C-Town is a dangerous place during the summer months. We may not have duck/deer/moose/geese hunting season but we have Househunting Season. A time of shmoozing, deepseated competitive resentment, ridiculous overpricing, hours of obssessive internet trawling and dealing with “leasing consultants” who clearly traded their brains for their real estate licences.
Allow me to introduce you to some key players.
The Super Organised Young Professional Couple (SOY PC)- the ones who attend open homes dressed in business suits with a folio of documents in hand, the ones who march straight past the crowds milling out the front and go and peer in the front window, the ones who call the agent (and address them by name as if they’re long lost bosom buddies) to find out What Exactly Is Happening if the agent happens to be late. The SOY PC brigade usually inspire the strongest feelings of intense competitive hatred in my breast – I resent their attitude of entitlement. If we were children in the playground – they would be the kids playing on the swings and I would be the kid who wants to kick them and make them share the swings but the teacher (who loves them) would be watching and I’d be filled with impotent rage.
The Bubbleheaded Leasing Consultant – who totters across the lawn in inappropriately high heels which sink into the treacherously sandy soil with every step, threatening to pitch her into the scrubby native plants, carrying an enormous stack of forms under one arm and juggling bunches of keys with her free hand. These peculiarly vacant individuals always seem to giggle inanely and yet, you have to treat them as if they’re Nobel prize winners since they hold your housing future in the palm of their manicured hands.
Since the summer months see the arrival of huge numbers of graduates, university students and transferring public servants, real estate agents and home owners can charge exorbitant prices for rental properties. I’ve also encountered the practice (illegal in other states) of rent bidding – involving the agent advertising one price but putting out a sheet at the open inspection asking what people are prepared to pay for the house. No really, it’s time for a revolution – if we all abstained from participating in the inflation of the price out of desperation, the owners would only be able to charge market value.
Frankly, I’m sick of parading myself to an endless line of real estate agents in an attempt to convince them to grant me the honour of paying them half of my monthly wage to live in a two bedroom house in a shabby city. Bah humbug