When I moved from bumblefrak New York to Raleigh, NC, I moved into an apartment sight-unseen
I had come down several months before the move to scope out the place and interview different landlords… but none of them were quite the right fit.
Then I found this guy… I’ll call him “John.”
John was a decent guy. Him and his wife owned a townhouse they were willing to sell or rent to me, my choice.
Because I wasn’t familiar with the area, I decided to rent.
And the rent was cheap. Real cheap.
But the place looked amazing in the photos.
My spidery senses went off… but I figured I needed a place and this was the best one I’d found (on paper anyway).
So I moved in.
Now… there were a couple of things that weren’t EXACTLY like the photo, but most of the place looked just how I imagined it.
And the rent was like HALF of every other place in the area.
I waited and waited and waited for something to be “off” about the place.
Eventually, it happened.
Little things started to break and landlord called in a handyman who was… let’s just say he was not as handy as his name would suggest.
Here’s what I mean:
One time there was a leak in one of the pipes. Pretty serious.
So the landlord’s guy came in and tried fixing it… but couldn’t figure out how to shut off the water to the kitchen.
And he started working on the pipes.
Do you happen to know what happens when you break the seal on a pipe with water running through it?
You get a swimming pool in your kitchen.
So the guy is under the sink screaming for help and I’m outside and have to come running in to save this guy…
So I call John and tell him the situation and how the “handyman” is doing (or rather not doing) the job.
“Oh I’m sure he’s doing a fine job.”
Me: “Well John, there’s an inch of water on the floor.”
It should have been just that obvious but it was apparently lost on him.
And that’s one of MANY examples of WTF’ery that happened at that place.
Oh but there’s more.
My great deal on rent came with a communist-style HOA with rules so draconian, they restricted Christmas wreaths to no larger than 12 inches by 12 inches.
One inch over and you were getting a visit and a takedown notice.
Also, no more than 2 people could be seen together on the front lawn of ANY house in the neighborhood.
Any more than that was considered “improper assembly of neighbors”.
And so on.
Why do I being this up?
Simple my friend.
This whole idea that you can get a good deal on anything retail is… a myth.
There is always a tradeoff of some kind. Always a cost. Sometimes, it’s hidden.
Like those 0% or 2.99% special financing deals car dealers offer you.
Or any “special financing” or lease, or any other “deal” being offered.
From cars to homes to life insurance.
There are no deals.
How can I be so sure, you ask?
Simple as a dimple, my friend.
Here’s how to figure out what you’re REALLY paying using “girl-next-door” common financial calculators: