I’ve mentioned this before, but my roommate and I are looking for new apartments. The only other time I’ve done this previously was in college, where all the housing complexes were vying to become the most popular in the town. They wanted people to live there, and we were able to push the envelope because of that.
Now, the tables have turned. In the city of Chicago, realtors and landlords don’t give two shits about bending to your rules. You don’t like the fact that there isn’t covered parking? Tough cookies. Not a fan of having to pay quarters for your laundry? Kick rocks, bud.
Luckily, I took some time to compile a list of questions to ask the realtor or landlord for the next time we go to an apartment showing. I’ll put on my game face, wear some nice clothes to subtly imply that I make significantly more money than I actually do, and ask the following.
Where’s the nearest bar?
Not only does this show that you’re interested in helping local businesses make a profit, it let’s the person showing the apartment know that you’re responsible. Yes, I said it.
If the nearest bar is within walking distance, nod in agreement so that they can automatically tell that you’re responsible enough to not drink and drive. If it’s not within walking distance, respond by saying something like, “Well, that’s okay. That’s why we have Uber!”
At the end of the day, though, if there isn’t a bar within walking distance, do you really want to live in that apartment? Because honestly, I don’t.
How thick are the walls?
At first glance, this may make you look like a serial killer, but that’s a risk you’re going to have to take. The apartment I currently reside in has really thin walls, and you can hear everything that happens throughout the whole building. I’m not exaggerating when I say that I was playing Tame Impala on my laptop, went down to the basement to change laundry, and was still able to hear it faintly from two floors below.
If I can hear my laptop speakers throughout the whole building, what else can my neighbors hear? Better yet, how many times have my neighbors been boning across the hall and I thought it was my roommate, despite her not even being in the building? Was my neighbor able to hear me dropping that gigantic deuce after I had that bad sushi that one time? Fuck.
What’s the most terrible thing that’s happened here?
Do they have to tell you? No. At least, I don’t think so. But wouldn’t you at least want to know? I personally feel like that would have a huge impact on whether or not I would want to continue pursuing that apartment.
Sometimes, the most terrible thing to happen in an apartment can be kind of adorable. What if an elderly couple passed away in their sleep, together, holding hands? If their spirits decided to stay here and kick it for a little while, I don’t think it would be the worst thing. I would want them to give me advice on stuff and teach me how to build my Ikea furniture.
On the other end of the spectrum, if there was some kind of Disturbia situation going on, where the previous tenant would take people back to his place and murder them and stuff them in the walls, and then was shot dead by the police, I don’t know if I would want to think about that shit at night. Which brings me to…
Is it haunted?
Very important question. I believe in ghosts, and I’ve watched enough TV and movies to know that when something terrible happens in an apartment, there’s usually some kind of spirit that stays behind, and it’s usually not Casper the Friendly Ghost. The problem with ghosts is that there really isn’t any way to fight them, and if they’re pissed at you, they will fuck your shit up.
By asking the realtor/landlord/whoever is showing the apartment whether or not the place is haunted, it will show them that you’re serious about your future (because it’s hard to be successful when you’re focused on the ghosts haunting your apartment), and that you’re open to the concept of paranormal activity, and therefore a more open minded and accepting person. They’ll be stunned by your fascination and curiosity, and will have no option but to offer you the keys on the spot.
Wish me luck. .