One Man's Alaska

The places that scare me

May 30, 2007

The ongoing tour of The Places That Scare Me (aka, rentals in Alaska) continues. The housing situation looks very bleak, with no relief in site. Today's tour included:

A $700/month cabin, where cabin is defined as a 20'x20' metal shed with holes cut out for windows and a door, set off the driveway of someone's property, almost directly underneath a transformer. Lest you think I'm joking about the shed itself, the door (no need to say "front door", as there is only one) doesn't actually close, it just gets to a point where the sum of the gaps surrounding the door seem to be at their most narrow point. A caulking gun (laying in the corner) comes standard with this rental unit.

Next, at $975/month we have an old-but-leaning standalone house with a roof that is simultaneously missing shingles and collapsing, neatly situated between three worse-looking two-story apartment buildings, but just a minute's walk away from a Stanley carpet cleaner establishment. That's good news, because the primary selling feature of this one is the shag rug, closely followed by the built-in, coin-operated washer and dryer units.

At $1,150/month we have the basement unit of a spooky four-plex. This one is neatly enclosed by a strip mall on one side and an abandoned church on the other. The front of the unit offers an excellent view of the busy highway, while if you could see out the back, it would offer a view of a dilapidated child's playground -- which is beneficial -- because it keeps you from seeing the garbage dump behind it.

To make things more interesting, I have to be out of the hotel Friday morning. Even if they did have a vacancy, this extended-stay place now costs $149/night ($4,500/month). (All the hotel costs are going to increase by at least 50% when we hit June 1st.)

This covers all the opportunities in Wasilla and Eagle River.

My vacation has vacated, I'm in deep doo-doo, and I've decided to invoke the "multiple margarita" rule tonight. Woe is me.

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