Snarky Behavior

Snarky Heuristics: Listing an Apartment on Craigslist

August 15, 2007 · 2 Comments

Snarky Heuristics: Where I snarkily define rules of thumb for social situations and occassions.

I probably won’t give this subject the manifesto it deserves because I’m so stressed out actually trying to find a room to rent. But there needs to be an ettiquette for people listing a room on Craig’s List, and the following would be a good start:

1. The Post Title
These are the things I need to know up front: Price, Room Size, Cross-streets. That’s it. I don’t need to know ROOMMATE NEEDED. Believe it or not, dumbass, that was implied when I entered the forum on “rooms & shares.”

Also… if you’re only looking for a certain type of person (i.e. gay or female, i.e. not me), SAY SO UP FRONT. There’s nothing worse than reading through 400 words, imagining myself living in some fantastic apartment on the Upper West Side, and then stumbling upon “females only please.” Or getting hot and bothered about a great deal in Harlem only to find out that the two guys are looking for a Tom Cruise to their Feathers and Cadillac.

2. If you’re charging over $1000, I’m going to need to see a photo of the room
I’m sorry, if you can afford to pay $1000 month for rent, you undoubtedly either a.) own a digital camera or b.) know someone who does. Please excuse me if I don’t take your word on the “FANTASTIC, SUNNY ROOM! GREAT DEAL IN UP-IN-COMING NEIGHBORHOOD!” I don’t want to waste my time inspecting your closet in the heart of the heroin traders market. And if you’ve got $25, why not try Apartment Viewer ? (Shameless plug for get-rich-quick scheme #217).

3. Pidgin English is unacceptable
Hey, I understand that this is an apartment listing, and you might feel inclined to speak in some kind of code. But remember… this isn’t the New York Times classifieds… it’s Craigslist! As in, you’re listing your apartment for free! As in, instead of writing 1 BR, SWM, AC, TV, W/D, DM, prft for CU/NYU/CC sdt, you can actualy write in a common language that, you know, people understand!

4. Throw me a bone
Hey, so you’re looking for a male roommate ? Cool, that could totally be me! (You like puppies??? I like puppies!!!) Except that when I call you, and I find out that you’re an 84 year old, kosher, parapalegic, teetotling insomniac with 3 cats, and realize I’d probably not be the best fit. Since I’m allergic and all. To old people.

5. Is your room REALLY for rent?
Here’s the thing about Craigslist… you’re not pissing in the wind. Within 15 minutes of making a listing, you’re going to get 25 responses minimum, as long as you’re not some sketchy guy offering a room for “female companionship” (and even in that case, I’m assuming people don’t respond. But people are weird).

Point being, if you’re listing your apartment, make sure it’s available. Please don’t make me call and listen to you hem and haw about “well my roommate MIGHT be leaving August 25th, I’m not sure yet.” If I had a dollar for everytime I heard that, at this point, I’d be BUYING my own place.

6. Tell me what you’re looking for
And don’t give me the standard “quiet, considerate, tidy, respectful, etc.” unless those are absolute deal breakers. Hey, I’m accomodating. I’m an asexual student $50k in debt, I won’t own enough personal items to be messy, and I’m going to play the part of desperate sychophant until I can secure a place to live. Giving me standard boilerplate for what’s rudimentarily expected of ANY roommate doesn’t give me any insight into how compatible we might actually be.

Look, it’s your place: you hold all of the power, and you should be discriminating about who you consider to live with. It saves us both a heck of a lot of time if we lay out mutual expectations up front.

7. Give me a timeframe and some details
If I’m e-mailing you about a place, chances are I’m e-mailing 50 other people about their places, too. So if you call/e-mail back and leave a message “about the apartment” with only your name and number, I’m sorry but I’m going to have no idea whether you were hous-3748959@craigslist.org or hous-3849583@craigslist.org . Also, when is the preferred move-in day? When are you available to show the place? How long is the terms of the lease? These are all essential details that again, will help you screen out the Mongolian hordes from banging down the firewalls of your inbox.

8. Take down your posting when you find a roommate
Ugh. Don’t get me started… don’t even get me started.

So again, this is not a comprehensive manifesto, but certainly a good start. And if anyone has a room for me, please leave a comment! I’m not normally this big of an a-hole, I promise. :)

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