See, under DC law, my rent is slated to go up 5 percent come May, which means I'd be paying over $1,000 a month (plus utilities) to live in a studio the size of a Super 8 motel room. Zoinks!
And while I don't mind Super 8-sized rooms, it can get a little clausterphobic if that's the only room you've got. OK, I also have a bathroom, which, again matches that found in a Super 8. It's nothing special, but it's clean and I get decent water pressure. I'm wondering, however, am I getting ripped off? Can my $1,000+ per month stretch to pay for, say, the luxuries of a Holiday Inn Express in DC?
Sadly, after a quick perusal of Craigslist, it seems I may actually be getting a good deal. With keyword parameters limiting my search to my current neighborhood, Columbia Heights, and capping my price limit at $1,050, I found that my only choice if I want to move to a bigger place and still live alone is to move to a basement. Oh, I'm sorry, I mean "English basement." Now what's the difference between a regular American basement and a special English basement? Accomodations wise, I have no clue, but the former is clearly more patriotic than the latter, meaning I'll see "English basements" in hell (USA!). Moving on...
I tried to check the roommates section, but honestly, the idea of moving in with a stranger via Craigslist (even though I did it successfully in Manhattan) makes me a little nervous, especially after nearly a year of living alone. I mean, would I have to start wearing pants around the house again? That's just not for me.
And so, I think I'm resigned to keep my Super 8 lifestyle for at least another year, which I must say makes me a little angry. I mean, seriously, DC is not Manhattan. Hell, DC isn't even Boston. So when I see the rents here edging up closer to the rents in those cities, it quite honestly makes me angry. (For the record, a 2005 survey ranked Washington, DC, the ninth most expensive place to rent an apartment. It's more expensive than Chicago, Minneapolis, Miami, Austin and Seattle, which are all
arguably objectively much cooler cities than DC.) Seriously, what the f*ck are we paying so much money for here? The hot nightlife? Um... The spectacular shopping? Uh... Well, then what about the convenience of a well-stocked corner store? I wish! Seriously, can someone please explain to me why it's so hard to find a goddamn Big Gulp on 16th Street? Is this a major city or not!?
So basically, we're paying ridiculous rents for sh*tty apartments so we can be near others also paying ridiculous rents for sh*tty apartments. (Conclusion: Whoever was in charge of zoning in DC was an idiot.)
The rental market here truly makes no sense. Unlike New York and Boston, there isn't a housing shortage here, so there is no excuse for prices to be going up. I should probably just buy. Oh, wait! Thanks to the Feds' meddling and George Bush's being "on top of" the economy, I can't! Several of the buildings I was thinking about purchasing into have now been reslated to become rental units. Yay! More apartments I can't afford!
I think the lesson to be learned here is that I need to start a pyramid scheme. Who's with me?