The first place is in the same neighborhood as our friends Nicole and Brent. It was nothing like their place. The carpet had been redone… poorly. We’re talking multiple seams in the middle of the room. Half the light switches didn’t work. The cable was run up the stairwell on the stairs. There was a razor blade on the window sill in the second bedroom. And the basement, when we finally found a working light, looks like a ski lodge. We moved on.
The second place was sort of a surprise. It’s less than five minutes from where we live now, but it’s just the cutest little farm house, off a long gravel driveway. It has a huge yard and a screened-in porch. It screams to be an awesome artist hide-away, and the yard would be perfect for some of the most amazing parties you’ve ever seen. This is a house meant for socializing. Unfortunately, we’d have to party on paper plates because there’s no dishwasher. The heat is based on oil, and the unfinished basement would suck all the heat out of the top level, driving up the utility costs beyond what we could afford. The final decision that this really isn’t the right place for us was actually rather heart-breaking.
With heavy hearts and questions like “how would you have a dishwasher installed in a kitchen that was never built for one?”, we headed on to House #3. It’s big – about 1275 sq ft. The kitchen is spacious, with room for us to add both seating and additional shelving. It’s got a great open floor plan, with a fireplace in the middle of the living room/dining room area. The stairwell has mirrors at the bottom and a great curve to it. Upstairs, we were marveling at how big the bedroom was and that the closet was about the size of our current bathroom when Rosa (the Realtor) came in to tell us we were looking at the small bedroom. Okay, so the front door is backwards and the door to the back yard nearly hits the washing machine, but it’s got wide window sills, mail at the front door, and a cat door already built in to the interior basement door.
Excited, we headed to its sister property in the same development. Same layout, it was supposed to have a couple differences. The landlord had already said that if we had pets, we’d need a pet deposit (which we expected). But she also said she couldn’t possibly wait until March 1st for us; we’d have to move Feb 15th. We’re talking a place to live for the next 3-5 years and you can’t give us two weeks? Okay…
So we get inside the house. Same kitchen, only not swept. Pocket door near the fireplace. Fireplace is glassed in instead, so less heat radiates out. This one has a deck, which is awesome, but we’re warned “the patio is a little messy right now”. Translation: there is a three-foot high briar patch underneath the deck. Theoretically, there is a patio underneath. We head upstairs. No mirrors on the stairwell. And that fabulous closet in the master bedroom? There’s a fireplace right in the middle of it. You now have 2/3 less closet for a fireplace you can use twice a year. There’s a note on the thermostat saying not to turn it up past 55. The place is a wreck: dirt everywhere, a child’s sock on the stairs. There’s no furniture, but nobody bothered to sweep or vacuum even on their way out. We have to jump through your hoops, and all you can do for us is spray a little air freshener in the doorway? Even if the house were perfect, this is not a landlord we want to deal with.
Final stop is a bit down the road. It’s a little pricier than everything else and further south. Sort of a longshot anyways. We get there and it turns out to be a very lovely 2-bedroom one-floor condo that smells like cigarette smoke. It’s an apartment without the apartment management. Cute, but TINY.
Well, you can pretty much see where this is going. We were wrestling with the decision between the farmhouse and the third house. Despite how much the second house tugs at the heartstrings, we’re just not the sort of people who will be happy washing our dishes by hand and paying a fortune for oil every winter. So we’re moving ahead with the one with all the mirrors. Fingers crossed no one snatches it out from under us!!!