I’m graduating this semester, so I’ve been looking for a place to live. But house hunting has not been easy. Do you have any tips for me?
Dear House Hunter,
As a new duplex renter myself, I’m something of an expert on this topic. While house hunting can be extremely difficult, there’s five simple steps to have the HGTV experience of your dreams.
Step 1: Lower your expectations
Everybody wants a Barbie Dream House, but you’re a college graduate. You might end up in a Former Crack House, and you just have to make the most of that. Now I’m not saying you can’t look at some more upscale residences that are in compliance with the health code, but don’t set your heart on that. Sometimes a nice but mildly creepy man offers you a studio apartment with a bathroom with no doors, and sometimes you have to take that offer.
But don’t let that discourage you.
You can compensate for this by seriously upping your interior design game.
Use a nice beaded curtain to separate the bathroom from the rest of your sad, sad apartment. Get yourself to Target and cover up your ugly hole in the wall place until you can pretend it’s liveable.
Step 2: Don’t let your guard down
The key to finding your dream home is to always be on the prowl. If you see a for rent sign, get all over that. Call them up. Let them know you’re interested. Let them know you’re very interested.
Stalk the place out for a few days, and get to know the competition. Befriend them. Then destroy them. It’s a tenant eat tenant world out there, and everybody wants a nice house.
If there’s a place that’s not rodent-infested, you’d better believe you’re not the only one interested. You have to fight for that place. Always be one step ahead. If the home is being shown, stage a mugging on the street right outside. If the owner says they’re looking at multiple applications, break into their home and shred them all. The guilt can’t get to you when you’re sitting in your nice new home.
Step 3: Drive a hard bargain
So you’ve found your dream home, but it’s a little insanely out of your price range. It’s a little-known fact that people love to haggle over the price of rent. You’ve got to Chinatown that stuff. Don’t settle for a reasonable rent. Demand the lowest possible price. Slash the rent in half and go from there. Believe me, I’m an expert.
Step 4: Have a credit score
A very important but sometimes forgotten step. If you’re like me and pay for everything in cash like a two-bit criminal running from the law, it’s very important to remember the next step.
Step 5: Don’t be above begging
If you really want the place, sometimes a little groveling is in order. Perhaps even some light bribery. Send a fruit basket. Or a masked intruder to rough them up a little. You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do.
However, the most important thing to remember when searching for a house is to have fun, keep the stress to a minimum, and know that there’s always a box under the freeway.
Disclaimer: If you are currently drunk, easily offended, or just not very bright, I would like to remind you that THIS IS SATIRE. Please do not follow my advice, or you could end up living life like me. And your mother does not want that for you.
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