Damnit, that entry with the melted chocolate happened to come up while I was switching views, and I immediately picked up a craving for it. Not having eaten thus far today (a Kitkat and six crackers don’t count) is likely also a factor.
Anyway… so last night I hit B.J.’s with Ross & Tom (F1 was absent – off in New York having his monthly shag). At some point – whether last night or the past few days while chatting online, I just can’t remember – we were talking about F2 looking for places, and me considering them… I like where I am, no doubt, but it kinda feels like living at home, and the area is boring, so I’m open to other options. But F2 really wants to live in Mountain View, which is pretty much the most expensive area around here (that and maybe Palo Alto, though I could at least find some rationally-priced places there).
Anyway (I need a thesaurus), it seems like there’s three things happening right now:
a) Lots of places are being renovated all of a sudden.
b) Rent is going up a fair bloody bit (not for me, at least not thus far, but everywhere else..).
c) Everyone is trying to find somewhere better than where they are.
F1/Ross/Tom are looking for a newer place – Ross wants to live up near Palo Alto, I gather, probably so he can hit all those hot college girls :P, and F1 wants to be in S.F. or somesuch I think… and there’s Follis and Mark arriving back here in a month or two looking for more permanent places, etc.
It’s definitely a landlords’ market right now; there’s seemingly as much demand throughout the whole valley as at any time prior that I’ve seen, yet there’s really no big geographic shift to places with room available, and apparently the collapse of the whole insolvent-people-with-mortgages thing has put even more pressure on the whole system… grr.
Today F2 and I checked out three places up in Mountain View. The first two – both houses – were pretty nice. Pricey ($3,700 and $4,300 per month, respectively), but with four or five (respectively) people I could handle that. The first was quite nice – good place, reasonable layout, nice pool out the back, far enough off the main roads as to be a little quieter and cleaner, but still only a few blocks from ‘downtown’ Mountain View. But it was pretty darn small, especially the bedrooms – I’m not sure four full grown adults could fit in there, really. Pity, because otherwise it was really nice and the price isn’t unreasonable.
The second was much bigger – seemingly, at least, though it was empty in contrast to the first – but was very barren – no garden or pool, or significant privacy :( – but it did have a converted barn at the back, which is itself nearly 10 squares or so, apparently. It’s not qualified by the city to have permanent occupation, so the guy was just throwing it in with the house. But it had its own bathroom and kitchen, albeit with old fittings and whitegoods, but still… it immediately struck me as a rather sweet sort of place for F1/Ross/Tom. I’ve mentioned it to them, and I think F2 has passed on the details, but, again, I’m kinda happy to look for places, but unlike everyone else I’m happy where I am, so, I’m going to need decent motivation to take affirmative action. So I don’t really know what’s going to happen; thus far I’m happy to observe while F2 does his thing.
The second place was a century old though, and while it was newly renovated it had that old house feel… I can’t picture it even in my own mind, but I apparently do have a pretty good idea what sort of place I like, and I know when I see them that they don’t fit that intangible expectation. Still, a house is a house and my experience has shown you tend to get by in whatever. Which is probably why I’m not really interested in paying a whole bunch, even if the place is nice.
I’m not necessarily a fan of working with and living with Francisco (nothing personal; just the general fear of cabin-fever), but, I hardly spend any time at home these days anyway, and at work of course I have my head in my computer the whole day. In a way I do miss living [closely] with people – the life it brings and whatnot – but then I think it’s just the green-grass syndrome; I still remember wishing I could afford my own exclusive place when I first came out here.
The third place we checked out, very briefly, were the Avalon apartments just in that area, where Nils is. F2 handled that, since I walked in resigned to the fact that they’d likely be stupidly expensive ($2k for one bedroom, yep, though only $2.2 and $2.5 for two and three bedrooms, which is actually not that bad). But F2 wasn’t impressed by the guy we were talking to, and we left quickly enough without actually looking at any places.
So I’ve no idea what will happen with all this. Perhaps nothing, for me – F2 will likely move somewhere else in any case, but whether I go with him probably depends on what place he decides upon; he’s currently paying over twice what I am for his single-bedroom apartment, so, his idea of cheap doesn’t necessarily quite align with mine. :)
Also, while Mountain View is undoubtedly better than where I am now as an area, it really doesn’t strike me as anything special nonetheless… it’s still kinda commercial and dirty and mundane feeling, from what I’ve seen. Palo Alto’s downtown at least feels a bit like a city – heck, moreso than most parts of S.F. actually. I miss Melbourne, still… not that I was ever really in the city itself much, but, knowing that I could go out at midnight and have the city at my disposal seems like such an awesome privilege in hindsight. :/