Emotions make for tricky adhesive, e.g.: Love will keep us together. Until it doesn't. And then, in the midst of the melancholy free-fall, you find yourself trying to deal with the kinds of details that even the happiest, most well-adjusted person would find challenging. Splitting up the CDs, deciding who keeps the cat and finding a new place for one of the two estranged parties to live.
Looking for a new home is a process. Anyone who's ever purchased real estate knows. You open and close the windows, check the size of the closets, hope for a recently remodeled bathroom and a fridge free of someone else's food disasters. You decide based on your gut, but you also tick off a list of practicalities: a dry basement, off-street parking, neighbors who don't consider cars on blocks to be yard art.
But what if you have to make those sorts of decisions all while nursing a broken heart? And what if you have to get into new digs, like, yesterday?
1. You'll probably start with Craigslist. Remember, that's not your only option. It might not be your best option. But if you insist, consider this: Any ads that seem too good to be true, or are kind of shady, or advertise a house or apartment for rent but won't tell you what neighborhood said house or apartment is in until you provide your social security number for a credit check: Pass.
2. Skip Craigslist, especially if you're in a time crunch, and go straight to the websites of the property management companies in your area. Most list their available rentals, and because they deal with rentals all the time, the application process is streamlined. Expect to pay an application fee of around $25. Expect to pay first month’s rent and a deposit of the same amount. In Asheville try:
• Arc Agency (http://www.arcagencyasheville.com) — This is the company to check for no-frills budget options.
• Alpha Real Estate (http://www.alpha-real-estate.com/PROPERTIESFORRENT) — A small selection of rentals range from a one bedroom in Montford to a spacious north Asheville home with an option to buy.
• Asheville Phoenix Properties (http://www.phoenixprop.com) — The bulk of their properties are single-family houses.
• Asheville Property Management (http://ashevillepropertymanagement.net) — Renters of homes and apartments including those in the refurbished hotel building at 37 Hiawassee St.
• C&C Properties (252-0004) — Looking for historic buildings or high ceilings? They can help. C&C also manages the Melrose Place-esque Asheville Arms.
• CCMC (http://www.mrforrent.com, 252-6858) — Under the radar, this company handles properties like the Monroe building, close to Greenlife.
• J.D. Jackson Associates (http://www.jdjacksonrentals.com) — This realty company also offers rentals. At press time they had 27 available properties.
• Leslie and Associates (http://www.leslieandassoc.com) — They handle rentals in many of historic apartment buildings such as The Frances (Montford), The Carolina (downtown) and The Manor (Charlotte Street).
3. Ask around. If you can stand to share your predicament with those in your circle, ask your friends to keep a look out in their neighborhoods for For Rent signs. They may also know of an available room, or someone looking for a roommate or a sublet situation. Your friends and acquaintances can also be a boon when you make your move and need furniture. Send out an email blast or ask at work — those around you probably have lamps, chairs, rugs and kitchen items that they'd be happy to pass along.
4. Use social media. Even if you don't want to post "recently dumped and soon to be homeless" as your status update, you can scan your friends' profiles for mentions of rentals, roommates needed and household items for sale or up for grabs. Also, check the fliers on bulletin boards in places like Malaprop's, Green Sage and the French Broad Food Co-op. Many people seeking roommates or renters post notices.
5. Remember: It doesn't have to be perfect. Right now you just need to find a place to land. Once you've lined up an apartment, efficiency or room, you can get back on your feet and begin to consider your next move. So what if your new place doesn't have a view or a yard or stainless steel appliances? Your next place can have all of that and more. What's important is that your new place has plenty of room for bottles of vodka, boxes of brownie mix and pints of Ben & Jerry's.
Well, sort of.