2016-06-22: Rental hunting and the Secretary Problem

Well well, I haven’t been writing anything since I started dating this gentleman – funny, considerate, and smart.  So that proves that my go-for-it attitude and pipeline management actually work a bit. Or in his word,  everything can be figured out once you have the determination to solve it.

Enough for the date/relationship update, time to discuss another challenging things in life – housing/rental. Hmm, where to start? Maybe let’s start with my current landlord.

So, I’ve been living in my current three-bedroom apartment since I moved to Boston in 2014. My landlord seems pretty OK and is definitely fully in real estate/renting business for money. He owns 5 or 6 multi-family houses in my town. You can picture him as over 65 years old man with tons of houses and driving around to collect the rents.

What happened recently is that he told me I cannot stay on my current lease because his wife is divorcing him (which he told me in the summer of 2014) and his wife wants to have this house for herself. Right now, her lawyer notified him that he needs to keep the place open to settle the divorce. That is, I mean, I can understand.

To ease my anxiety of looking for a new apartment and paying one-month extra to realtors, he suggested his first-floor apartment to me. It’s a cute apartment, fully renovated, brand new appliances, equipped with central air system, and sunny bedrooms. After I seeing it, I really like it but the 2-bedroom apartment is too pricey for me if I want to live alone. So I put $200 as deposit and promised to get back to him regarding my decision in 1 week. And he agreed to not to show or rent it to others till I get back to him.

Then I created a Craiglist link for the house and called out for a female roommate for this apartment. Luckily enough, I got a cool female colleague answering back. However, when the potential roommate reached out to the landlord for a visit today, the landlord just replied that the house was rented over the weekend and he could return my deposit upon his kindness.

I understand life would not always show as you planed.  But this is way over – lack of business ethics and no respect of commitment. I was shocked, sad and panic. What if I do not find an apartment in time? What if I can find an apartment but no roommate to share the cost? What if I cannot find a moving company in time?

Just now, the gentleman I’m dating recommended me a link on Secretary Problem. It’s a perfect description on how one seems to have options but actually does not. Just like me. In this case, the best way to make decision is to 1) set up criteria on your basic needs; and 2) go with the best one in the first one third of your options.

Yes, it’s just another principle that is easy to understand but hard to implement. We are human beings, greedy and delusional.  Most of time, we take things we fantasized as real. We only think about how to enjoy the success but not put effort on how to pave the road to success.

Time to make a change, or time to work on Trulia and Craiglist for rental hunting.


@ Chicago

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