Just in time for Halloween, our last and final installment of this thoroughly probing series reveals that people willing down to live in the closet in a house full of morticians with some very unusual habits … as long as it means free WiFi.

Just in time for Halloween, our last and final installment of this thoroughly probing series reveals that people willing down to live in the closet in a house full of morticians with some very unusual habits … as long as it means free WiFi.

Some context …

Denver has the second-fastest growing rental market in the country. Thousands of people are moving here, but with a 96% rental home occupancy rate, rental prices are skyrocketing as desirable places to live disappear at unprecedented rates. And that made us wonder; how far will people go to live in Denver? How much will they pay to live inside city limits? What kind of weird, shitty living situations would they endure?

We tested our question by placing a fake ad on the Denver Craigslist to see how far people were willing to go to live here. It advertised a closet for rent in a house full of morticians who watch the Big Bang Theory, for $650 per month … which is about $650 more than you should pay to live in a mortician's closet. Nothing against morticians, but as the author of this article can attest to, living with them is every bit as Halloween-y as you'd hope.

But before we get to the kinds of responses we got to that, here are some facts, compiled by Axiometrics, about Denver's rental market to get you in the mood.

  •     Rents in the Denver area grew 9 percent on average from July of 2013 to this July, which was the second-fastest rate in the country behind San Francisco.
  •     The nationwide rental market growth rate was 4 percent.
  •     Rental rates have risen at an above-average pace in the Denver area for about four years.
  •     Rental unit occupancy is at 96 percent. That means you're competing with a massive influx of new residents for four percent of available units.
  •     The average monthly rent in Denver is $1,041.
  •     The largest increases were found in Denver County and the Boulder/Broomfield area, where average rents grew by 8.1 percent and 8.6 percent, respectively.
  •     The rental boom is credited to job availability in the tech and MMJ sectors, amount of (previously) affordable housing, good education, and high quality of life.

We'd also credit the currently exploding music, comedy and art scenes, the craft beer industry, the insane amount of outdoor shit you can do, the food scene, the relatively mild weather (we said relatively, don't freak out), and the fact that everyone here is a highly-intelligent supermodel philanthropist. The marijuana industry was mentioned as a reason for Denver's population growth, but we're just gonna mention it again right … here. Yeah; there's no getting around it. Colorado is the best place to live right now.

Okay, so now that we've established how Denver and its surrounding metro area (yes, you Boulder,) is bringing all the boys the yard, let's see how people responded to our mortician closet ad. Here's it is.

Here's that text a little bigger:

I'll just come right out and say it – I'm looking for a roommate to live in my closet. Other roommates and I are lookin for ways to save money, and I barely use my closet so we thought we'd see if anyone is down to take it over. There is free wifi.

Its got some clothes in it now, which can be easily removed.

About us:
– Live in the Highlands, hot new up and coming neighborhood near lots of food and stores
– 3 roommates, all guys, studying mortuary science, late 20s early 30s
– Pretty quiet, except Sam who can't hear too well so he watches the Big Bang Theory pretty loud some nights
– 420 friendly no drama nsa

About the closet:
– can fit a child's mattress or camping pad
– has places for hangers
– shared bathroom, kitchen
– electrical outlet
– its in my room, so you have to walk through it to get to the closet but people have told me i'm pretty Cool so you might not mind 🙂

Hit me up if ur interested, good price for the area.

… And here are some of the photos we included.

… Right.  Not the best place to invite your Christian Mingle date back home to. So, we weren't surprised when people wrote back essentially flipping us the bird.

However, we were mildly shocked when we started to get a slew of emails like this one.

Despite the creepy roommates with terrible taste in televesion, molecular-sized closet, and fact that "electrical outlet" was listed as an amenity, people were pretty down to live there.

Maybe it had something to do with that juicy free Wifi …

… Or maybe there was some sort of mistake, like the time this respondent confused beauticians with morticians:

But mostly, people were just psyched they found somewhere for $650.

Our asking price is about half the monthly cost to live in the currently burning house we posted. For that one, we asked $1,200. It had two bedrooms and a yard.

In laymen's terms, that means people are willing to suffer slightly to live here. If there are people with legitimate interests in paying $650 for a closet that would fit a "camping pad or child's mattress," it says a lot about the effect Denver's skyrocketing rental prices are having on city residents.

Plus, people will actually pay to live somewhere where the Big Bang Theory is a part of everyday life, so if that doesn't scream "Denver's rent is too high for anyone who's carrying Donald Trump's child," we don't know what does.

This finding is especially hilarious in light of the other two editions of How Far People Will Go that we did. The first found that people would put up with a living situation that included a pair of murderous baboons,  and the second illuminated an interesting aspect of Denver's growing housing market; people have an inordinate amount of interest in affordable housing … even when it's currently on fire.

And while none of these studies follow any sort of scientific guideline, it does say a lot about the city that Denver is becoming. The fact that people will actually pay to be uncomfortable is something new to the Mile High City, and while we can't wait to see what kind of changes Denver's growth brings, we also hope that people don't put themselvess in harm's way just to call themselves "Denverites." Because although Denver is extraordinarily rad right now, no city is worth living with baboons that hate the color red, in the embers of a firey ruin, or next to someone's mortuary dissection lab coat. If we wanted to self-flagellate ourselves that much … we'd just move to Ward.