In Which We Ponder: Craigslist–Friend or Foe???

Here I am adulting again–or attempting to. The latest pursuit? Finding living arrangements I can afford on my meager hourly wages.

The prospects aren’t pretty, but I’m far more likely to find a better job if I’m closer to where the better jobs ARE (While still remaining close enough to my current job to have a reasonable commute HERE, because let’s face it, I need to plan according to the job I HAVE and not the one I HOPE to have).

The answer to every twenty-something’s accommodation-finding dilemma?
Craigslist, of course!

I am exploring the potentiality of sharing lodgings with a gal from work when her current lease ends; but in the mean time, I decided to poke around in my neighborhood of choice to see if any low-enough-rent-to suit-my-needs options were available. Of course, given the vastness which my funds fail to span, my ideal location is well beyond my budget; so my hopes soared when I found an advertisement for 1 bed/1 bath accommodations in a townhouse that would be shared with another female professional.

The concept of a townhouse was beautiful. Sure, I’d still have to deal with next door neighbors, but no loud people above or below?

All utilities and snow removal in the winter were included in the rent (rent which I could actually AFFORD); AND, in addition to the kitchen, living room, and upstairs sitting room, the ad boasted a two-car garage.

The  pictures were the typical pictures used to advertise the townhouse by the company that initially sold it, so I didn’t have real-time pictures; but even so, it was definitely worth exploring.

I stumbled upon the ad only a few hours after it had been posted and, after a few tentative messages encrypted through the Craigslist email relay,  gleefully set up an appointment to meet with the potential housemate and view the rental.

The results?

Well, I’m no realtor, but even I know that some effort should be spent toward making sure a rental space is perceived in the best light possible by potential renters.

The first thing I saw when I walked through the door was a dead spider curled in a cobweb that had been gathering dust for an indeterminate number of months. There was not messy clutter filling the space, but the carpet looked like it had been in desperate need of a good vacuuming for a long time.

Following the Ad-poster through the living room into the kitchen, she revealed the downstairs bathroom, a tiny closet housing a toilet and a sink.

My heart sank. Immediately I understood that this was no 2-bedroom, 2 bathroom townhouse. This was the notorious 1.5 bathroom townhouse that had been falsely advertised. The missing .5 makes all the difference in the world.

Dear Craigslist Ad Poster: There is a HUGE difference between having your own shower and sharing one with a stranger.
The garage was similarly deceptively advertised. You could squeeze two cars in there if both were the mini-est of compacts. But there was no escaping the fact that the garage was already quite full with her car and numerous boxes.

Also unspecified in the ad was the pre-furnishment of the bedroom with (ugly) furniture that would leave no room for mine.

And so, sadder and wiser (or maybe just sadder), we return to the perusement of Craigslistication with the grim understanding that, if something appears too good to be true, it probably is.

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9 thoughts on “In Which We Ponder: Craigslist–Friend or Foe???

  1. Be cautious and take someone else with you whenever you go to check out a place! Especially on Craigslist! Ironically, my hubs and I have a small place listed on CL for the first time, and are having a hard time renting it, for the first time ever. Trying to convince Him that it’s not working. But it’s “free!!” bah 😉
    Showed it today to a youngish woman who wanted us to change the newly cleaned, really new carpet to hardwood for her. Yeah. No. LOL It’s rough on both sides of the game, I guess. I remember looking at TONS of places before finding one that would suit. Best of luck! But PLEASE stay safe!!!

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    1. Thank you!
      Yes, I took my mom AND gran with me to scope the place out ^^
      Best wishes to you, too!
      (Your rental property doesn’t happen to be anywhere near the twin cities in Minnesota, does it??? ^
      ~)

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      1. No; St. Louis, MO, I’m afraid. 🙂 I used to live in River Falls, WI. And have several distant cousins in MN!! 🙂 I have friends moving to Minneapolis once their house here sells. Small world!! 🙂

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  2. jwidavid

    Hard for me to relate, I always had the best of luck when renting. My approach was typically to visit area churches looking for someone that has a rental or knows someone who does. The last time I needed to rent, someone told me about this elderly lady that had an apartment upstairs. I checked it out, 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, storage space, decent sized kitchen, and decent living room. She was charging $400/m but after we met she reduced it to $300. In return, I watched basketball games with her and mowed her lawn.

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