This apartment search, which has been going on for... probably two weeks now, and it will be another week before I can actually be there in person. This is not the longest it's been between starting a search and looking at places in person, but for some reason this time is much more vexing.
Well, actually, I pretty much know the reason-- it's because
So far, I've run into several Craigs' List rental scams ("Hi! I'm renting this apartment because I just got a job in Malaysia/London/West Africa, where I am working/doing fundamentalist missionary work/setting up a company to work in the petroleum fields. My wife [it's always the wife, btw] persuaded me to rent to somebody who would love our house the way we do rather than selling. Unfortunately, the keys are with me here in Malaysia/London/West Africa, so there's no way to see the inside of the house until the papers are signed and I send them to you...."), a bunch of places which will allow "one small pet," and more real estate agents than you can shake a stick at.
And I find myself faced with several dilemmas. For example: if an apartment looks fantastic and has lots of charm, does that make up for the lack of a washer-dryer hookup (after years with an in-house washer and dryer, the thought of having to plan everything around laundromats and quarter-saving is very annoying)? if an apartment has a fantastic layout and exactly the sorts of space we need, is it worth having to share a bathroom? how much is it worth to be in a great, central location, when housing farther away can be significantly cheaper?
And, of course, the Big Question-- if there's something that looks great, but I know it could be snatched up within the next week, is it worth trying to snap it up before then, even though I can't go see it in person?