them here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5faVzWUPLk
This is not Clint's first rabbit either as a rabbit is mentioned in this 2008 interview:

Yes, some rabbits will chew on unprotected wood and wires. Of course any wires my rabbits got would be mine, but I "rabbit proof" all my wires just in case. They do LOVE telephone wires. As to wood it is easily protected in a variety of ways. Although my rabbits are "house rabbits" they are confined to X-pens when not supervised. I know four rabbits seems like a lot and I started with just one adopted from our local rabbit rescue organization, The Rabbit Haven. It seemed sad that Tyler would be an only bun and lonely while I was at work, so after a couple months I adopted his sister, who was having a hard time finding a home. A year or so later a rabbit from down the street where they are breeding rabbits to eat got loose. She came almost all the to the front door and let me catch her easily. Once in my arms I knew I could never give her back or let anyone else have her. That was number three, Amelia. Harriet showed several months ago, loose the neighborhood. I took her in so she wouldn't catch cold in the rain, advertised, got no response and she became #4. Although I know people with 6, 7.8,9 and even 20 house rabbits, four is a good number for me.....

My income is stable, I recently ran my credit check and there was one negative for a credit card bill that had not yet been received. It has been fully paid at this writing. I work as an Admin. Assist., acupuncturist, and I sell my artwork on-line. Joining me and the rabbits is my son who is a Cabrillo student. References can be obtained for all of the above.

I rather suspect you will not want to rent to me and my rabbits, after all there are some just plain people out there who need housing. If you do decide to to take the chance I think you will not regret it. Having been a landlord myself I feel that I am a timely and respectful tenant.

All Best,
Diana

PS: see the buns here: www.theqipapers.blogspot.com


Of course I haven't heard back, I totally understand why. Since I was in a writing mood I wrote the following letter to the Eastwoods, Clint, Dina and August (the rabbit). Also it was a lie about them being confined to Xpens.....

October 17, 2010

Dear Eastwoods (Clint, Dina and August),

I live in Santa Cruz and have four rescue house rabbits. Recently I have been looking for housing for myself and my son and the rabbits, too. We have encountered a certain amount of prejudice as regards the rabbits and, I suspect, ourselves for having them. Would it be much trouble for one of you to write a letter that supported house rabbits and their caregivers? Or something to that effect, whatever you feel is appropriate. It might really help and would most certainly make the house hunting process a lot more fun.

Thanks so much for your time and consideration,

Diana Moll


PS If you’d like to see pictures of my bunnies check out my blog www.theqipapers.blogspot.com


20 comments:

Sarah said...

Let me know if you hear back from Clint -love him! Lol I can't believe how closed minded people are about rabbits!

Glenna said...

OK, Diana, you're going to have to lie. Practice saying "I have two small rabbits. They are caged and occasionally I let them run around, but only supervised." Then you move in, and the landlord is so impressed with the timeliness of your payments that s/he does not care if you have an entire flock of goats and an emu living there. Best of luck, girlie--I'm pulling for you. (And so is Peaches, Elvis and Pink).

Christina said...

What a pain in the a*@ this is. More than likely its the people that are gonna tear up a rent house rather than a few of teensy beensy tiny little buns. You will find the right place!

mum of critters said...

Realize if the person offering that listing decided to investigate further and possibly offer the rental your confession to the lie on the blog you gave him to review could be a bad thing ;-) That said, I think you did a lovely job conveying the truth of house rabbits and how prejudice people seem to be. I hope Clint writes for you. That would be awesome. I really appreciate him.

I know you will find the perfect place. My friends are having the same trouble with looking at purchasing, it is way overpriced there because the location allows it!

Lisa said...

I hear ya D. My broker lied to me, verified with my landlord (who is the tenant, I am a subtenant), that pets were ok, after laughing off my disclosure that I have rabbits, only asking my landlord at my insistence, and he said it's fine just no dogs. After I signed the lease she told me, "by the way, you're going to need to put them in a box or something to get them into the building, because theyre's not actually pets allowed". Furious. now I'm stuck in this lease, can't call the super to fix things because If I do I could get kicked out, we have no light whatsoever in the bathroom, kitchen drawers are broken, and oven still doesn't work, and I need to have massive anxiety every time we need to go to my parents' for the holidays or go to the vet, becaues I'm terrified we'll run into the wrong person in the elevator.

And that's when I told the truth upfront and deliberately tried to only consider a pet-friendly apartment!

Clovie Boy said...

Now that they've arrived at their new home, maybe Bells and Nuage would rent their trailer to you. It's rabbit proofed and rabbit friendly.

P. S. Please say hello to Clint, Dina and August from Clovie and I.

d. moll, l.ac. said...

S-I'll post ASAP if I hear from Clint, Dina or August!!! Maybe I'll get a signed photo from August.
G-I've actually worked up a few different lie scenarios, I usually sneak up on the idea of rabbits by first establishing pet policy...
C-It ain't easy that's for sure. I have friend who found a pet friendly 2 BR with fruit trees and veg garden for just $1600 after trolling Craigslist for only one night! She has the good housing mojo.
MOC-yes, I could easily be found out with a little research.
L-terrible! I hate to think of you without an oven, especially in the winter months. My Bandit lived in a no pet apartment, when we moved in she was really tiny and I just didn't think to declare her, it was all confusion and divorce and all that, but she grew to be 15 lbs, there were a couple of close calls with the landlord....
CB-Brilliant idea! and , Yes, I will convey your salutations to to Clint, maybe he'll have us all down for lunch as his restaurant.

bunnits said...

I wish you all the best. I have a friend who lives in a high-end residential community with the usual rules and regulations. We almost got into trouble one time having a natural dye party in the backyard before they got their privacy fence up. She has a smallish Dutch house bun, Inky, who gets to spend time outside in a neat, attractive rolling hutch that her husband made. One of the neighbors saw the hutch with Inky sitting in on the driveway just in front of the garage door and complained to the homeowners' association that they had an "exotic animal." Caused a big stink at the next meeting and she almost had to get rid of Inky. This was started by a guy who lets his Dalmatian run off the leash much of the time. Grrrrrr.

M.Kate said...

wow! such expensive housing and the nerve of that person writting like that. He or she could have said it nicely :( I think 4 buns are good and knowing how responsible you are, everything should be ok. I hope you'll find something soon..and let us know if Clint wrote back, imagine that...hugs/M

Lorna said...

One of the major reasons I haven't sold my manufactured home and moved back to rental is the problem of Sage. She isn't a chewy rabbit, she rarely thumps, but rabbits have such a reputation because they're still "new" house pets. Fortunately, I have a great group of neighbours here who help me with maintenance and land care.

I'm afraid I'd probably go the lie route. "Oh, I do have four bunnies, but they're caged!" and visit freecycle/full circles to get some used cages that can be used as the cover story.

Crafty Green Poet said...

Oh I'm so sorry you're having such a hassle finding somewhere that will accept the rabbits! Hope you hear back from Clint!

d. moll, l.ac. said...

CGP-It's a bit absurd, but certainly gives a person something to write about. LOL if Clint writes back we'll have people all over the globe cheering.
L-It is tricky, people are unsure about free range rabbits, that's why I have the Xpen description of rabbit life in my back pocket, and although they are free range they may have to XPenned when I'm not home in the new place.....
MK-isn't it just outrageously expensive. More on that later. LOL I'll post ASAP if Clint writes back :)
B-Thank goodness Inky didn't have to leave. HOA can be less than ideal...thnx for your good wishes :)

bunnygirl said...

It's irresponsible pet owners who give the rest of us a bad rap. You wouldn't let your rabbits have free-range time if it wasn't safe for them, and what isn't safe for them isn't good for the property either. Duh.

I'm amazed anyone can survive in places like CA and NYC, given what you pay in housing. My mortgage on a two-bedroom house with a built-out garage apartment in back is $1100. Maybe you should move to Houston!

d. moll, l.ac. said...

BG-totally DUH! Ha, ha I'll come live in your built out! I'm here because....because....it's just how things shook out....now I have family obs that cannot be done long distance.

Rabbits' Guy said...

We'll supply a reference! Wait - maybe we should not.

Boy - what a task. But - how much admiration I'm sure we all have for you - you could abandon the bunns and it would make life so much easier. Good luck.

Paula said...

Go on, you made my day!

The Fab Furs said...

We all hope that the installment "Adventures in Housing Part 3" turns out better than the previous two. Have you considered placing a rental ad/poster with photos of the buns and a description of all the prospective tenants? Or is there a local media outlet that needs an animal story?

d. moll, l.ac. said...

RG-right abandon the buns, yeah, right.
P-got to make it fun esp. if it isn't :)
FF-working all angles, including a happy ending !!

50pounds50weeks said...

I have 3 house rabbits, and will have to move soon. I am dreading the apartment hunting process. All three are free roam rabbits and I can not imagine how to explain to someone that they are pretty much just like cats (but obviously more awesome!)
Good luck!
Tisha

d. moll, l.ac. said...

50-left you an more extensive message on your blog, but I tell people they are like vegetarian cats this helps if they have no idea what to think about a rabbit. LOL we have to keep the awesome part to ourselves.