How we came to be right back where we started.

on 06 August 2010

Chris and I have approximately ZERO patience with the search for housing.

But I had this theory.  It was a good theory.  The theory was that if we rented from an independent landlord, instead of a large complex, then we could maybe get a bit more space for the money.  If we didn't have to pay for pool maintenance and a work out room and grounds keeping, then maybe we could get a bigger space.

It was a nice theory.

The problem being the aforementioned two ends of the spectrum.  Everything is either luxury and super nice and a HOUSE, or it' know...a crack den in the slums.  Bad.  Very bad.

So for 4 days Chris and I searched for listings, plugged them in to the GPS and drove past them.  Crossing them off the list for a variety of reasons--too small, too big, no cell phone reception, too far away, too, too, WAY too slummy, or too expensive.  We walked through various places, we fell in love with a small house that was on the market to sell but which we had on good authority the owners would consider renting.

We thought we had that one...for a little while.  And then the owners sort of flaked out on us.  They had told us one price originally and then when I called the wife back she quoted me a different price, and was all wishy-washy and not wanting to make a decision for WEEKS and then when her husband emailed me, he quoted me another different price and again with more wishy-washy.  And that was when we cheerfully washed our hands of them.  But we were still really disappointed.  We really loved that house.

We took the 5th day off.  Chris was discouraged and I was exhausted and nothing was working so let's just take a break and regroup.

The next day, Saturday, we headed out to look at some complexes.  I gave up my theory, nice though it was, as a monumental failure in Durham.

Now, you should know that Chris had looked up our old apartment complex, but they were under new management and weren't getting very good reviews.  So he had said, NOOOOOO.  We weren't going back there.  But there was another complex just down the road.  Let's go look at that one.  So away we went.

We walked through the 2, 2-bedroom units that were available.  They were beautiful.  Fireplaces and open floor plans and...huge windows facing WEST--afternoon sun.  And they were spacious, but it wasn't really usable space.  They were do-able.  But we were looking for somewhere we could settle for a few years while we save for a house and neither of these apartments would be that.  We would pay through the nose for rent and then pay through the nose to cool the places off in summer.

So Chris suggests we just drive through our old complex.  Just to see what it's like.  So we drive through.  Then Chris says, "I just want to see what they're charging for rent now."  So he pops into the office and he's gone for a little while...and then he comes out and shows me a map of the complex with 4 or 5 units highlighted as the available 2-bedrooms.

I notice that one of them is in our old building.  It is, in fact, the apartment we had formerly...perhaps...occasionally....coveted.  It's on the groundfloor in the back so it looks out over woods and a green space.  We drive over there.  We notice that our old apartment is occupied and I ask if we could maybe look, just look at the ground floor unit.  We drive back to the office, ask to see the apartment and go in.

I look at Chris and he looks at me and we both grin and we sigh and agree--it just feels like home.

But for reason's sake, we tell the manager, we're going to think about it.  We drive over to Wendy's, sit down to share a frosty and crunch some numbers.  We do a side-by-side comparison of the two complexes.  And it's a no-brainer decision.  We would save THOUSANDS of dollars by going back to our old complex.  The space is imminently more functional and it's on the ground floor--something that neither of the other units at the other complex were.

We head back to start the paperwork.  We chat with the management.  They're not bad like the on-line reviews had suggested, it's just a very different style from the previous management.  They're friendly enough and are tickled pink that we're back to rent there again.  Some of our neighbors are still in the building and our mailman hasn't changed.  We're both excited to still have access to a pool for the Boy and recycling for us.  It's not huge but just enough space for us for a little while, and it will enable us to save for the much desired house.

And at this point, you're just about caught up.  We have the Tales from the Move to get through and then we shall resume your regularly scheduled programming.


Sarah said...

Isn't life funny? At least I know where you are now!!! :) I'm glad you've found a place. And I'm really jealous of your pool. ;)