As I told you yesterday, we started Wednesday, May 30th (a mere week ago) believing that we would be living in an apartment. In our “we can do anything for a year” mode, we had decided that if need be, we could put the two boys, Jason, me, the cat, and the dog all into a one bedroom, one bathroom apartment and be just fine. It would be our adventure. Now we just needed to find it.
So, when the opportunity came up for Jason and me to spend Thursday and Friday in Portland and see a rental, we made a quick decision (thank you Mom and Dad and neighbors for making it so we could leave the boys!) to go for it. We packed our clothes and were out of here less than an hour after starting to talk about the option. That was the beginning of it feeling like a “God thing.”
We really didn’t know what we would find, but had decided that we needed to be in the city looking so that when something appeared we’d be ready. We already had an appointment lined up on Thursday afternoon to see a one bedroom, one bathroom apartment located above Whole Foods, but that was it. So, Jason went to work and I spent the morning scouring Craigslist and all our apps (coming soon to the App of the Week section) looking for new homes and apartments. I found a number that were already gone, but we were able to secure a viewing of one on Friday that would be available soon. It was located further from the boys’ schools than we hoped, but looked like a great little house and still an okay location. And, we didn’t have a lot of options, so our pickiness had gone down considerably! At least we’d have a place.
Sometime during that day a realtor we had met two weeks prior at a Timbers game…
notified us that a home that had been pending was now back on the market. She said it was in our price range and sounded like something we might be interested in. We had already decided that renting made more sense until our house here sold, but decided that rentals were hard enough to find, that it made sense to keep our options open. So, we set up a time to see the house Friday late morning… something we were only able to do because of our last minute trip to the city.
The apartment we looked at above Whole Foods was good. It was a great location (talk about easy… expensive… shopping!) and a nice complex. The pets were both allowed and, from what I understand, fairly common in the building. Still, they added a bit of complication to our lives in that kind of setting. The apartment would be tight, but we learned there would be a two bedroom coming available as well and were able to set up an appointment to view it on Friday. The two bedroom was twice as expensive, but at least it gave us some piece of mind to know that we had a place available to us if we got stuck.
Our plan on Friday was to go look at the house, reaffirm that renting was our best option, have lunch, then go see the two bedroom and the rental house in the less desirable location and decide which was the better option. We had already made our minds up. The house had a Walk Score (I’ll tell you more in my App of the Week) that was lower than I wanted. Our current house is a 0 (completely car dependent) and I think this one was rated at about 70. The other homes I had been viewing had scores in the 80s and one was even in the 90s, so I really didn’t see any point in even going to view the home. We went anyway deciding that it would give us a feel for the realtor and a chance for her to get a better idea of what we liked for some time down the road when we were ready to buy.
Then began the House Hunters portion of our day…
“House number one is a 2500 square foot Craftsman style home located on a quiet tree lined street. It has three bedrooms and two bathrooms and wonderful period touches including wainscoting, hardwood floors, and hex tile on the kitchen countertops. The house also has a fenced back yard, which would be perfect for the pets. Although the couple was not planning on buying until their current house sold, this house would fall within their budget. Because the house is an older home, though, some repairs will be needed.”
“House number two is a newer, two bedroom rental apartment conveniently located above Whole Foods grocery store. It has bamboo floors and cabinets and new appliances. There are views across the city and a courtyard in the center of the apartments that adds to the community feel of the complex. Both the dog and cat are permitted at no extra charge. There is, however, a fee for parking in the garage. The monthly cost of the apartment is slightly above the couple’s budget, but would be possible and boasts a walk score in the 90s.”
“House number three is a three bedroom, two bath rental home located just inside the school boundaries for the boys. It is a craftsman style home with nice spaces and a wonderful fenced backyard. The home has been used as a rental for some time and shows the wear of non-owners occupancy. However, it has a Walk Score in the high 80s and is conveniently located for shopping and mass transit. It falls easily within the couple’s budget.”
The thing that’s funny is as we were walking through these home options, I felt like we were on House Hunters. As I heard us talking I kept thinking good grief, we even sound like the people on the show… “I like the such and such… I could see the boys in this room… You could sit here and drink your morning coffee…” and so on. Pretty funny.
So, stay tuned tomorrow to see what the couple decided…
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