Advice for students on apartment hunting

If I had to sum up what irks me about NIU, right now I would have to say it’s finding a place to live.

Yes, searching out decent housing has become an even more hideous problem than staying awake in class, staying sane in DeKalb or staying calm in my apartment when the guy two floors above me decides to have his own little “house party” at 2 a.m., playing the same song with the same beat over and over. And over.

For anyone trying to find an apartment, you know the living hell I’m talking about.

While it seemed easy at first—my two friends and I, a nice three bedroom apartment, a rent price that was somewhat high yet still affordable—it turned out to be a man with a plan straight out of Wile E. Coyote’s ACME catalog.

This particular landlord had already gone too far when he told me he didn’t think I could handle the rent. Maybe I’m wrong about what he meant by it, but I didn’t know I had to pull up in a Lamborghini with a full-length fur and two Chippendale dancers named “Lance” and “Rock” on each arm in order to be “suitable” for an apartment in this big corn-filled metropolis of a city

Silly me.

Then, upon returning to sign the lease anyway, we were told the prices had suddenly and mysteriously been jacked up $30. Oh, that’s fair. Call me crazy, but a landlord shoving a lease in my face to prove what he was now charging doesn’t alleviate the fact that we were being purposely driven out. It seemed obvious to me that said landlord figured he could get more money by schiestering five people instead of three.

I know life’s not fair, but one would think that a quoted price would stick. Especially coming from a man that apparently thought I couldn’t afford a gummy bear out of the bulk section of White Hen Pantry.

When I think about it, it was crazier than an on-the-spot explanation from Bill and Ted. It seems the new philosophy is “You can’t fool all of the people all of the time, but you can take full advantage of any NIU students whenever you feel like it.”

Perhaps I’m wrong.

Perhaps his little comment about my not being able to handle the rent wasn’t related to what I could afford at all.

Perhaps it wasn’t that he was trying to play Landlord/God and discriminate against us because we only had three people.

Perhaps it was really his caring way of showing concern for my well-being.

Perhaps the fact that I’m 6’2″ really intimidated the man.

Perhaps I’m blatantly being sarcastic because at the time, I was beyond irate. I believe my blood was boiling, and having access to a pack of matches at the time, anything could have happened.

Now, I’m not saying that all landlords are evil.(And I’m not just saying that because I haven’t rented a place yet.) I’m just saying to be careful and leery when signing a lease.

Apartments are filling up fast, and if you’re too lazy to go out looking, just picture for a minute being stuck in the residence halls for yet another year. Quiet hours, vile food and the floor geek who always seems to hang out in your room for some unknown reason. Think about it. It’s not a pretty picture.