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ORW: The great apartment hunt of ’13

Apartment hunting is a pain. It’s hard to justify spending countless hours searching through misspelled advertisements to find the mythical landlord who will screw tenants out of slightly less money than the next guy.

Granted, there are some basic strategies I’ve found avoid wasting time on the search. Omitting any listings that contain the suffix “-view” seems to significantly lower the number of crack dens I mistakenly call, and listings that use the word “spacious” to describe something less than 800 square feet are dismissed as a poor attempt at a joke. Even the phrase “move in now” — which only makes the owners seem uncomfortably desperate — has become a reason to pass on the ad, as most of the results seem to want you to move in before you can discover the major problems with the unit.

As some have probably guessed, I’m having a bit of trouble finding a place to live for the fall semester. Two off-campus roommates have already fallen through, and the only apartment owners who respond to my calls seem to be shady at best. At one point I got my hopes up upon finding what seemed to be a spectacular deal, only to have my dreams crushed once I learned of the year-long waiting list to get in. Though I’m being very careful not to sound desperate, I’m just afraid I’ll end up back in the circus of misery that is campus housing.

Full disclosure: In the past two years I’ve had emotionally unstable roommates, a horrible rodent infestation and three separate incidents of flooding. I’d very much like to believe that campus housing isn’t all that bad, but I’ve yet to see any evidence to the contrary.

That’s not to say that most of the off-campus options that I’ve explored haven’t been equally horrible. In fact, I think I might actually cheer if I found an apartment without carpet that seems to have played host to a horrific oil spill. Surprisingly, the best-looking apartment I’ve found was a two-bedroom unit in Muldoon, which would have been ideal assuming that my life’s ambition was to live in a well-maintained trailer.

It’s becoming obvious that the main problem is my “Goldilocks-esque” attitude towards apartment hunting. I’m not convinced that it’s too much to ask to find a place that is somewhere between an unattainable Hillside mansion and a poorly cleaned meth lab with a mold problem. Unfortunately my potential roommates have not shared my expectations, considering I’ve narrowly avoided signing a lease for a Mountain View shack and a $2500 Ocean View duplex — apparently my hesitation toward “-views” is justified.

As it currently stands, I’ll be randomly placed within another Main Apartment Complex room or Templewood apartment at the start of fall semester — a fate I’d very much like to avoid. Unfortunately my 65-hour work schedule limits the time I have to scope out possible apartments. This wouldn’t normally be an issue, but my severe aversion to all forms of campus housing has placed me in an uncomfortable position for the summer.

Currently my only options are to commute from Wasilla, which involves an inordinate amount of gas expenditures; take my chances with a mystery apartment somewhere within the vast labyrinth of Anchorage; or take a fifth shot at campus housing, which will hopefully break my losing streak of 0-5.

Though I’m trying to remain optimistic, my options are bleak at best.

So this is where you come in. As loyal readers who’ve (probably) read at least one of my columns, I’m sure you’ve all wondered what it would be like to live with an overflowing vat of humor such as myself. This, dear readers, is your chance.  If you’d like to engage in charity and lease an apartment with me, please send me an email ASAP so I can avoid another random assignment.

And for those of you who wouldn’t mind me living on your floors but are too lazy to email, just leave a pack of bacon and a pitcher of Red Stripe on the counter — I’ll find my way there.

If anyone would like to give me a place to live, I promise to occasionally wear pants, make a genuine attempt to be social and to limit my Taylor Swift sing-a-longs to the shower.

Hopefully a brave soul will volunteer to house me before my next column two weeks from now. Until then, however, it looks like I’ve got to get back to work.

Written by Evan Dodd