I learned last night in VBS that that is Hawaiin for “Quickly.” And that is how our life is moving!
We finally went apartment hunting on Saturday. Josh had done extensive research on available apartments, he had a print out for each one, and a map showing how to get to all of them the fastest. We had discussed our likes and dislikes over various ones several times, but now it came to the moment of truth: looking at them.
It was an experience. The first we saw was a townhouse that was on the upper end of our price range. It was supposed to be about the same square footage as the house we have now. Well, somebody lied! It was 3 bed, 2.5 bath (which I really don’t care to have an extra .5 bath to clean!), but it was TINY! And very old. If it had cost less, it would have been a consideration…but, um, no.
The second was a 3 bed, 2 bath apartment. The space was much more livable, and the price was great. But the neighborhood did not feel safe, and the entrance to this particular apartment was subterranean at the bottom of a dark stair case, which I really didn’t like. We also discovered there were no washer/dryer hookups…and since we own our own washer and dryer, and since young families go through a LOT of laundry…well…yeah…that one was a no. Too bad, the rent was fabulous.
Things started to look more positive at the third showing. This particular apartment was actually going to be a sub-lease with a guy that had been forced to relocate to another city, so he showed it to us personally. The rent was great and the space was great. It was an old facility and very close to a major university, which means heavier traffic and the possibility of a lot of partying students next door (although he said it was very quiet). Its stairs were also outside, but it was on the top floor, which made me feel a little more comfortable. It was the first one we walked out of feeling like, “this might work,” but we still weren’t super-thrilled.
The fourth almost bought us completely. It was actually a duplex in a brand new neighborhood. The owner had had trouble finding a renter, so his realtor had just convinced him to lower the price to what happened to be the top end of our budget. Compared to what we had seen earlier, it was SO much homier and safe feeling! The kitchen and bathrooms were beautiful! It was very small, but we decided we were willing to sacrifice some furniture to have a home that we liked so much. However, upon later inquiry, we discovered that a security deposit was going to cost as much as the rent, which would be really hard to come up with right now. Again, a sacrifice we’d be willing to make if we needed to.
The fifth was really different. We actually had an appointment and the realtor came and showed it to us. Josh didn’t even want to look at it because the square footage was small. But it was actually bigger on the inside than we thought it would be. It was a newly remodeled triplex. The house was old, but all the fixtures and floors were new. The rent was superb. It was probably a little smaller than the duplex. If it had been in a great part of town, I probably would have been sold because of the rent and how nice it was on the inside. But not too far down the road there were stores with bars on their windows, and the realtor told us that she was “not allowed to tell us anything bad about the neighborhood…” which I don’t think she would have said if there wasn’t anything bad to say about the neighborhood! It was also about a quarter of a mile from the university’s football stadium, which means during football season…well, traffic would be the pits.
After this, I think we were just tempted to “take” the duplex and go home. But we had arranged to look at some out of price range apartments so that we would have some comparisons, and we decided to go ahead and do it. In one of them, they didn’t have a 3 bedroom available for show, so they showed us a 2 bedroom so we could get an idea of what they would be like. Up until this point I had been dead set on a 3 bedroom, not even considering that a 2 bedroom could be big enough. But when we saw this one, I realized that this 2 bedroom apartment felt a lot bigger than all the 3 bedrooms we had seen! And of course the price is better on 2 bedrooms as well. We still weren’t totally thrilled with the one we were currently viewing…
But that brings us to the last apartment we saw. It’s actually in the same complex that the very first one we fell “in love” with months ago is. But that one was WAY out of our price range. So we went there and inquired about their two bedrooms, and it just so happens that they are running a special on the loft style 2 bedrooms. It was still above our price range, BUT their security deposit was only $99, and the first month would be free! So when Josh averaged everything together, it would cost a little less to live there for a year than in the duplex! So then we looked at it. We failed to take pictures, but I think it’s safe to say we were both smitten. First of all, it’s an upstairs apartment, but we would have our own PERSONAL entrance on the ground floor. Much safer feeling for stay-at-home mommy trying to carry in her groceries. Then, the rooms were very spacious! Both bedrooms were the size of a master bedroom, and BOTH had walk-in closets. Storage is a very important thing in the Linker household! There was a loft room that included an attic-like storage space. The loft wasn’t huge, but it would work great for Josh’s office. And there were little things we liked, like a built-in computer desk right outside of where Ava’s room would be, which would make a great work-area for me, eliminating our need for the second computer desk. And it was just incredibly beautiful. Oh, and being an apartment complex, there were amenities…lots of areas outside and playgrounds to take Ava out to play, a pool, a work-out room…things we don’t NEED, but if it comes with something…not bad!
So, I must admit, that has become our first choice; Josh filled out an application this morning. If that doesn’t work out, we’ll definitely apply for the duplex. The only other one we’d be even willing to consider if necessary is the sub-lease. I think we finally decided for sure that, if we get approved for our lease in time, we will officially move June 21, even if the house hasn’t sold. That’s risky, but I feel like the house will sell better when it is empty, and we have to take a faith-step here, one way or the other. It’s too far for Josh to commute to work, so if we didn’t move, he would have to stay with one of his co-workers during the week. We’d both be miserable. At least this way, worse case scenario, we’ll be out of our house and can look for a renter if we have to when the money gets tight. But please, please, let it sell!!!
Sorry this was so long, it’s the first time I’ve house-hunted with a time constraint like this, and I wanted to share my experiences with somebody!
VBS started yesterday, and is going great! We’ve had minor crisises of course, but nothing we couldn’t work through. I’ll probably write an entry totally devoted to VBS soon!