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Amenities Not Included

For the last few months, Craig’s List owned me. Every morning, every night and every free moment in between, I would refresh the Apt/Housing for Rent section for new listings.

“FREE PARKING!”

“ALL UTILITIES INCLUDED!”

“Pet friendly!” “Charming!” “Amazing deal!”

The subjects lured me in. Those that didn’t list a price in the subject drove me insane. Why torture me?

The people who listed homes in Germantown, MD in the Washington, DC section infuriated me. No, you are not in DC. You are a 90 minutes commute from DC. FLAGGED!

Once they lured me into their ad, it was time to read very carefully.

Look for pictures. If there were no pictures, I became very suspicious. Oh, that’s an ugly carpet.

Why isn’t there a full address? How can I google map this? I don’t want to live in Trinidad!

What’s the rent? What about the utilities? Parking?!

Why would you write your classified ad like a personal ad? I don’t want to date you. I want to live in your unit. Give me the important details! Is it close to the metro? Which metro? Is there parking? Who lives upstairs (if it’s a basement)? Are they loud? Quiet? Have animals and/or smokers lived in this house? How old are the amenities?

I emailed countless places asking these questions if they weren’t answered in the ad.

Finally, we found a place. It was right down the street from where I live now, first unit in a row house with hardwood floors. Plenty of light & space. Quaint kitchen and CLEAN bathroom. A small den that we could turn into a pantry since the kitchen was small. Off-street parking for the Boy. A small front porch. Incredible rent. All utilities included. Close to the metro.

The only catch?

There is no Washer/Dryer or Dishwasher in the unit. In my head, that wasn’t an issue but I discussed it with the Boy.  I could live without a dishwasher because with two people, dishes don’t pile up. Could we live without a W/D? I was already imagining washing our clothes in the bathtub and drying them on a clothesline.

What?

I’m old school like that. I am by no means a 1950s housewife but I don’t mind washing clothes by hand. In fact, I prefer it. Same with dishes.  Call me old-fashioned but there’s something satisfying about it.

We decided that the place was worth making the sacrifice. We sent in our application and within the week, we were approved.

We are making a home and yes, in that home, there will be certain luxuries missing.

I don’t mind.

Would you?

What are must-haves when you are looking to rent a place?

What was your first apartment like?

Could you survive without a dishwasher and/or W/D?

What is the most ridiculous experience you’ve had when looking for a place to live?

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Cassie April 14, 2010, 10:25 am

    are there no washaterias in DC?

    What are must-haves when you are looking to rent a place? I do not rent…it is just throwing money away

    What was your first apartment like? small…it only lasted one semester

    Could you survive without a dishwasher and/or W/D? yes

    What is the most ridiculous experience you’ve had when looking for a place to live? none, really….

    • PrincessQ April 14, 2010, 10:29 am

      There are laundromats but we will prob end up going over to his parents’ to do laundry for sheets and such.

      Well, we can’t buy right now, which is why we’re paying the LEAST rent possible until we can!

      • Cassie April 14, 2010, 10:34 am

        lol

        It wasn’t an accusation, I know how you feel…I chose to live the the ‘rents until I could afford to buy and I can see why y’all wouldn’t want to do that…..lol. Some people ALWAYS rent, it was just my opinion….lol

        • PrincessQ April 14, 2010, 11:51 am

          Well, I lived with my parents until last year and I love Andrews’ parents to death but…

          No.

  • Kristin April 14, 2010, 11:14 am

    I am a perfectly happy lifelong renter. If something breaks or clogs I fill out an online form and it’s fixed by the time I get home, no
    expense to me. I don’t have to worry about termites, a leaky roof, or an expensive water heater replacement. When I want to move to another country, state, or the other side of DC I just wait a few months for my lease to run out and off I go, no stress or realtors needed. Everyone who scoffed at me for renting in a hot housing market a few years ago is now living in a tiny DC condo that is worth less than what they owe on it or a house 90 minutes outside DC that they can’t unload because *surprise!* they’re job situation changed and they need to relocate.
    For people who want and can expect permanence buying might work but for those who aren’t looking for a permanent place, renting is much better than throwing money away into the blackhole of owning a home. So long story short: buying (or renting) isn’t for everyone, it’s only throwing money away if your lifestyle choices don’t allign with your home ownership.

    • PrincessQ April 14, 2010, 11:52 am

      Well, I think it just depends on everyone’s needs.

      Like you said, if someone isn’t ready to settle down (Like me and the Boy), it’s a better option to rent.

  • Wendryn April 14, 2010, 11:25 am

    What are must-haves when you are looking to rent a place? – don’t rent anymore! When I was renting, though, I wanted a place that didn’t depress me. In one case that meant big windows, in another I was right by a little lake.

    What was your first apartment like? The first one that was just mine was a studio where I lived with my two cats and lots of books. It was on the second floor and had huge windows all along one wall, and I still miss that place sometimes.

    Could you survive without a dishwasher and/or W/D? Dishwasher, easily. W/D, preferably not.

    What is the most ridiculous experience you’ve had when looking for a place to live? House hunting – “Cosy” = walk in the front door and you will be one step away from any room in the house. “Rustic” = pieces of the ceiling fell down on me during the viewing. Interesting houses.

    Your apartment sounds great!
    .-= Wendryn´s last blog ..Idiot cat =-.

    • PrincessQ April 14, 2010, 11:55 am

      Yeah, that’s why we didn’t really want a basement and got SUPER lucky with this place being on the first floor. LOTS OF LIGHT!

      I think, even if I was living by myself, I just couldn’t live in a studio. I need WALLS. LOL

  • Lauren April 14, 2010, 11:28 am

    My first apartment with my ex was TINY. We didn’t have a dishwasher, but he had a child so we had a mini-stackable washer dryer that we kept in the kitchen. I couldn’t even really move in, I had a storage unit that I kept all my things in and I couldn’t even keep more than one season’s worth of clothes in the closet. RIDICULOUS. I said I would never do it again.

    My first apartment completely on my own I didn’t have either w/d & dishwasher, but it was just me, so that was easy.

    When me and my husband moved into our place now is when I had my first dishwasher ever and its magical! And my first full size washer and dryer, but we saved to buy those, they aren’t included. When we moved in together three years ago, I refused to settle on any apartment I wasn’t completely happy with. Now we have a duplex (kinda like a condo? some of my friends out of state don’t know the term duplex), which has three floors, two bedrooms, one and half bath, huge kitchen and half finished basement (aka mancave). And the rent is cheap compared to what it should have been going for, we got a deal by getting a awesome referral from a friend. We were/are incredibly lucky.

    I think for a first place together-not having a w/d or dishwasher will be easy, especially for a place you love otherwise. Sorry, I’m rambling, this such a long comment! <3

    • PrincessQ April 14, 2010, 11:56 am

      I love this comment!

      And I know what a duplex is 😉

  • Shannon April 14, 2010, 11:29 am

    I lived in a bare-bones studio over a freeway for three and a half years. I recently upgraded to a one-bedroom in the same building, but that was only after I was TOTALLY sure I could manage it. And even then, my rent is very affordable.

    My must-haves are a balcony/patio for entertaining, decent closets, and not much else.

    My first rental was senior year of college. I lived with three guys in a rundown, 100-year-old house across from a cemetery. It was railroad-style, so we had to go through each other’s rooms to get to our own, the floors were all weird and slanty (walking to my room was mostly uphill), there was no dishwasher or laundry, and one bathroom for four people. By the end of the first semester, we all wanted to kill the hell out of each other.

    The upside? I paid less than $200 a month.
    .-= Shannon´s last blog ..Having Needs is Not "Being Needy" =-.

    • PrincessQ April 14, 2010, 11:58 am

      Ooh, good call on the balcony/patio.

      I paid only 400 at my current place and I had 4 other roommates, plus animals and one shower.

      I…would never live with other people again..lol

      And sorry, my spam filter goes nuts sometimes!!

  • Shannon April 14, 2010, 11:33 am

    I left out the best part – two of the guys had girlfriends who basically lived with us, so it was six people and one bathroom. Though one of the girls moved out because she and the “I swear I’m not gay, I just like silver glitter pants” boyfriend broke up…because they were cheating on each other with…wait for it….THE SAME GUY.
    .-= Shannon´s last blog ..Having Needs is Not "Being Needy" =-.

  • Shannon April 14, 2010, 11:34 am

    Weird – your comments thing killed my first comment. Odd.
    .-= Shannon´s last blog ..Having Needs is Not "Being Needy" =-.

  • LA Cochran April 14, 2010, 11:37 am

    I lived without a dishwasher for 11 years. Or, more accurately, I WAS the dishwasher for 11 years. Never, ever again.
    .-= LA Cochran´s last blog ..I’m giving it away. You know you want it. =-.

    • PrincessQ April 14, 2010, 11:58 am

      Haha.

      The Boy is GREAT about washing dishes…maybe even better than me. If there was a better option with the amenities, we would take it but this just worked out so well!

  • Liebchen April 14, 2010, 11:38 am

    I’ve rented and lived in 4 different apartments between college and now, and only one of them has had a washer/dryer (the others have had laundry in the basement) and two have had dishwashers. I could live without a dishwasher, but I think I’d always prefer to have laundry on-site, somewhere.
    .-= Liebchen´s last blog ..Matters of size and comfort =-.

    • PrincessQ April 14, 2010, 12:02 pm

      Yeah, that’s fair.

      I mean, ideally I want one too but…I’m kinda super happy with this right now.

  • Sara April 14, 2010, 12:02 pm

    I lived in an efficiency – cheap ass one-room apartment when I first moved in. Every time I bought a new article of clothing, I threw one out that I never wore because there just wasn’t room in the closet. I actually cried when I first saw it because I didn’t realize how small it was.

    But now I sometimes miss it. It was my first real independent place, all by myself. It was kind of nice not having to answer to anybody.

    I didn’t have a washer/dryer in the apartment (obviously bc of size), but they had some placed around the complex. Ever since I moved into a home with my fiancee, I have decided that there is no way I could ever live without a washer/dryer again. I don’t know how it happens, but we accumulate SO MANY dirty clothes. Plus I couldn’t live without a dishwasher. We cook a lot at home to save money, and that’s just way too much trouble for me. I have important shit to do besides dishes like play wii or watch the newest episode of Gossip Girl.
    .-= Sara´s last blog ..A Post About Porn =-.

    • PrincessQ April 14, 2010, 12:04 pm

      Yeah, I look at studios/efficiencies and it makes me want to cry. I could never pay that much money for such a small space.

      We cook at home too but I have a pretty great system of cleaning while I cook…Unless I’m feeling super lazy. But it always gets done. Or sits in the sink, soaking in soapy water until I’m ready to deal with it.

  • inkpuddle April 14, 2010, 12:11 pm

    My apartment (well, it was actually part of a triplex, but whatever) didn’t have a dishwasher or W/D either. Since it was just me (and for a few months, my sister) living there, the dishes weren’t ever a problem. But I learned the hard way that if you’re going to have any number of animals passing through your home in the revolving door that is foster work … you really need a W/D. Those were some fuuuuuun times, lol. Fortunately, I worked at the shelter then and it was a mile from my house, so I could make use of their W/D in times of upset tummies.

    So yeah. Dishwasher? No. W/D? Absolute must.
    .-= inkpuddle´s last blog ..On determination, and more of my school’s ineptitude =-.

    • PrincessQ April 14, 2010, 12:14 pm

      The beauty of our current living situation is that we will not be getting any animals for a while…so thank goodness for no emergencies like that!

  • RachelSmiles April 14, 2010, 1:24 pm

    ahhh! i feel like i could live without a dishwasher but washer and dryer is key, at least it it’s in the building but in the unit is way better. i think central air is a must have, cant handle DC without it.
    also, ive lived with roommates since junior year of college and i’ve always had my own bathroom. i’m spoiled. i make a mess and no one should have to deal with it except me.

    sighhh.
    .-= RachelSmiles´s last blog ..my head is going to explode… =-.

    • PrincessQ April 14, 2010, 3:06 pm

      Well, we have Central Air…I guess I figured that was a given…lol

  • Cass April 14, 2010, 1:36 pm

    What are must-haves when you are looking to rent a place? – Safety’s probably #1 on my list. I don’t like having a roommate so being a petite girl makes me want something safe. Think highest level, key cards, etc. But a walk-in closet & storage is up there too.

    What was your first apartment like? – It was a studio, but the most thought out layout imaginable. It was a newer building so it had all the safety features I mentioned above and then some. Oh, and it was beautiful. I payed a pretty penny though and eventually moved out because I couldn’t afford it anymore. 🙁

    Could you survive without a dishwasher and/or W/D? – Not in my life! 🙂 The dishwasher I could probably deal without if I had to, but I am not leaving my apartment to do laundry. My BF has a laundry room at his place and he’s always complaining that the machines are in use. I do laundry at the most random times.

    What is the most ridiculous experience you’ve had when looking for a place to live? – Probably this last time around. Since I left the awesome place above trying to find something else was like pulling teeth. I spent countless hours on Craig’s List and every apartment website imaginable. But it was worth it, I found this place that’s close to work, 300 sq.ft. more than my last place & $300 less than what I was paying.
    .-= Cass´s last blog ..What happens in Vegas…gets very delayed. =-.

    • PrincessQ April 14, 2010, 3:10 pm

      Yeah, if I hadn’t spent hours looking, I don’t think we would’ve found this place!!

      I don’t think I could ever live in a studio. Mama needs walls…even to escape from herself. Yes, I know that sounds weird but trust me, it makes sense.

  • Malnurtured Snay April 14, 2010, 1:40 pm

    Admittedly, I didn’t have much time to look for a place in DC, so I pretty much took the first one available …

    … but it didn’t hurt that it’s got a Zoo view, 5-10 minute walk to two different Metro stations, an interesting floor plan, AND an in-unit dishwasher. Alas, there is no in-unit W/D, but there’s a facility in the basement.

    ***

    Also, maybe I’m confused as to the meaning of the word “pantry”, but either the “den” is uber small, or you two plan on eating/entertaining a lot.
    .-= Malnurtured Snay´s last blog ..Vignettes of Stupid People =-.

    • PrincessQ April 14, 2010, 3:08 pm

      Well, we have limited counter space in the kitchen so it’d be where we’d out our coffee machine, microwave etc. So…an extended kitchen with cabinets?

      • Malnurtured Snay April 14, 2010, 9:34 pm

        Oh! That makes a lot of sense. And you know, if you’re just looking for space for appliances, you could probably just snag some inexpensive tables w/ folding legs from Staples, dress ’em up with a tablecloth, and be good to go. Maybe buy a Butcher’s Block of wood from Home Depot for prep space to put on top of that (probably cheaper than a kitchen cart).

        • PrincessQ April 15, 2010, 10:49 am

          Yeah, once we get the keys, we’ll figure it out. The beauty is that I technically have a whole month to move in since my other lease isn’t up till June

  • Squish April 14, 2010, 1:40 pm

    Must-Haves include: Central heat&Air, Ceiling fans in my bedroom and the living room and a bathroom that was built after 1990 and for us – a yard for Bauer. Oh, and a fridge. Oh, and at least a connection for a washer/dryer.

    Preferences? Modern* Dishwasher, tile or hardwood floors, lots of windows, and I never want to have to walk across or down a hall to get to the bathroom in the middle of the night ever again. EVER. That was the biggest perk of moving in together was that we, by default, get the master bedroom with attached bath now.

    My first apartment was actually a town home. It had paper-thin walls and an ant problem. Two bedroom One and a half bath that we crammed four single girls into via the magic of loft beds. It was the worst apartment ever, but one of the best times of my life too.

    I have survived without both dishwashers and washer/dryers. I would rather not have a dishwasher at all than the one I current have that leaves silt behind. We currently are renting our washer/dryer, but I went to the Laundry Mat for YEARS. Both private ones at my apartment complexes and public ones on random streets. I wouldn’t recommend it. You lose a lot of panties that way.

    If it weren’t for the dogs, I’d prefer to still be in an apartment – just for the pool. I miss the pool. And 24 hour maintenance men. But now I have a yard for Bauer…and I always get to park 10 feet from my door too… /shrug
    .-= Squish´s last blog ..Good Morning, World. =-.

    • PrincessQ April 14, 2010, 3:09 pm

      I have a 24 hour maintenance man 😉

      And hardwood floors is ALWAYS a must for me.

  • phampants April 14, 2010, 2:58 pm

    My big pet peeve is when I check craiglist and I get apartment agencies. I can’t stand them
    .-= phampants´s last blog ..200 Subscribers =-.

    • PrincessQ April 14, 2010, 3:09 pm

      Ugh, I know!

  • lbluca77 April 14, 2010, 3:29 pm

    I don’t have a dishwasher and there is a W/D in the front unit that is shared with all 8 of us tenants. I don’t mind not having a dishwasher until I get super busy and the dishes pile up, but no if I moved and it did not have a dishwasher I would be ok with it. I admit it though I do buy a lot of plastic cups/plates though. Sorry environment, but I get too busy/lazy to wash dishes sometimes.

    • PrincessQ April 15, 2010, 11:02 am

      See, me being the neurotic person I am sometimes, I’d wash the plastic plates too.

  • SillyJaime April 15, 2010, 12:09 am

    I haven’t had to look for an apartment of my own yet (Walter and I will be looking when we get back to MS), but one requirement I do have is that it at least have the hookups for a W & D so I can buy them and install them. I do need to have those.
    .-= SillyJaime´s last blog ..History is FTW =-.

    • PrincessQ April 15, 2010, 11:03 am

      Good luck

  • Maxie April 15, 2010, 4:57 am

    Not having a dishwasher is HORRIBLE. Seriously– I don’t cook at all because of it….

    But I make that sacrifice for the price I pay now. It’s all a give and take.
    .-= Maxie´s last blog ..TMI Thursday: Out with a Bang =-.

    • PrincessQ April 15, 2010, 11:03 am

      It really is

  • Sluggo April 15, 2010, 7:05 am

    I don’t understand landlords who provide a unit with no washer/dryer. They could’ve put a small combo model in your apartment and jacked the rent up by $100-$200.

    ps – rent isn’t throwing money away any more than paying more interest than principal on something that won’t be yours for 30 years is.

    • PrincessQ April 15, 2010, 11:04 am

      It’s a unit in a rowhouse so I’m sure maybe the basement unit has a W/D. If we get to know the neighbor, maybe we’ll get to use it.

  • Migs April 15, 2010, 10:08 am

    First, I really don’t work for them, but I HAVE to recommend http://www.padmapper.com . I used them when I moved here about 2 months ago and it made life so much easier.

    What are must-haves when you are looking to rent a place?
    Dishwasher, w/d. Massive parking lot if it’s a complex, off street parking if it’s a house.

    What was your first apartment like?
    College: 3br townhouse with friends, w/d hookups in basement, dishwasher, leaky tub.
    Post-college: 2br, 2nd floor in small complex, w/d hookups, dated kitched, dishwasher

    Could you survive without a dishwasher and/or W/D?
    I COULD, I’d just have a lot of dirty plates / disposable plates. I’d want a W/D more than a dishwasher.

    What is the most ridiculous experience you’ve had when looking for a place to live?

    Nothing too terrible, just terrible descriptions (worst was a “Manhattan-style” loft that was just an efficiency with no lofting)

    • PrincessQ April 15, 2010, 11:05 am

      Well we don’t have a lot of furniture to move and we’re moving literally down the street so we won’t need movers this time around.

      Amen to the off-street parking! It was a must-have for us.

  • Skinny Dip April 15, 2010, 11:33 am

    I’ve seen the sketchiest things on Craigslist! It never ceases to amaze me how many people’s apartment photographs show dirty dishes in the sink, clothes on the floor…or, like 6 cats lounging on every piece of furniture! Umm, not really making me want to rent the place.

    I’m glad you found something you like! It sounds really great & I would probably consider sacrificing the washer/dryer/dishwasher (even though I am spoiled and have all three at the moment)
    .-= Skinny Dip´s last blog ..Be my Baby (HAHA, Just kidding) =-.

  • Dmbosstone April 15, 2010, 4:29 pm

    I think I already contributed my two cents but I will say that I can’t live without a dishwasher and I could possibly live without a W/D- I’ll do trips to the laundromat but dishes would totally get out of control with my life.
    .-= Dmbosstone´s last blog ..Have You Become A Friend Whore? =-.

  • Lisa April 15, 2010, 7:58 pm

    I think my must have for an apartment is a hardwood floor. I had one in my first apartment and have just loved them ever since.

  • Suburban Sweetheart April 17, 2010, 6:24 pm

    I don’t think I could ever deal with not having a washer/dryer – that would be a total dealbreaker for me. Bu I grew up without a diswasher & could definitely survive without one now. As you may remember, thoug, my first DC aparment hadNO KITCHEN. At ALL.That SHOULD hve been a dealbreaker but somehow wasn’t, and I survived/suffered for a year & a half!

    Congrats on your new place. Exciting!

  • Grace April 18, 2010, 9:28 am

    I am going through the same thing myself with finding an apartment in the DC area on craigslist, but from Florida. We were just up there this past week to look for a place. We love Old Town Alexandria and we looked at this one sort of sketchy place. Amazing location, but the kitchen didn’t have a sink (huh?), the bathroom was jacked, there were holes all over the walls…. and of course, no washer/dryer (which also worried me). We took a few hours to go back and forth on whether we really want to add on the extra stress of having to renovate a place that we are *renting* on top of the stress of new jobs/moving… but because we’re crazy, we decided to do it. But too late – he gave it to someone else. We drove around to several other places… but they were falling apart, in a real bad location, too small/expensive, etc. and we ran out of time before we found a place. Yesterday we finally found a place we like, but we have to wait on my boyfriend’s job offer to come through before we can take it (in other words, too expensive to qualify on my salary alone). I swear, I spent most of my time this week in tears from all of the stress and frustration.

    Some of my many craigslist ad frustrations:
    -Places that are 2 hours away saying that are in DC.
    -Overuse of the word “metro”. Places that say they are close to the metro, but 2 towns away from the nearest one. I mean c’mon. People are searching for the WMATA/”metro”, not the “Metro” DC area.
    -Blurry pictures. Don’t use your #(&@^ cellphone cam, for gods sake. Don’t most people own a semi-decent digital camera at this point? But in my experience so far, blurry pictures = imagine the worst.
    -Clicking the “dogs are ok”, but in reality, they only allow cats or no pets at all.

    The list goes on and on really. I’m glad you managed to find a place finally!

    [What are must-haves when you are looking to rent a place?]
    In DC? Other than the cost, location near public transportation is #1. I have a car, but man, DC-area traffic is crazier than Boston/Miami combined. Safe area. At least 1 bedroom. Cable (because I work from home).

    [What was your first apartment like?]
    My first real apartment, other than a summer sublet in Boston, was a super cheap 1 br/ba apartment near the beach here in Florida. Brand new, small (only around 500 feet) but had everything including w/d and dishwasher.

    [Could you survive without a dishwasher and/or W/D?]
    I could. Dishwasher is easier than a W/D. I loathe having to sit around a laundromat, but you’ve gotta do what you gotta do sometimes…

  • MinD April 21, 2010, 11:58 am

    I would hate my life without my own washer/dryer … which is why I own a pair, ha. A dishwasher is easy to live without. Actually, I somewhat prefer handwashing the dishes anyway. But w/d? Can’t do it. However, I’ve also never had to even think about living without them. My first apartment in college had its own w/d and by the time I moved into another place – the first one here in NC – my boyfriend and I bought a washer/dryer so we wouldn’t have to use the laundromat.

    But I guess if you find a place you love, adore and want more than anything, then maybe it’s worth dealing with.
    .-= MinD´s last blog ..Video Killed the Radio Star: Part 3 =-.

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