Schizophrenia And Housing, Part Two

  • This SharePost continues to explore housing options in the three-part series devoted to this topic.


    As you begin your search for the perfect abode, be upfront with the real estate agent about whether you require a building that allows smokers or pets.  Some buildings do not and this is perfectly legal.  However, psychiatric guide dogs are always allowed in apartments.


    Things to do:


    View the apartment at night as well as during the day to see if the neighborhood comes alive with suspicious activity.  Listen to discover the traffic pattern of noisy cars in front of the building or of cars entering and exiting a nearby parking lot.

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    Turn on the faucets and shower to inspect the water flow.  Open and close cabinet doors to see that they are flush and operate smoothly.  Open the windows to see whether they will work.  Make sure the windows can lock.


    Note if the closet space fits your needs and if the kitchen cabinets will hold all your dinnerware and pantry supplies.  Look inside the closets at the walls and ceiling and look at the ceiling and walls in each room to see if there are signs of water damage or peeling paint.


    One vital suggestion:


    Notice if the rooms have a lot of natural sunlight coming through the windows.  If you get depressed or have seasonal affective disorder, living in a dark apartment can affect your mood.  You owe it to your mental health to scope out a place to live that is bright, or can be made bright with adequate lighting.


    Examine where the fire exit doors are and where the trash compactor chute door is related to where your apartment is.  You might not want to hear trash falling down the chute at all hours of the day.


    Also ask if the building provides an exterminator who can come in once a month to exterminate.  I've used this option at every apartment I've lived in in the last 13 years and I have not ever not even once seen a cockroach even though I live in the City.


    Be satisfied that the apartment is livable and that you absolutely love it before you sign the lease. 


    I loosely relied on feng shu aspects when I looked at the place I considered living in.  A good book to read is Buy Your Home Smarter With Feng Shui  by Holly Ziegler and Denise Linn.  You can apply the basic principles without having to create an actual compass map.


    The numerology of house numbers is also something you might want to consider.  Log on to NumberQuest to get a free house number report.  You can Google the words numerology house numbers to get more information.


    My search took four months.  In December 2010: I started to view apartments with a real estate agent and I chose not to continue using her because she was a bona fide racist.  Every time I met her to view the latest apartment she would make racist comments. 


    So in January 2011, I got the intuition to go to a certain real estate office.  The new agent had absolutely no charm yet was able to obtain for me the first apartment I viewed with him.


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    For your big move-in day, research the services of a professional mover if you don't know any strong, able-bodied friends or relatives who could help you.

    Ask people you know for a recommendation.  I was lucky my father had a truck and three guys he paid to help me move.


    Three years ago, my mother walked to the corner of my old building, and suggested to a guy hanging out that she would pay him $50 for four hours to help us move furniture.  He claimed he didn't understand English, yet he understood perfectly well: "I'll pay you $50 dollars."


    Treat everyone who helps you move to lunch.  Buy cold cuts and make sandwiches for the movers like my mother did when I moved into this apartment.


    Be okay with it if the furniture arrives with a few nicks and scratches.  You can use products you find in a hardware store to make the scratches less visible.  Even some versions of brown or wood-toned crayon can adequately cover up the nicks.


    I chose to live with the imperfections in the furniture.


    Up next, I'll talk in the last SharePost in this series about how to buy a home if that is a possible option for you.

Published On: September 02, 2012