Friday, June 8, 2007

I don't like looking for housing... or maybe I don't like dating

for rent
Originally uploaded by mgoldstein.
I've been spending a lot of time on Craigslist these days. Initially, a large part of it was needing to find a subletter to take over our 1-bedroom for a couple of months in L.A.

Looking for a subletter reminded me of the setup on The Bachelor (rather surprisingly, we watched every single episode this season). The Bachelor's stated goal is to find the woman whom he feels best fits him in terms of personality, attraction, life goals, etc, but whom he also believes to feel the same way about him. He is supposed to be looking for a long-term relationship, so he wants a woman who would also be interested long-term.

But there is a large degree of uncertainty and reliance upon trust. He dates multiple (though their numbers decrease through the course of the season) women and wants all of them to be interested in him, but in the end he can only pick one. The women, on the other hand, have similar incentives to demonstrate their interest, because if they aren't interested at all, they become easy targets for elimination.

Our situation is this: We want to have the best subletter possible. For our situation, that's a clean, responsible, respectful individual (or couple) who wants to rent the apartment for the two months in which it will be vacant. We want a guarantee of the subletter's commitment long-term. That is, we want to ensure that they will not rent for one month, then skip out, leaving us having to scramble for a second subletter or leaving the apartment not paid for and empty. We are choosing between multiple candidates, all of whom indicate interest by responding to our CL ad, and they are looking for other possible living situations because our choosing them is far from assured.

Love is complicated. Rent, we can ask for up front. (So we have.)

Now that we've found someone, there's this issue of figuring out where we will live in the Bay Area, and whether I'll find something (e.g., my job) besides my own thing (academic research) to do. I can't wait until we're more settled. Regular housing searches are not much fun.