Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Apartment Hunter

NOTE:  I'll add pictures as soon as I can find the cable to plug my camera into my computer...

Well I'm happy to say the train got Dan and I here safely.  In fact, we arrived a whole hour early - a rarity in modern US train travel!  After de-training, Dan and I headed over to Sanford-Orlando International Airport to visit long time college friend, and a protege of mine, Jeff Russell.  Jeff attended and is now a flight instructor for AeroSim Aviation, formerly the Delta Connection Academy.  

Arrived in Sanford!
We eventually checked me into the on-campus housing FlightSafety offers its students.  FlightSafety offers 4 options for housing: the Bungalow, a single room studio; a 3-Bedroom Apartment; the 2815 Dormitory, a two-bed version of the Bungalow; and the Landing Strip, a single or two-bed apartment (depending on layout).  I was lucky enough to get a single-bed landing strip, but at $39 per night, it wasn't financially viable for me in the long run.  

My bedroom on campus - Fully furnished! (Dirty jeans on the bed not included)
My hunt for somewhere a little cheaper started on Craigslist.  Since the economic downturn in 2009, the housing market in Florida has collapsed pretty hard.  Rental prices range from $450/month for a studio apartment to $1200 for a 3-bedroom condominium, and typically, utilities are included.  One thing I quickly found were some of the "special conditions" many of these places have:
2 Bedroom, 2 Bath condo with very private garden view of lush landscape. FIRST FLOOR, no stairs, reserved parking space & guest parking.
Very large living room - dining room combination with pass-through from the kitchen. All appliances and window treatments are included.
Water, Sewer and Trash as well as the Condo Maintenance fee is paid by the owner.
This condo is spacious and very attractively priced for an Unfurnished Annual Rental at $560/month.
The condo association does not allow pets. The owner does not allow smoking.
$560/month!!??!  Hell yeah! Find me a roommate and...
Age 55+ condo community...

After sifting through these age-restricted landmines, (the motto down here is "newly-wed, or nearly-dead") Craigslist turned up a few results, which I visited and looked nice.  My eventual crash-pad came to me in the form of a flyer on a bulletin board at FlightSafety.

I'm settled into a wonderful 3-bedroom apartment in a gated apartment community for only $400/month.  Save for my bedroom, the apartment is fully furnished and utilities are included.  The complex has a full gym, pool, game-room, tons of jogging paths, and is only a few miles from the airport.  To top it all off, I'm living with two FlightSafety students.  One just finished the CFI course and is working on his CFI-I and MEI ratings, the other about to enter his training for his instrument rating.  Having a student ahead of me and one behind will offer unique opportunities to not only learn from both of them, but also to help teach from some of my experiences.

So I have a futon mattress to sleep on for now until I finalize my furniture situation, but my computer is set up, and I have a pantry full of food.  The weather for the next 7 days is sunny and in the mid-to-upper 70s, so I guess I'll hang out at the beach for the majority of the day tomorrow, for Monday is when the real work begins...
Vero Ground, ready to taxi...


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