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August 27, 2008

Drop the rent by $50?

August 26. Day 57.

Yup, it's actually August 27 -- I was intending to write last night, but I fell asleep on the couch at 10 and woke up this morning! So, today will have two posts.

Yesterday, the house hunt continued, and I saw two attractive options: a studio and a 1 bedroom cottage. The studio was listed for $800, and the cottage owner said the price is negotiable.

Dilemma: go for larger space in a slightly off central location, or get a really cool space in a good spot, but less square footage? I'll have to figure that out later (or sooner), but in the meantime, I asked the studio manager if the rent was flexible.

"It's below market value," he said, practically cutting me off. But he was a decent guy, and we had hit it off as he showed me the place. He'd traveled to Europe and South America while working as an archaeologist, and now he'd retired to this building. It was old and storied, with a courtyard and bright pink walls, a cross between Miami and Mexican revival. Half a century ago, crackheads used to roam the hallways. Clint Eastwood once filmed a western there, allegedly burning part of the building. Now young professionals were swooping in and out as we stood in the lobby, talking.

"I realize it's a nice place, but my budget is tight. I'm a good tenant, I'd take great care of the place, I'm reliable, responsible," I tried.

"You gave me a good vibe. I can't make any promises, but I'll talk it over with the owner."

The plan: Drop off my application with a hand written note, to show what a lovely tenant I'd be, especially for $750. And meanwhile, decide between two possibilities with different advantages.

Gained: Nothing yet, but I'll keep you posted.

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