Trials and Tribulations of GR Apartment-Hunting

Have you tried apartment hunting in GR? I don’t recommend it. I do recommend having an apartment in the downtown area, I just don’t suggest you go through the ridiculousness of looking for one. They don’t exist. Until they do. And then they’re gone immediately. The only way it really works is if you wish yourself into a decently priced, cockroach-free ground floor with off-street parking and some distance between you and the nearest gunshot wound. Otherwise you’re out of luck. Until you aren’t.

I’ve lived in a few different places in the downtown(ish) area. I’ve done the Southwest side (don’t do it) where I had “get below the windows” night weekly to avoid stray bullets. I’ve done Alger Heights which was a nice block with yuppie couples, but the next block over was gangster-city. And the next block was totally fine. I’ve done Eastown, my current home, and aside from the occasional complimenting homeless person/crackhead and wandering hipsters, it’s been ok. I’m near desirable restaurants and bars (so I’m told) but it’s so expensive living in the trendy area that I can’t afford to eat or drink at any of these places. I can sit in my bedroom (the only room with air conditioning) without pants on and smell the delicious nose-treats (not cocaine, probably pork of some kind) wafting in from the Electric Cheetah, though. Jealous?

Get below the windows!

Get below the windows!

Since I’m unhappy with my current living situation, I’ve been hunting for a cheaper, more centrally located apartment in the downtown area. I might as well be riding a unicorn to the end of the rainbow. There are plenty of one or two bedroom “uppers” on the northwest side for around $500-$600, but come on. Who wants to live on that side of the river? Not me. They say things like, “There are no rules on the west side”. And that scares me. There are absolutely rules on the west side! Last time I was on the west side, a youth in a soccer uniform “holla’d” at me while I was at a stoplight. I’m not even that good looking. These are the standards held on that side. Maybe there are no rules…

Spacious Studio...

Spacious Studio…

Where you want to live, or at least, where I want to live is on the southeast side. Specifically Heritage Hill, East Hills, Cherry Hill or any sort of hill. Those are the coveted neighborhoods and the landlords and property management companies know it. They know they can offer a “cozy, charming studio” with 200 square feet of living space, no storage space and no parking for $700 a month and you’ll rent it. You will. You’ll say it’s fine because you’ll never be there anyway. You’re so close to all the excitement of the blossoming city that you’ll be out and about enjoying it instead of sitting cross-legged on the floor of your kitchen/bedroom. But you won’t. You’ll be at home eating ramen noodles out of your only coffee cup and trying to balance your laptop on the windowsill to get one bar of unprotected wifi from your jerk neighbor who has an actual bedroom. You will.

I have found a total of two affordable one-bedroom apartments in Heritage Hill. One was rented immediately and the other was rented immediately. Those things fly off of craigslist faster than the Twitter-police can extract an apology from a racist/sexist/homophobic celebrity. To combat this never-ending search for something I can afford on my own, I’ve struck out to find a potential roommate. I found one. A potential one, at least. I’m giving her a lot of credit because she found the holy grail of Heritage Hill apartments. It has three bedrooms. It’s on the ground floor. It has a dishwasher(!). It has TWO bathrooms. It allows pets. It is walking distance to anywhere downtown. And it’s affordable. I know what you must be thinking. It’s haunted. That was my first thought as well, but after all this I’m totally willing to live there depending on how haunted. On a scale of Patrick Swayze to soaking wet Asian child, what are we looking at? Am I going to learn pottery or am I going to end up strapped to a cot in a mental hospital? I think there’s some wiggle room there.

What the potential apartment looks like in my head

What the potential apartment looks like in my head

I’ll be viewing this unbelievable apartment on Tuesday after someone else sees it earlier in the morning. Fingers crossed that person is insane and passes on the place so that I can sink my poor, poser teeth into it.

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2 thoughts on “Trials and Tribulations of GR Apartment-Hunting

  1. Good Luck! I really hope you get it… apartment hunting truly is the worst, no matter where you live.

  2. Miriam says:

    hilarious. I definitely feel your pain. You haven’t mentioned dealing with pests, but that can be an issue in old ground-level apts. Case in point: we once had a angry teenaged possum crawl through the [obviously shoddy] foundation right into the cupboard under our kitchen sink. It was terrifying and terrified.

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