Monday, November 18, 2013

Louisiana: House Hunters, Again: Part 1

Here was my apartment hunt last year in Alamogordo.

My criteria for a place in Lafayette

  • Affordability --> As close to $500 or below as I could get
  • Location --> Proximity to music and event venues, with downtown being the top of the wish list
The hunt

Prices. I knew before coming to Lafayette that the average rents here are higher than in Alamogordo. Indeed, it seems there is an abundance of apartments for $700, with precious few at the $500 mark. When I arrived in Lafayette, I checked out a couple of the lower-priced possibilities I’d identified a week before I left Missouri, only to discover that the owners had just raised the rents by more than $150 due to a higher demand! These facilities were now way out of my price range.

There was a new development close to downtown with controlled rents designed for lower income folks, i.e. me. Even at that, the rent for the one bedroom place was a real stretch. But this didn’t matter because they were full up. Another development, also (theoretically) “affordable housing,” was not only fully occupied, its rent was completely out of my league.

Off to find a QuikQuarter, a classifieds publication that includes rental ads. I was more likely to find some places in my price range here. I did, but phone calls to the lessors revealed they’d already been snapped up.

Then I googled on “property managers” for Lafayette and got a few hits. One company had a number of rentals available, but when I filtered the results for $600 or less, only two properties remained. Eek!

Location. Neither had much curb appeal, but it was dumb luck that only that morning, when I’d gone searching for those pre-researched apartments (and subsequently learned they’d raised the rents), I had taken a wrong turn, and driven past a lovely, lovely area with a large park. So it was that I saw that both of these unlovely apartment buildings were in that area.

I favored one of the buildings for its less-unlovely looks and its cheaper rent over the other, and arranged to meet a property manager rep this afternoon:
  • Petite place, about half the size of my apartment in Alamogordo, but $50 more rent.
  • Some cosmetic and other issues, all fixable.
  • Pretty neighborhood.
  • Near main street arteries, but the traffic is not visible and, although audible, not very loud.
  • With walking distance of some very cool places.

It wasn’t going to get any better than this!

Completed the paperwork with the property management folks and settled down to wait for the green light re: approval.

Fingers crossed!

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