Saturday, April 21, 2012
I was glad to get a card from Crow today showing him in apparently fine spirits and enjoying a lovely landscape in good company. Hopefully, I'll be able to provide him with a colored version of this nice scene on his return.
In the meanwhile, we're in search of a new and different place to live, a quest that's proving all the more complicated because of computerized listings. Do you remember the days when an apartment search simply involved buying the daily newspaper and reading the classifieds? Back then people used to put signs on the front lawn too. It's not like that any more. Now you must look online under 'apartments for rent (in the city of your choice)' where you will likely find several hundred companies that provide listings of places available.
Listings are abundant on major sites like Kijiji, Craigslist, and Padmapper (!) but many, many more are only posted on the sites of the large companies that own the buildings which will lead you to jotting down a potentially interesting address and googling the place when you get home - often to discover you've been looking hopefully at a condo. No, buying isn't an option.
Halifax has very strict fixed lease laws most of which are signed for a year. Since it's a university town we've run into a lot of places being advertised right now as summer sublets for students who intend to return in September. Even though we're not interested in a 3 month rental, it's impossible to filter these ads out of our searches and some of them are very sly. We saw pictures of one apartment that had the Eiffel Tower outside the window. Another was an apartment in the building where we live that showed photographs of and described what could only have been a multi-million dollar place in NYC. I am certain there are no apartments in this building that have a marble pool in the bathroom nor a landscaped terrace garden filled with roses and fruited vines.
Although it's no surprise that students eager to avoid extra rent payments are less than honest, it's also a fact that landlords have a tendency to do the same. Walking in the park is preferable but the only real way to know whether or not the place you've found on the internet is worth considering is to go there. It's a good thing we enjoy exercise because finding the right place may take a while.
Do you have any special projects this spring? Personally, I'd rather be hanging out with Crow, wherever he is.