Travis Smith: my resume, bio and photos back to the main blog page

We just got back from apartment hunting in Vancouver.  The very first apartment we were scheduled to see in Vancouver was located in False Creek.  It wasn’t much to see when we approached it—it was basically located under a bridge.

But by the end of the tour, we were taken with it—and we were quite disappointed not to get it.  Here’s what happened.

The owner was the one showing it.  She was an older lady in her 50s.  She walked us through all the rooms and told us about how she missed living there—her husband had wanted to move to a smaller town south of Vancouver and they left this place behind several years ago.

It was obvious to the eye that the apartment felt very lived in and well-kept.  But it was the first place we’d looked at, and we had three more viewings that day.  Still, we told the woman we were interested, had a long conversation with her about the details of the potential arrangement, and filled out an application.

She seemed to really like us.  She (unwisely, I think) told us she wasn’t worried about references or a credit check, since she felt she was a good judge of character and she could tell that we were upstanding folk.  Which we are, but I wonder what gives it away…  It seemed to Susie and I that she had no hesitation in renting to us, and she gave us a full tour of the facilities and building, never rushing us.

We asked her if we could take until the end of the day to make our decision, because even though we liked it, this was the first place we’d seen.  She said that would be fine, and even volunteered to us that she wasn’t going to show the place any more that day, but that she did have viewings the next day.  We didn’t ask her not to show it, but she said she wouldn’t.  We said we’d let her know before the next day for sure so that she could show it if we passed.

We gave her our (L.A. cell) number on the application and she also had our number from when we’d called. We were reachable all day.

Off we went to look at more places.

That day, I bought a Vancouver cell phone, and we looked at a few more places but none were as good as that place, though one was possible.  We also had had one more showing scheduled for the next morning.  Susie called the lady that night and left a message at 6:40, saying we were still unsure, but that she was our preferred candidate.  We said we’d like to sleep on it, and that if there was any problem with that, she should call us back.

The next day, we hadn’t heard from her, so we left another message first thing in the morning, and again around noon after we got back from the final showing.  We’d talked to several friends and relatives, made up our mind, and the False Creek place was it.

On the second call, I reached her in person.  And she told us she’d rented it to someone else.


She said that a couple had called her the previous day after we’d left, and asked to see it.  She was in Vancouver, so decided that she would show it. Why? I don’t know, because she promised us she wouldn’t.

They came, liked it, and made an immediate offer.  They wrote her a check, and she took it and despite the fact that our offer was in front of theirs.

She told me on the phone that she assumed that because she hadn’t heard from us that we’d found something better later in the day and were no longer interested.  She also said she’d waited until 7 for us to call to make her decision, and that she’d then gone out and hadn’t been able to return our call until 10 p.m., when she’d decided it was too late to call.

But, contradicting that, she said she’d accepted the check when the renters were in the apartment, so it didn’t matter when we’d have called.

Basically, what happened is that she went for the couple that pressured her and had offered her the money up front.  The other couple had also offered to pay her from Sept. 1 and wanted to move in immediately, whereas we wanted to move in Oct. 1, though we’d said we’d pay an extra week’s rent as though we were moving in Sept. 22 or so.

Anyway, then she must have decided she wouldn’t call us back because she didn’t need to—after all, we wouldn’t be renting from her.  It was only after I managed to reach her that she told me that we were out of luck.  Thank goodness we hadn’t turned down all our second choices by then.

I have to say, it was very disappointing.  And it made me realize that, when renting an apartment or buying a house, it’s critical to move quickly and aggressively.  No owner will stop you from renting a place for being *too* willing to move in or too quick to put down a deposit.


“The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.”

...who said it?

“Almost every American I know does trade large portions of his life for entertainment, hour by weeknight hour, binge by Saturday binge, Facebook check by Facebook check. I’m one of them. In the course of writing this I’ve watched all 13 episodes of House of Cards and who knows how many more West Wing episodes, and I’ve spent any number of blurred hours falling down internet rabbit holes. All instead of reading, or writing, or working, or spending real time with people I love.”

...who said it?

“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

...who said it?

“I play with variables constantly.”

...who said it?

“Only the person who has learned Continual Love coming from a heart of Gratitude/Worship can effectively deal with the problem of loneliness.”

...who said it?




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