“Welcome,” said CJ Akins as he opened the front door to his house-turned-apartment building on Thursday afternoon.
The first thing one sees after walking into the house is a small, beautifully decorated foyer. On one side is the door to Akins’ apartment; on the other is the door to his housemates’ place.
The door to Akins’ apartment opens into his decent-sized yellow living room where the first thing you notice is what looks to be an oversized chair up against the wall.
“That is actually a coffee table,” Akins said. “Well, originally it was a kitchen table but I cut down the legs, put some foam on top, and added a sheet and a blanket.”
“It was my mom’s idea,” Akins said as he looked down at the couch. “She saw it on one of those do-it-yourself home improvement shows and it works, although now I need another coffee table.”
The innovative couch faces the rest of the living room, which contains a mix of classic and modern furniture that gives the apartment a chic look and trendy vibe.
A couch sits on the floor on the opposite wall while a flat screen sits atop what looks to be a more classic desk that covers a boarded-up fireplace.
Through the living room is Akins’ bedroom and beyond the bedroom is his kitchen and bathroom.
While Akins was not sure exactly how old the house is, he shared that it has some interesting history.
“The house used to be owned by Kappa Sigma. I think one of their former presidents lived here,” Akins said.
Another fascinating fact is that the house supposedly houses a third tenant. “There is a theory that the house is haunted,” Akins said.
“I have never had any experiences, but if you walk just right towards the bathroom there is a board that creaks and opens the bathroom door. The first time I saw it happen I freaked out, but later I just realized it is an old house so that’s bound to happen,” Akins said.
The house has both an attic and a basement but the main floor is the only floor accessible to the tenants.
“You need a ladder to get to the attic and I would not touch the basement,” Akins said with a look of disgust.
Akins moved into the apartment in August of 2010. It is located about a mile away from Mercer’s campus.
“I actually walked it today. It really isn’t that bad of a walk,” Akins said.
While Akins does not have any roommates, he says he never gets lonely.
“It is within walking distance of Mercer and everyone I know moved off campus anyway, so even if I was on campus I would not be able to hang out with them. It is more convenient this way and it is bigger so I can have more people over,” Akins said.
“Living here is a lot better than living on campus. I have more freedom, a kitchen and I don’t have to have a roommate,” Akins said.
“One downfall is finding furniture, but even then I get to pick it out so it is what I want and not what Mercer decides to put in my room,” Akins said. “The rent is also not that bad at all. It is a lot cheaper than living on campus.”
Another problem Akins realized after moving in was pest control.
“Last semester I found rats which I had to get taken care of. I never had that problem when I was on campus,” Akins said. “The apartment also doesn’t have a dishwasher, which I hate.”
“But I do really like the windows because I can open them. You really cannot open the windows on campus. I like a lot of light so I open them a lot,” Akins said.
All in all, while the year so far has offered some interesting situations for Akins, he loves living in his off-campus apartment.
‘Mercer Cribs’: old house, creaky or haunted?