“Washer Onsite”

The house I am renting now was not my first option. I had applied for a one-bedroom apartment from the same company that owns this house – and I was approved in the middle of November, the fifteenth, I think. And it had everything I wanted, which isn’t much: garbage disposal, a dishwasher, central heating and air, and a washer and dryer.

I was ready to move in, and excited. Everything on my wish list and more room, Then I called Mike and Ann, coworkers and friends, and asked them about the neighborhood. “24th and Brooklyn? Oh no. You don’t want to live there. That’s a bad neighborhood.” Break-ins. Muggings. Shootings. Killings. Both said the same thing. No.

I took it as a sign from God. I called the leasing office and told them I was sorry. I had heard a lot of bad things about the neighborhood, and I was withdrawing my application.

And five minutes after I hung up, I realized I could rent a different property from the same company (maybe). I called them back immediately – got voicemail – and asked if I could choose a different property. Thirty minutes later I had a yes from them, and an hour later I had arranged a tour of the house I am sitting in.

But I was in a hurry, and desperate. I didn’t do a full tour of the house until after I signed the lease – not that it would have mattered.

When I did make an inspection to list everything wrong with the house for the real estate company, I went into the basement and discovered…no washer and dryer. Every listing I had seen for this house had said “Washe Onsite” or “Washer/Dryer Onsite”, including on the realtor’s website. I hadn’t seen them on the main floor, so I assumed they were in the basement. No machines, just an area to hook them up.

I sent the realtors an email. The receptionist called it a mistake and an oversight. I assumed it would be taken care of. The manager sent a different email. Theer weas no “misadvertisement”, they meant to say “washer/dryer hookup only”, and they had to put something on the various rental websites, and some didn’t allow…

It was nonsense. They could have put “washer/dryer hookup only” in the description of the property. They didn’t because claiming a washer and dryer in the house increases the value of the property. That’s what I thought then, as I chalked it up to experience and flirted with the idea of filing a complaint with…somebody.

I was pissed. I am pissed. I should be trying to get over it, let go and let God, or something like it. But I am really pissed at the bait and switch, at the gaslighting, at the sheer nerve of advertising an amenity you know you aren’t providing. I know these things happen. I’ve heard of it. But this is the first time it’s happened to me. And I really don’t like it. It has left me with a bad impression of my realtor, and I don’t like the way that feels.

It makes me want to start looking for a new place to live. And I had a hard enough time finding this place.

When I get angry, I seethe. It’s a bad habit of mine. I have been seething about this since it happened, in December 2021. I am genuinely pissed.

Long story short, I decided to buy my own washer and dryer set on credit. I dithered and debated over the three cheapest models, torn between the one that would hold the most clothes and looked the most stylish and the cheapest one, two hundred dollars less and just fine for anything I need to wash.

I put my inner snob in check and chose the cheapest one, then spent another thirty minutes making sure I included the right attachments, cords, and filters in my order – since they aren’t included automatically.

I chose Good Friday as my delivery day. April 15. I work at a Catholic school, and we always have Good Friday Off. Then, something, something told me to check the measurements for the washer and dryer. Width and length: 27 inches. Something, something told me to measure the doorway to the basement. The washer and dryer hookups are in the basement. I found my measuring tape where I last left it, for once, and carefully –

24 inches. I measure it again, just as carefully. 24 inches.

It’s not my house. I can’t just remove the door frame and put it back up. Well, I could, and I would ask if I knew how. But…

The washer and dryer wouldn’t fit through the door. I checked the measurements of the other models. 27 inches.

I clicked links for washers and dryers at sellers all over the internet for half an hour in a state of semi-shock before I accepted the reality – and deleted my order.

I checked the basement door again. I would have to remove the handrail, as well. It sticks out.

It’s not bad enough, I told myself, that there is no washer and dryer on site, as advertised, even though that was an amenity I was led to believe I was paying for, or that I have to pay for a washer and dryer if I don’t want to make regular trips to the laundromat. Now, I can’t even have a washer and dryer, IF i payer for it.

And then I got it.

The realtor had gone through the same thing I had. They had bought a washer and dryer, brought it to the house, got it inside, then discovered they couldn’t get it through the basement door. They called the owner, explained the problem, and told him/her that the railing protruded from the wall and would have to be removed, as well. And the owner decided it wasn’t worth the cost. So, there are washer/dryer hookups for machines that won’t fit down the stairs.

But they didn’t remove the washer/dryer from the listing.


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