The Apartment Hunt Continued…

So after I wrote the last post about our stupid search for a 2 bedroom apartment, I thought the next installment would be all “and now the big new apartment REVEAL!” except it didn’t happen that way.

So last-last weekend (not this last weekend…) we saw two apartments that we actually really really really liked. We liked them so much we ran the race of a thousand races that is getting our application, credit reports, bank statements, and pay stubs turned in as close to first as possible. Go go go go go. There were late night trips to kinkos, running from dentist appointment to apartment viewing, to the apartment for 3 minutes to feverishly fill out pages and pages of personal references, apartment history, and credit summaries, and a lot of baby being grumpy in his car seat. Last-last weekend was a special kind of exhaustion that trickled into last week and made for some very groggy days at work.

So we crossed our fingers for these two apartments. One is a few blocks from where we live now and is HUGE. Tons of storage, a remodled kitchen and bathroom, original hardwoods, a garage, a washer and dryer that is not coin operated, and even a little patch of earth in the back for Kamel’s dreamed-of vegetable garden.

Apartment two was a completely 100% remodeled brand new 2-bedroom. It even had a new heating system. It was smaller than the other apartment, but new and so so incredibly beautiful. Even now I sigh just thinking about it. It had extra storage by the carport that would make up for the smaller hall closets (than what we have now) and had a coin operated laundry but the building had less tenants than ours so I highly doubt that it would be an issue sharing. And did I mention new? All the things new? BRAND NEW?! Sigh.

So we scrambled. And by Tuesday of last week we knew that we had come in VERY CLOSE to winning the big apartment just a few blocks away, but alas… it went to someone else. By that evening we had also found out that the newly remodled unit was ours for the taking. HA HA! VICTORY! I had dreams of the post I would write, how the diamond in the rough for under 2k was ours! We had found it! And then I would post a close up of the new tiled backsplash in the kitchen and we would all sigh together. It was going to be glorious.

Except… except it was in Redwood City, and that isn’t really that bad. The train goes there too and has Margaret pointed out it would just mean 10 more minutes of reading time. But ugh, we lamented and mourned leaving our little neighborhood with our walking paths and our Trader Joes and the eucalyptus trees. And by Wednesday morning Kamel was ringing his hands. I kept saying, “But we wanted this one! We wanted it so so badly! And we got it! ALL NEW. ALL THE NEW THINGS!” So we went to work, licking our location wounds, but also looking forward to decorating Gabe’s new room and (for me) being DONE with this horrible process that was taking over my life and sucking my entire weekends away.

Until about 2:00pm… and then I got a series of frantic texts from Kamel.

Please don’t be mad at me, but I went and drove around the area where we will be moving too on my lunch break and it is horrible! HORRIBLE!

I looked up the crime information for the last 30 days and there are breaking and enterings, assaults in the middle of the day, the streets are horribly maintained, we wouldn’t ever be able to go for walks. This is a terrible terrible neighborhood we can’t move there. We just can’t.

There are over 10 registered sex offenders within a few blocks. We CANNOT MOVE THERE.

So, I found another apartment in San Mateo. A duplex! I went and saw it and I’m going to email you photos.

… What? Within a matter of hours I was moving to Redwood City and getting a brand new apartment and then we … weren’t? And the hunt was on YET AGAIN? All the frustrations in the world, and a lot of hopeless despair washed over me. I know it sounds dramatic, but when you already have NO TIME and then the NO TIME you have is sucked up by crap-tacularly-over-priced apartments? It is the worst.

So I tried talking Kamel off the ledge, but everything he said mattered. And ultimately, if he wasn’t comfortable there then that was it. The price you pay for sharing your life with someone else… what they think and feel actually matters. We went and looked at the place Kamel had randomly (in sweaty panic-filled desperation) found once I got off work and it wasn’t exclamation point worthy, it had a formica counter top in a lovely mustard straight out of 1972, but it was quiet and filled with light. It had tons of storage and a killer rooftop patio that is fenced in and covered. Plus a garage and our own washer and dryer. So we scrambled again and now we wait. I wish I could end this with “And we got this even BETTER apartment.” But no such luck.

This last weekend I put a moratorium on apartment hunting. I needed a break. I think we all needed a break even though I was the only one to admit it. So here I am. Not viewing apartment. Hoping we get 3rd runner up who might become first runner up because maybe it will become home. Or not. We might be hot on the trail next weekend and the saga continues…

13 thoughts on “The Apartment Hunt Continued…”

  1. Oh… I am crossing my fingers for you. But the area where you live is definitely important. I hope you will find an apartment soon. One that will make you guys squee with joy.

  2. Ugh. That sucks about the pretty apartment 🙁 Kamel brings up excellent points, though. If you don’t feel safe in your neighborhood — just not worth it.

    (I NEVER think to look up that sort of stuff before a move. Even though, um, it seems rather important? Maybe next time we move I should add that to the list…)

  3. Sometimes having to take your significant others worries and concerns into consideration can suck. Totally agreed. However I understand Kamel’s worries, because those are things I worry about too. You grow so accustomed to being in a certain place, and the pro’s and con’s of the area, and sometimes the prospect of all the shiny and new things can make you forget about that for a moment. Having moved to a new town and actual neighborhood this past November has put a lot of things into perspective for my husband and I now that we are looking to buy a house. Being able to take daily walks with our dogs, in an actual neighborhood is really important to us now – because our old house was on a super steep hill, that was a main street, and had no sidewalk, so walks meant having to get in the car and drive to a place that we could walk. Which sucked.

    Husband is the one who always looks at crime rates and such because he isn’t as familiar as I am with the areas where we are looking. I’m not as concerned because I’ve been in this area the majority of my life, and can tell you if it’s safe just by hearing which part of town it’s in.

    It’s so cliche but things will work out how they are supposed to. Shiny and new doesn’t make up for sex offenders and possible break ins. I feel for you though, because I have been in your position not that long ago. And washer and dryer in unit and garage is really awesome. So while it may not be as “shiny”, it may actually be “better”. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it all works out for the three of you!

    1. I am trying very hard to have the “go with the flow, the universe will speak to me” mindset, but it has been really really hard. I’m feeling disconnected from the whole experience. At this point I need a roof over my family’s head so that we are not homeless come late August.

      I hate that it isn’t as simple as “We love this place! WOO HOO!” We also have to be approved and jump through a million hoops. It kills me.

  4. “So I tried talking Kamel off the ledge, but everything he said mattered. And ultimately, if he wasn’t comfortable there then that was it. The price you pay for sharing your life with someone else… what they think and feel actually matters.”
    So poignant for me to read at this time Lauren. You have no idea. If it’s any consolation, I find that sometimes the things that feel “forced” in life, often lead to the right things, the things that sort of fall into place, the things that are ultimately meant to be. Again, not that it helps your anxiety during this process!

  5. Aw man! If you’d taken the Redwood City one we would have been neighbors. Slash we could have gone out for drinks. Or I could babysit.
    Still, Kamel has very valid points, although I haven’t experienced the neighborhood he described.
    Continuous good luck to you! (and I would still babysit)

  6. We’ve started looking at houseboats because the installments on a boat loan + slip fees are WAY less than rent, in WAY more central areas. Maintenance costs are really high, but I’m thinking we’d over-save each month to account for those. I’ll just have to carry/roll/whatever the baby until she’s a mostly-stable walker. Also super super pumped about a living space with NO room for anything superfluous (I have wanted a tinyhouse for so. effing. long.) You get one too and then we’ll build a sweet bridge (with eagles nest duh) between our floating homes!

    1. Houseboat!! AMAZING! I want to come visit once you figure it all out. Because.. umm. HOUSEBOAT!

      … I wonder how it will weather the storms and big winds? Hmmm… it will be an adventure!

Leave a Reply