Thursday, March 1, 2012

Never believe...

...what internet review sites have to say. I have learned this lesson the hard way over the past few days during my apartment search in Chicago. I have tangled myself into some serious knots about using a realtor, using a particular realtor, choosing a neighborhood, choosing a street, and the list just goes on and on and on all because every stinkin' on-line review about everything I came across was horrible. Then it finally dawned on me that people love to complain (counts my kvetching posts) and complain about the absolute stupidest things. So, I had to let that go. The way I did it was to look up the reviews for my old apartment complex in Miami, that I loved, and see the scathing things people had to say about it that I never had a problem with or even experienced! It's all about preparation, competence, and perspective. And no, there is no perfect situation or place.

I guess I hadn't allowed myself to grasp the magnitude of the situation either because it all just hit me at once. It was a bag of tricks I must say. The whole I-am-moving-to-a-mostly-new-town-where-I-don't-know-many-people-that-has-a-crazy-real-estate-market-that-is-a-completely-different-kettle-of-fish-from-what-I'm-used-to-and-oh-yeah-this-is-a-semi-permanent-move-great-balls-of-fire-I-don't-want-to-screw-up just got the better of me for a little bit and I will admit I spent the better half of this afternoon being a bit panicky. It's not that unheard for me when something completely new comes up. In the summer of 2009, when I had finally wrapped my head around the logistics of moving to Dominica, and everything that I had read (common problem here, eh?), I totally freaked myself out about where I had chosen to rent an apartment because what if there were robbers, or there were bugs, or the colors were just too gosh-darn-ugly or any other ridiculum that one thinks in a moment of panic. I remember taking a very long boat ride one evening and just having to make peace with the situation and it's pros and cons, and had to move forward. It was the same deal today: I had a set budget (that it looks like I'll actually be under in the grand scheme of things, fingers crossed), knew what I needed, and what I wanted (and didn't want almost as importantly) in an apartment, and knew where I wanted it to be. I couldn't go over budget for the obvious reasons, but I could be a bit flexible on location--as in ok so it's not exactly where I'd like but it's only a few blocks away, or a five minute walk. The main thing, I think, for me is that I KNOW I have to move forward, so I rarely consider running or freezing. I do the opposite and barrel through like a bull in a china shop, and then turn around to see if I've made a mess. Both methods have their potential downfalls.

I think I weighed the pros and cons as rationally as I could and I definitely had to compromise. I was somewhat spoiled by my most recent apartment experience in Miami because that apartment was just amazing all-around--the problem was I actually paid less than market value for that apartment because of my student affiliation. I wasn't going to get such a bargain this time around, nor did I really need so much apartment. I literally had an entire room that I just used as a dumping ground. and a computer desk. I had to keep telling myself that I wasn't going to be able to live in a space like that matter how badly I may want! So when I get anxious like that I become more sensitive to everything, and though it doesn't necessarily become "Ahhh, this is awful!" it does become "What if I'm making the wrong choice and what if the other option is better because this train station isn't as big as the other one?????" Stupid right?

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