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  • Writer's pictureLeah Jones

Your choice: shithole or a closet.

Know what I can afford to buy in Chicago? Shitholes and closets.

Okay, that isn’t exactly fair. There was one unit I saw today that I’m in serious lust with and might even make an offer. I won’t tell you anything, except I was surprised to turn the corner leaving it and see my temple. I am now switching between harrassing my mortgage people and praying that no-one else makes an offer before I have my finances squared away. It is mine… as long as it isn’t anyone elses.

The condo I was prepared to love is also around the corner from my temple, but I hated it. Lucky for us, the agent for the building just gave us the keys and told us to check it out on our own. The entire condo could fit into my living room. If they’d advertised it as a studio, I would have been pleased. But to advertise it as a one bedroom was disappointing. Seriously, my RA room in Oakland Street Hall was bigger than the living room of this condo.

The first one I saw was a “BEAUTIFUL!!! TOTALLY REHABBED ONE BEDROOM.” We were in and out in less than two minutes, it was really a shithole that smelled like tortillas and had dead roaches under the sink. Wouldn’t you check and make sure there weren’t any roaches before you started showing a condo? The windows were so close the the ground that someone could walk right in.

When we walked out, Linda said to me, “You hated it, didn’t you?” “Yes.” Part of me feels like you aren’t allowed to hate anything when you can only spend $130,000. But I hated it. It felt gross and I would have been miserable and felt like I was living in a home for the aged.

Then we went to the one I am now in love with. Then we went to the one I wanted to be in love with, but also hated. I started noticing things like cracks in the walls, unfinished carpet and the unmistakable boom-boom of the downstairs neighbors bass. No way am I paying $130K for a dorm room with walls thinner than the notel motel.

The final condo I kind of liked, but the vibe was off. Linda and I weren’t offended like we were by the other two we hated, but we weren’t comfortable. Of course they showed me the HUGE one bedroom first–it was starting at $154K and then showed me the $131K, barely in my price range, with sloping floors and awkward layout. And I don’t need an exercise room in my building, thanks but no thanks.

In the end, I want the one by my temple. I’m praying that things stay slow for them until I get my finances squared away. I could start my grown-up life in Edgewater, no question about it.

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