March 11, 2009

Food, Water, Air, ...

Okay, so I haven't posted in a week - five days of parkour/conditioning/rock-climbing does that to you. So sue me. (Then watch as I nimbly elude your litigious minions.)

It's mid-March. There's nothing special about mid-March per se; it's just close enough to the Spring 2009 term to finally kick off the housing search. If anyone cares, I'm looking for something: close to Uptown Waterloo, at most $350/month, non-smoking, decent kitchen, with broadband and at least passably sociable roommates. I'd prefer laundry and relatively secure bike storage, but I'll take what I can get. Now to set up a properly-weighted LP and crunch the available housing data...

I've tried a number of approaches in the student housing market. Cluster-bombing Craigslist, Kijiji, and Facebook Marketplace allowed me to sublet out my previous digs with relative ease. On the other side, I've always had decent success sifting through Off-Campus Housing. I tried finditoffcampus; the interface is zippy, the idea is good, but there's still a couple of missing pieces. The selection is somewhat limited (only 220 listings!) You can search for housing near the universities/colleges, but you can't search by proximity to, say, Uptown or Waterloo Park. The Advanced Search form fails to fill in sensible defaults - try filling in just the upper limit for rent, and you get this. These are mostly minor annoyances, though, and it could easily cure me of my board-sifting ways with just a touch more work.

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