Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Housing update

Other than the House that Cats Built, there is exactly one one- or two-bedroom apartment available in my price range in the areas of Jerusalem I want to live in (that is, within sort-of reasonable walking distance of my friends and of my "office" at Tal Bagels. The radius is pretty large.)

It was a place I saw several months ago, back when I'd first started searching, and now that I understood the reality of housing prices here, I decided to take a second look. I went back with engineers, who reported that the entire roof needs replacing and is leaking into both the bathroom, where the ceiling has major damage, and the kitchen, where the ceiling has mildew. The Vaad Bayit (Building Committee) is supposed to be maintaining the roof, but clearly they aren't, probably because almost the whole building is occupied by tenants, not owners. It would probably become my job to chase the other owners and insist that they pay for their share of the roof maintanance costs, which could take months. All the plumbing is leaking, and must be completely replaced. And the electricity is running at 25 amps, when 40 is standard.

So I gave an offer which was a little bit lower than the asking price, and which would leave me just barely enough in my budget to make the necessary repairs. The owner refused the offer, and I decided it is just as well. Even after all the basic repairs are made, the apartment still won't get much sunlight. The layout is strange, with a zig-zag path from the front door to the salon. And the full flight of outdoor stairs leading up to the building are in a remarkable state of disrepair and honestly don't look safe to me.

All in all, not a good situation.

So, I'm now officially priced out of this neighborhood. If I want to buy anything, it will have to be somewhere else, because there is literally nothing available around here that I can afford, unless I decide to take my chances with Cat Lady, who has a reputation for being a non-serious seller and jerking people around before pulling out of negotations. Not what I need.

Since I might be kicked out of my current place when the lease runs out, I have absolutely no idea where I'm going to live afterward. The rents around here, too, are so high that I don't think I could find a reasonable (that is, non-moldy, non-basement, non-dark) place to live by myself.

I've spoken with a friend about the possibility of sharing an apartment, which would be an attractive option since I know her, and I'd finally have a place to put a couch. But whether she could do it depends on other factors in her own life, so I'm waiting from her for an answer.

Anxiety, anxiety, anxiety.

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