01 April 2007

La chance se provoque*

A weekend of tenseness has just terminated, and I can now say that I have passed one of the true New Yorker tests: the housing hunt. On Wednesday, we saw an apartment that was the Holy Grail of apartments: affordable, less than ten blocks away from two subway lines, in the same area we live in now, with plenty of light and closets, and did I say affordable? We put in an application as soon as possible.

We had prepared by gathering, for both of us, three months of bank statements, three paycheks, letters of employment, tax returns, social security cards, passports, copies of anything that would establish our solvency, and copied them in quadruplicate. And put them in very profssional-looking tan cardboard folders with binder clips to hold it all together. We figured that if we ever found our dream apartment, we could just hand a folder to the landlord on the spot and guarantee our spot at the head of the applicant line.

It sort of worked out like that. For this apartment, though, the super was showing us through, and we had to contact the landlord, whose office is in Manhattan. We had to get the application from him, fill it out and fax it back to him, with the supporting documents aforementioned. Reader, this fax came to twenty-two pages. And as everyone who has ever watched Office Space knows, fax machines are the work of Beelzebub and should be shunned. It took us three attempts at the ghetto copy shop downstairs to give up and go into the city to Frenchy's office. We tried again from there, with no success either. We then decided to drop the whole thing off at the agncy's office.

Being nine o'clock at night by now, we figured we had no chance of getting it to them that night. When we arrived at the building (and by the way, I easily outpaced Frenchy who normally walks like a maniac running away from a fire) the doorman had never heard of the company, and our hearts sunk. At that point a woman comes out of the elevator and says she works with the agent and she will deliver our package to him. La chance se provoque.

To ensure receipt, we also emailed our application as a pdf attachment the next morning. Had all of our attempts succeeded, this poor guy would have had no fewer than seven copies of our application. The guy confirmed (at 11 pm) that he had received a portion of the original faxes, and would reply to us with his decision on Friday or maybe Saturday.

Friday came and went. I kept my phone on all day. Saturday came and went. Hope started to wane. Nerves set in. This morning we got up and made French toast (trying to get rid of bread in the house for psycho pseudo-Jewish roommate who's not even in the country right now) and the phone rang. We were approved!

I'm not silly enough to rejoice before the deposit is paid and the keys in our hands, but--whew, big relief! What kind of realtor works until midnight on weekends but won't pick up his phone on weekdays?

*Luck come to he who helps himself

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