Apartment hunt: My search for the perfect place, Part 1

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A month and a half into my first home away from home, and over $1500 down the drain, I had to move home again. The man of the house was subsequently kicked out three days after my departure. Mind you, I was subsisting on 16 credit hours, 20 hours of waitressing and 20+ hours at WMNF Community Radio, where I volunteer.

I began again from scratch, and let me just tell you the age of Internet has opened many doors indeed, doors that lead to people who appear normal by day but unleash their true colors on their Craigslist postings for roommates. Add into the mix the fact that I am female, not utterly unattractive, and — well, I have stories to tell.

Coming up in part 2: "Green-friendly" means unfriendly, and what's up with those ridiculous Progress Energy move-in fees?

Each of us reaches a point in our young adult lives when the home we grew up in is no longer our home. I reached this turning point last year, before my second year at USF St. Petersburg. I was hungry for my own space, no matter how tiny, decrepit, filthy or funky it may be. There's nothing a good amount of elbow grease and a few trips to local thrift stores can't fix.

Commence Craigslist obsession. After several weeks of combing the roommate listings, I found a suitable situation. Two roommates, a gay guy and young girl, both in their early twenties, couple of jobs apiece, sharing a three-bedroom, two-story home in the lovely Old Northeast neighborhood. We got along famously and the price was right; I was in heaven reading Hawthorne on my huge front porch a block from the bay. Enter 24-year-old, ex-military, anger-prone, verbally abusive, alcoholic-meathead boyfriend of the female roommate and my little sanctuary was no longer.

Being that I was raised by socially aware, conscious parents, I tried to reason with him. This only made the situation worse and continued in a downward spiral after word spread in the house that I had caught the "man of the house" (he dubbed himself this) shaving his chest one afternoon.

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