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the hunt, redux

I am, once again, apartment-hunting in San Francisco. It is even more awesome than last time.


Subject: your 4br listing on craigslist
From: "Dr. Memory" 
To: pdgfr-2829561917@hous.craigslist.org

Hey there.  My wife and I are very interested in taking a look at this
unit; when is a good time for you to show it?

-Dr. Memory
 (phone number)


From: Val Robertson <valrobertson18@yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: your 4br listing on craigslist
To: "Dr. Memory" 
Date: Fri, 3 Feb 2012 06:10:22 -0800 (PST)


I got a contract job in an engineering company for a construction project as
part of the structural engineers to build a highrise building in West Africa. I
am a Building tech specialist, so my accommodation period in Nigeria will be
about 4 years, so that's the reason why i am renting out the unit. I do not
intend to make profit out of it all i want is to find a good and clean person
to take good care of the place. I`m the owner of the unit and it is furnished
but if you want you can make use of your furniture's and help keep mine in the
storage locker which is situated both in the unit and in the building and these
does not attracts any funds.

The monthly rent am requesting for includes all utilities (water, electricity,
Internet, cable, 1 parking spots, air conditioning, dishwasher, garbage
disposal, microwave, refrigerator, stove, laundry in-suite, washer and dryer)
the monthly rent you will be paying includes all this and they will be taken
care of as soon as you pay your rent.

Everything in this unit is functional and in good working conditions. Once you
started staying in the unit and there is any case of any repairs which is as a
result of normal faults like leakages, you will get in touch with me and i will
get it fixed, i am in possession of the keys to the Home which makes hard for
you to view the unit. You can move into the unit when you receive the keys but
the only problem is that am the only person who has the keys but i hope that we
will be able to reach a compromise on this.

ADDRESS TO THE PROPERTY: 1034 Delaware Street, Berkeley CA 94710

The lease is month to month , 6 month or 1yrs and can be renewed ~It can be
rented furnished or unfurnished ~ You will have to take good care of my unit
Utilities are included in the rent ~Pets Allowed Any further questions please
contact and get back to me for the pics of the unit and the application form.
Thank you for your interest and i`m awaiting your response.



Date: Fri, 3 Feb 2012 10:07:43 -0800
Subject: Re: your 4br listing on craigslist
From: "Dr. Memory" 
To: Val Robertson <valrobertson18@yahoo.com>

Val: this sounds like the deal of the century!  In Jesus' name, I am most
happy to have met you.

I would be happy to pay you the full year's rent in cash, as I have
recently come into a large sum of money left to me by Maryam Abacha, the
widow of General Sani Abacha, ex-military Head of State of the Federal
Republic of Nigeria who died on the 8th of June 1998 of heart problems.
Since you are in Nigeria you are undoubtedly familiar with how generous the
Abachas were with their estate!

Madam Abacha left to me the sum of 30 million dollars US, out of which I
could easily fulfill the terms of your lease.  As you are currently
residing in Nigeria, you would be the perfect person to help me secure the
transfer of these funds from the Central Bank of Nigeria to my accounts at
Citibank NY.  I would like to hire you to be my agent in this matter, for
which I will pay you 15% of the total funds once they are transferred.

If you are interested, please respond immediately.

-Dr. Memory
 Global Skunkworks Investments, LLC
 San Francisco, CA

So far no reply, but I live in hope.

Crossposted from: blahg.blank.org


A place in my building just opened up: $2295, comes with 2-car garage.
How big? We have a toddler, and are thus looking in the large-2/small-3br range.
Pretty big, I guess. Hard to sell—it's a five-unit victorian and it's the biggest unit. It includes a little office in the back, plus the garage, and backyard access.
I am intrigued. Drop me a line? memory at blank dot org.
What neighborhood are you looking in?

(And this, btw, is why I do not live in SF. Marin is actually cheaper.)
In theory, we're pretty flexible about neighborhoods. In practice, I work in downtown/SOMA, and missionista's job and Theda's daycare are both at UCB. So something reasonably adjacent to a BART stop is a requirement, and we've gotten really spoiled by living 10 minutes from 24/Mission. Glen Park, the Mission, north Bernal and SOMA are therefore our preferred SF locations, which I gather puts us in direct competition with basically everyone. We're less thrilled about Berkeley for a lot of reasons, but are, obviously, considering options there as well.

Marin is gorgeous and in theory could be cheaper, but the commute would be hellish (or such is my impression), and we're both pretty urban creatures: places where we can't walk to a grocery store don't seem very appealing.
Oh god no, you would not want to move to Marin given the commute issues. I was just musing on the fact that once you get out of the single urbanista/childless couple mold, SF is pig-biting expensive.

How far ahead are you looking re schools, that is, are you worried at this point about settling down permanently near a good one? I have friends who live over in Oakland near the 12th st BART stop and like it very much, if you're looking East Bay. Otherwise, yeah, you're kinda stuck with SOMA and the Mission.
Schools... ugh. In theory, as long as SFUSD uses a lottery system, it hardly matters where we settle. In practice, since (a) they are allegedly in the middle of re-doing that system, and (b) Measure H lost by less than 200 votes and will therefore with 100% certainty be brought back to the ballot again, it's really hard to predict what we're going to need to do there. (I put at least 50% or greater odds on "flee back to NYC before she is 5", frankly.)
Oh, because you think apartment hunting in NYC is so much fun?
No need to hunt: we already own one there.
You realize your building isn't in San Francisco, right?
Neither is the one he applied to above. Also, the balance of the comments suggests that he's interested anyway. :P
What the... those Nigerian scammers are sure getting creative. They really ought to pretend to be from another country though.
I think the problem there is that they need to actually get you to wire them money for the scam to work, and they're in Nigeria.

(I guess they could try using fronts in other countries, but the fronts would want a cut, and the more believable-sounding the country the greater likelihood that said country would have functioning law enforcement which would take notice of such activity...)
They do now and then use fronts in other countries (Belgium gets picked on a lot, there's been some in London, etc.), but basically the authorities are more on top of it than they are in Nigeria, so it's riskier.
That is the hardest laughing out loud I've done in a very long time.
If she writes back, I think my plan is to find an actual 419 scam letter in my spam folder, and see if I can get them talking to each other.
OMG, cracking up so hard over here.
Love, love, love.
Hee hee hee.

Heh, I love Redfin

That address (1034 Delaware) is available, but not for rent. It's listed for sale by the owner who is most definitely not Val Robertson. Listings on Zillow/Trulia/Redfin/your favorite MLS site and Craigslist.