thoughts: craigslist

craigslist is my new love.  my family used to talk about boater’s sickness.  once you own a boat, you always want a bigger one.  of course, you love yours, but you never stop dreaming about the next one.  bigger.  better.

apartment hunting gave me a similar feeling.  in college and afterwards I seemed to settle right into the first livable place I found.  however, in college I was so eager to settle that I neglected to realized that my apartment was on the fourth floor of a building with no elevator.  imagine my mom’s delight when she discovered on moving day that every inch of the car we’d filled needed to be carried up those stairs.  (sorry mom!)

well, this time I decided not to settle.  mostly because there are not very many settle-able places that won’t cost you an arm and a leg here in lala land.  it seemed easy.  searches only within 1 zipcode yielded over 600 available rentals.  600!  one must be right.  well, narrow that search down to include hardwood floors, dishwasher, refrigerator (yes, an apartment that actually comes with a refrigerator is uncommon here), and a balcony/patio, and suddenly you’re looking at maybe 12 options, 11 of which are out of the price range.  despite these difficulties, I made it my mission to find the elusive settle-able apartment.  suddenly, every “for rent” sign caught my eye.  I couldn’t drive without jotting down the cross-streets of potential rentals at stop signs.  I had a new illness: renter’s sickness.

so then (against all odds) I found it.  all it was missing was the hardwood floors.  but I compromised for tile.  because it had a pool!  and all utilities included!  plus cable and internet included!  it even had a refrigerator!  imagine that!  the only problem was that I could no longer admire all those other places or peek inside and see how some people live.  I missed the hunt.

so we settled.  actually, we did much better than settle.  we reveled in our steal and were ecstatic to find such a find.  and did I mention it has month-to-month rent?  month-to-month!  and suddenly we needed things: bookcases, coffee table, dresser, rug… a new hunt.  a hunt on craigslist.  and better yet, this hunt included bargaining!  seriously, I never thought I’d get so excited about craigslist, but after drawing up a little wishlist on ikea and then finding that I could cut that cost at least in HALF, I was hooked.

tonight alone I’ll become the proud owner of 2 bookcases and a coffee table, bought from two different sellers, bargained down to about $50 total.  total!  sure they’re not new, but according to ikea.com, these particular items would cost me about $160 (plus tax!  expensive ca sales tax!) in the store.  plus, now I can say they have character.

(safety note: I have a nice guy to go with me to ward off any potential craigslist creeps.)

so wish me luck!  I’m still on the hunt for a nightstand, dresser, bathroom shelving, and a tv.  my new illness?  craigslist-eria?  craig-o-mania?  ocd (obsessive craigslist disorder)?  whatever you call it, I’m catching a deal.

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