Tag Archives: apartments

Apartment Hunting Just Got Easy: Padmapper

Well, it’s all coming down. Another 10 days, and I can start looking in earnest for March 1st rentals in Victoria.
Holy choices-to-make, Batman!
Here’s what I know. I know roughly where I want to live. And while I’m working from home, I want to be less than 15 minutes’ walk to my local gym, which I’ve chosen downtown. A similar walk to great parks, shops, and the beach would also work. So, that narrows things down.
But finding apartments exactly where I want them, well, that’s the challenge. I’ve been researching the shit out of apartment management companies, neighbourhoods, different listing sources, and it really makes the head spin.
Dude, all the squinting to read neighbourhoods and trying to imagine where places are when I barely know the main street names, it’s killing me!
Now, with Google Street View, it makes plugging an apartment’s address in really worth your while, since you can do a 360-view look at the places around it.
That’s all a hell of a lot of work, though, even for a smart and determined cookie like myself.
So, enter Padmapper.com.
Sure, it’s not NEW, but it’s new to me and probably to anyone who hasn’t rented a new place in the last few years.
A reader turned me onto it yesterday, and, oh, lord, do I love this. You can set lots of parameters, and it’s in your interest to be more thorough. What kind of parameters?

  • Price
  • Location
  • Set radius for a walking distance to X-location (work / gym / school, etc)
  • Bedroom/bathroom count
  • Pet-friendliness
  • Terms of lease/rent

Blah, blah, blah.  Use it all! More means less crap to search through for your shiny new home.
There’s a few apartment-listing sources it combs through, and you select the maximum age of the listing, and it’ll search, say, rent.com, craigslist.org, and more.
You plug your deets in, and boom-shaka-laka, your Google map fills with markers for every single available apartment, and you can click each marker and a pop-up dialogue shows you a photo of the place, where the source listing is, and all the basic details. You can “save to favourites” and all the standard modes of sharing via email and such apply.
And think about the awesomeness that Google Street View offers you — the chance to take a look at what the neighbourhood looks like around your home. Well, Padmapper.com also has the ability to click the “Walkscore” button, and if you’ve never tried Walkscore,* it gives you an idea of what’s in walking distance of your home and how convenient it is.
The only shortfall in Padmapper is that it doesn’t currently integrate with the Bedbug Registry, and if you’ve had any close calls, you’ll appreciate how much you’d like to know who’s had problems and how often.
As I’ll be working from home, I’m really keen to find the best location and a good hardwood floor space with balconies, maybe even a second bedroom for my office, if I can find the right mix at the right budget.
Looking for a place to live has always been a real challenge. With a tool like this, it seems the playing field’s getting a little more level for the savvy home-renter looking for the ideal place to cool their heels.
With a few minutes’ digging, I can find more viable listings for rentals that fit the budget, space, and location needs I have than I could find in hours, before.
And, let’s face it, in a 30-days-notice kind of world, you really do need a more efficient means of finding great places. Padmapper might just be a rental agency’s worst nightmare, because finding a new apartment just got a whole lot less intimidating.
*WALKSCORE: My present home is dubiously high on there, and they’re wrong, since most of the so-called restaurants are sushi joints and I don’t eat it, and the shops kind of suck, so don’t get too invested in Walkscore without knowing the hood well, just use it because you can.

There Can Be Only One: Steff Versus the Roach

If I ever needed me a man-slave, tonight’s the night. He could do me a little cleanin’.
My ever-so-brilliant landlords are this major conglomerate from back east. “Back east” is what we disenfranchised forgotten West Coast Canadians call Ontario, which is sort of east but hardly East, since a couple thousand kilometres of country flank it… on the east. We also call it “The Centre of the Universe” in a sardonic kind of way.
A little Canadiana for you. You’ll take it and you’ll like it.
These stupid conglomerate asswipes hired this dumb-ass bimbo to be the property manager. I’ve made it my mission to kind of get her fired, but they just never bothered. Until she illegally broke into a neighbour’s place to look for his drug stash to implicate him. (An accountant. A neurotically perfect accountant who’s as quiet and respectful as they come. Who smokes pot. And drops ecstasy to get freaky with his girlfriend. Yay, freaky! Otherwise… he’s an accountant. With a treadmill. Ooh, lock him up! Beast!)
My complaints about the millions of shortcomings didn’t go far. Neighbour’s complaint packed a little oomph. But the final straw, it would seem, came when they had to evict this strange, strange old stanky man she had rented to, despite the fact that he wore horrible old clothes, had one of those wispy “you should shave that thing” beards that never has enough hair to qualify as a “beard”, who smelled like trash… because he LITERALLY was a dumpster-diving guy who carted everything home with him and had an apartment literally full of garbage within the month.
He was evicted within six months. And a monster 15-yard disposal bin was needed to cart away the shit he left behind.
I’m three-and-a-half floors up and behind him. The bugs have reached my place just a few weeks after his eviction. Nine years I’ve been here, and the first time in my life I saw a cockroach was last night. On my kitchen counter.
I may be a dirty girl, but I’m not that dirty.
I’ve cancelled my plans. It’s quality time now for my friend, Lysol, and I. We’re tearing apart my kitchen, washing every single dish (but not with the Lysol! and I have an eight-piece setting because I could once afford to throw dinner parties, sigh) and cleaning the cupboards, and huffing chemicals…
Because I LIKE LIVING ALONE, MOTHERFUCKER. I WILL pay this price. You are univited, Mr. Roach!
Back off. You encroachin’ dis girl’s space. Yo ass is mine!
Meanwhile, since I’m quite the nervous nelly around bugs (but once I go Clint, man, there’s no turning back) I’m fuelling my death-search and sterilization quest with rye and coke.
In the meantime, I just want to say:
I guess there’s about eight or ten people who normally comment on this blog, and then no one else ever. I like comments. More importantly, I like to hear from readers that there’s a point to all these unpaid hours I spend blogging for the fuck of it, so when I had a new reader write me to say they heard of me in this posting tonight, and I read it, it made my roach-searching heart go pitter-patter and feel all warm and fuzzy. And I don’t think it’s the chemicals.
So, if you like my writing — or any blogger’s writing — you really should say so sometimes. Writing sometimes is like oral sex. Sure, it’s usually appreciated, but it can be awfully dark and lonely work, so a little encouragement goes a long, long ways.
Now. I have a little going-Clint to do here.
So you gotta ask yourself one question: “Do I feel lucky?” Well, do ya, roach?