Bay Area Apartment Hunting by Sun Tzu

Malm the Bed says hello.

Application filled, holding deposit given, $2300 cashier's check in hand. I was prepared to pop bottles and sign contracts. It had been a battlefield, the war for living space against the antagonist anonymous Padmappers. We surged upon open listings on the day they appeared yet we were always outflanked by a faster hunter who snatched them up within hours. But alas the end was in sight. for we believed we had finally found home in a hopeless place.

The humble place was an oasis on the warfront. A small studio nestled within a quiet community. Walking in, I overheard a small kid asking his mom whether or not that stranger loading up that pickup truck was his father. And then asking what his father looked like despite having just seen him that morning. The Yelp reviews mentioned new management had turned the place around recently for the better. And it was a fair bargain considering the market in San Rafael of Marin County. It was a few seconds before I concluded the place was close to perfect. Everything checked out and I was en route to the world record for fastest apartment signing. Until I received a hyperbolically-fateful text.

Never had I been so sure of something before having my mind completely flipped. It was from my fiancee, my comrade in the trenches. Yesterday, she had sent an email to what made the place I was about to sign with look like a safety college, the Lofts. I had thought the email was more futile than a three-hundred and sixty degree scopeless bullet. The Lofts had not listed any available studios on their website, which was supposedly a source of truth. But like Criss Angel, she had seemed to produced a miracle without any camera tricks.

"The Lofts just emailed me back, they have a studio open.".

If I were to dramatize it in my mind, it would be akin to the ink of a pen millimeters from the contract before I suddenly stood up, ripped it in half, and skateboarded away. Except, I did skateboard away, pushing and sprinting to the Lofts which was no less than three blocks from the property I was courting. I reached the leasing office, taking a second to reset so I hadn't looked like I just ran a three-legged marathon. The leasing agent welcomed me in.

"So I heard you have a studio open"

The leasing agent looked over to the other guy in the room, an older softly-spoken man on his first day of the job.

"I told you they go quick!", the charismatic leasing agent remarked in amusement.

Before they had even publically listed the studio that day, I rolled in on my wooden steed inquiring about it less than five minutes since they had responded to my fiancee's email. A larger space, at a lower price, in a nicer location right off downtown, with even more friendly management. They didn't even need to tell me about the in-unit washer and dryer. Air support had arrived and we were sold.

Less Dramatic Tidbits

  • We came from Portland, OR. Fiancee took a job in Novato, and I was flexible enough to relocate, also gaining the benefit to commute (via ferry!) to the office on the San Francisco Embarcadero waterfront.
  • We had been scouting Richmond, CA as a potential dropzone for weeks. After an espionage mission, I promptly nope'd my way out of there. Place was straight out of the Wire.
  • Fiancee now working at Zenni Optical, who graciously set us up with a week of great housing to get us settled. They sell $6.95 glasses including prescription!
  • The North Bay, maybe the closest thing resembling Oregon in California, but with its own flair. Rolling yellow hills bushed in little, happy trees. Birds chirping, and Redwoods all around. I welcome wine country.
  • Our studio view is the architecturally-pleasing Mission San Rafael Arcangel that landmarks the city and sits in front of the large Mountain Park mountain.
  • Walk score off the charts. We live next to Safeway. Our kitchen is pretty much Safeway.


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