Have you ever leased an apartment off of Craigslist? I don't mean you found the listing on Craigslist and contacted the landlord, had a thorough visit where you took lots of pictures on your phone and had a good look at the neighborhood and thought it over before signing the lease. I mean, have you ever signed a lease on an apartment off of Craigslist where the photos they posted on the listing and the information they provided was your only knowledge of the place? Well, weirdly enough, I have.
When I moved to Staunton, Virginia, I either had the option of renting a place sight-unseen so I would have a place to sleep when I arrived, pay for a hotel while I searched for my humble abode (which was, sadly, not a financially-viable option for my at the time), or shack up with an unfamiliar new coworker in the interim. Wanting to avoid awkward living situations with people I would be working with or employed by, I decided the Craigslist route.
Boy, did I luck out, though. After a phone call, many emails and some basic information from future coworkers (like, is this neighborhood super shady and is my future home currently a meth lab?), I snatched up my 800 square foot, two-bedroom apartment within walking distance of the historic downtown. The apartment was on the upper level of a beautiful yellow Victorian home — a common living arrangement for people my age in the region.
I have recently relocated and no longer live in Virginia, but I sure did love my place. It was my first post-college apartment, and the first time I ever lived by myself, no roommates, significant others or siblings, meaning I could paint the walls crazy colors to my heart's desire. And that I did!
Furnishing the place took a long time. My dad helped me make the move from Missouri to Virginia in his Ford pick-up truck, towing my PT Cruiser through the Appalachian mountains, and I only took what furniture we could fit between the two vehicles — a bed, a desk, two nightstands and a 15-inch television that originated in my dorm room (people refused to come over to watch TV with me. I still don't understand why).
But almost two years, a couple paint jobs and many thrifting adventures later, the place (and the town) felt like home. I will really miss that little Victorian apartment. Starting over in a new place feels overwhelming at first (these walls need some color on them!), but a clean slate can be exciting, too.
Photos and text by © Katie Currid