May 22, 2000
WANTED: Cardboard box in good neighborhood, $1600/month maximum
Background: I'm in a bit of a pickle. See, I've had three moves in the last year, two of which were cross-country. Now I'm living in lovely Mountain View (where you can't even see any damn mountains!), commuting two hours each way to work, and I've just -got- to move again and get closer to work.
What's so difficult, you ask?
Well, to be blunt, the housing market here sucks. I've been looking for over two months now, and I have yet to find a decent place for a decent price. I've got a deposit down at the moment on a one bedroom that's about as big as the bathroom in my current place, and how much do they want for it? Nearly $1600 per month!
This place is about 600 square feet. It's got a kitchen, a bedroom, and a living room, and none of them are as large as my kitchen alone was in Pennsylvania. Heck, even my place in Calabasas, CA, was bigger than this one is. And I haven't even started in on parking; how does an extra $180/month for one parking space sound?
Of course, I'm not likely to get the place. See, in San Francisco the land owners know that they can pick and choose who they want living on their property. If you don't drive a BMW, have a perfect credit record and a beautiful wife, and believe in veganism, you're just SOL, pal. Go look in the Mission District. You may pull down a great salary, but unless you're in the mid-six figures you just don't belong in the Marina.
Now, I've got it good in that I have an employer that is willing to pay for me to stay in the city while I'm looking -- but what about people that aren't so fortunate? In SF, even the homeless people work hard! They just can't afford to live there!
An answer of "they should go somewhere else" just don't cut it, folks.
I can't say exactly where I got my values from (my parents, by their own admission, didn't have any children that lived), but I believe that one person shouldn't take advantage of another under any circumstance. Capitalism is all fine and dandy, but what's the point of charging $1600 a month for a place that's smaller than the one I was renting for $650 a month two years ago?
Sorry, I just don't buy it. PFFT! to all of you jerks out there that aren't bothered by pulling in fat rent checks from people that are living in rooms the size of a shoebox when they could have a castle anywhere else. Get a conscience. Demand simply isn't a valid excuse for extorting money from people, and that's exactly what you folks are doing.
Published: May 22, 2000