I just saw an ad for the other half of my old double that’s for rent. Again. I think someone just moved out in October, and it’s available yet again in a month. She has quotes on the site from people who haven’t lived there in over three years. She’s asking $775 a month for it, plus an additional $25 per month, per pet, if you have them. That means we would have paid more to live there than we do for the house we’re in now. We’re only a total of about seven blocks away, but it’s like an entirely different world. No one’s smashing in to your car and driving away, shooting guns, coming on to your porch to beg for money or cigarettes, or passing out drunk on your steps.
I’m not suggesting anyone looking for a place rents there. Especially considering I saw the inside the first time we lived there and hot-doctor-neighbor Seth invited me over. The photos the landlady has on the Web site are exactly the same, only with furniture other than Seth’s. She states that it’s recently “completely rehabbed,” but you can tell from the photos that nothing new has been done. She has a different idea of that term than, say, the dictionary does. She thinks that because it has a new air conditioning unit (which froze up on us in the middle of the summer to the extent that it was over 90 degrees inside the house), and the fact that we painted on the other side and left a shelf we’d installed, that this somehow means “remodeled.”
For the record, this eight-hundred-plus-per-month half of a double does have a great, big backyard. It also happens to have 15 year-old carpet in the bathroom, black mold in the basement, neighbors who abuse dogs on a regular basis, and just over 900 square feet. I realize in other cities, $800 for 900 square feet is considered good. If the landlady weren’t such a crackhead, if she didn’t live right next door, and it didn’t happen to be on a street that made my black, formerly incarcerated criminal justice instructor from the projects of Birmingham exclaim “You live there ?!”, I might recommend it.