Sunday, March 20, 2016

The Little Things: BYOE (Bring Your Own Everything)

One thing you notice in different areas is their approach to household amenities. When we moved from Virginia to California, I was shocked that many places didn’t have a washer, dryer, or refrigerator. Now it seems normal.

Yes, our refrigerator is blue,
but it came with the apartment.
When we moved to Hamburg it was obvious that 99.9% of places didn’t have overhead lights. Ok, inconvenient, but our place came with one light for the kitchen and an overhead for each bathroom, so lamps were ok for the other rooms.

It was also understood that you, the tenant, would patch any holes and paint the walls when you left. I guess the deposit we paid is for major damages. Although after talking to other folks about their apartment hunting experiences here, I’m not sure what there would be to wreck...

Sink? Yes.
One visitor asked if the large farmer’s sink in the kitchen came with the apartment. I thought she was joking. Sadly, she was not.

Oven? Yes.

Then I met a woman who said she and her husband were shown places without ovens. Thinking back to our early days in Hamburg, I tried to imagine if we had rented one of these places--a dark, empty apartment with no sink or oven and two freaked-out cats. Ugh.

The clincher was when a couple we had to dinner admired our floor and asked if it was ours. Um, what? 

They had been to more than one place where they were told they would either have to pay for the floor or get their own.

Um, what?

Floor? Yes!
Having installed a hardwood floor before in only one room, I could not imagine installing and reinstalling a floor for an entire apartment every time I moved (or paying someone else to do it), particularly for someplace I didn’t own. 

I guess you can look at it as an investment in stability. Or convenience (like the utilities, which are apparently checked and rate-adjusted just once a year).

But as someone who recently hauled her life stuff over here, the thought of piling appliances and flooring on top of that makes me glad we found the place we did, and hopeful that we don’t have any of these house-hunting adventures anytime in the near future!

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