Almost 4 years ago, at 3:30 pm Nov 1st, 2012, I moved to SF. At 1am, I met 2 girls at a bar. Those 2 girls ended up being my family and roommates for the next 4 years. It was the best of times. And never the worst of times.
Now, the inevitable has happened – one of the girls is moving her girlfriend in, which means Roommate 2 (Yarin) and myself are getting the boot. We’ve been rent controlled for a decade, and have a steal of a deal. For the past week, Yarin and I have been looking at apartments in SF, and here I shall chronicle the journey of finding housing in the most infamously difficult/expensive market in the country:
- First apartment we looked at was solid, and as advertised. It was listed as $3200 on Craigslist. After looking at the apartment, I ask the owner “$3,200 right?” to which she replies “Well…it was listed as $3,500 on CL, but for you, $3,200” #IcallBS – what is this, Thailand?!
- Also it was far AF in an area none of our friends will come visit us at. But, across street from beach…but far AF.
- While we were looking at apartments, we had time in between appointments, which we used to search CL for more apartments. I called all of them and the convos more or less went like this:
“Hi! Is your apartment open for viewing?”
“Great. We’re here.”
“Uhhh….sorry, I am not available to show it today”
- Yarin and I learned 3 valuable SF housing lessons:
- An “in-law” apartment is an euphemism for “this has no storage space and you’ll hate it”
- Some apartments don’t have ovens/stoves!!! WTF?! Yarin was….appalled. Meanwhile, I was more of the “no stove? no problem!” mindset. So we differ there. To me, cooking is making a turkey sando.
- It’s apparently a law in SF that no ground units can have stoves. Again, WTF?!
- SF landlords like to call 1 bedrooms that have living rooms “2 bedrooms”. When I first realized this, I walked in circles around a “2 bedroom apartment” asking myself “Wait, where’s the 2nd bedroom? Is it hidden, like Harry Potter style?!”
- One of the apartments had a shed in the backyard, to which I turned to Yarin and said “Airbnb this?!”
- Yarin and I are looking for a 2 bedroom for ~$3k (we currently pay $2k). My friend asked around, and found a 2 bedroom. She asked the price… $6.5k. To which I said, does that come with a pot of gold and a tooth fairy every night? No, okay, I’m out.
To be continued…