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December 04, 2008

Application fee -- refund guarantee?

December 4. Day 157.

Not sure if this is good or bad: After months of scanning Craigslist, looking for an apartment for myself and then, gradually, for something Mr. A and I could share, I found it.

A vintage Spanish style house, two bedrooms, dining room, hardwood floors, built in bookcases and cabinets, lots of windows, coved ceilings, garage, awesome neighborhood, and a small wrap-around yard where the owner -- who just happens to be an NPR correspondent whose work I so admire! -- used to plant tomatoes (before covering the presidential election). For a reasonable price!!

Couldn't dream up something better.

Well, I just checked Craigslist moments ago, so I could include a picture here, and the posting was removed. Does that mean it's been rented? To us? To someone else? ARGH, the uncertainty!!

Not one, but two askings worked their way into this particular house hunt.

1) I stopped by the open house on Wednesday afternoon and instantly liked it. But Mr. A was at work, and I couldn't decide unilaterally. That evening, we stopped by the house again to look at the neighborhood and show him at least the outside, and the lights were on. It was a no-brainer. I knocked and asked for a second tour. Mr. A also loved the place. Score!

2) The next day (which brings us to December 4), on my way to drop off the application, I called the management company to make sure the property wasn't rented. I didn't want to pay the application fee for nothing.

No answer.

Called again in an hour, no answer.

I drove to the manager's office, but he wasn't there. So, I left the application, with the cash, but included a note that said something to the effect of, "Hi, here is the application. I tried reaching you to ask if it's already been rented as of this morning. If not, great. If so, I trust you'll return the application fee to this address: xxxxx. Your smitten househunter, La Roxy"

I also talked to the property manager's partner and the receptionist, to get verbal guarantees and a receipt for the application fee that states, in all-caps undeniable ink, "REFUND IF PROPERTY RENTED AT NOON."

Taking care of business.

Gained: A verbal and written promise of a refund, if applicable. A refund I really hope I don't need!! Fingers crossed...
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