Posted by: fireweaver | June 10, 2006

house hunting

so, in addition to all of the last-minute cramming i'm avoiding doing for board stuff, with the new job coming up in just a few more weeks, i have to move. i'm not giving my landlord another dime, and if i stay here for a while, it'd be a 1.5hr commute each way on a good day. "good day" would be defined as me leaving the house by 5am and leaving work by 2.30pm to avoid the rush hours, and trapping myself in the car for 3 hours every day would result in a not-so-nice sort of me. my major goal in the very short term is boards (8 f'ing days!!!!), but the next rather short term goal is to find a new place.

i'd been out with the realtor once before, about a week and a half ago, and we found a couple of ok places and a couple of places that would have been ok if the neighborhoods were way nicer, and a couple of tiny dumpy places. the most productive part of that excursion was that the realtor says he now has a better idea of what i'm really interested in.

we went out again yesterday afternoon (it's like a practical study break, right?) and looked at several more, and yeah, there's definately a better idea of what i want going on here. there were 3 places that were nearly ideal, with just one major issue each.

there was one place that was on a very open sort of floor plan, lots of windows, "loft" area upstairs open to the living room downstairs, all creating a feeling that the space was *far* larger than the quite adequate floor plan actually was.  met the 50-something neighbor when i was wandering around the outside, and she said it's a good, quiet neighborhood.  fantastic views all around of a wooded parkland, it's quite secluded and on the *back* of the neighborhood.  neutral colored carpet, freshly painted white walls, huge basement that's totally unfinished:  i'm in love with this place because it's a blank slate, and i can envision such potential for the place.  BUT, the downstairs bedroom and the living room both open off to adorable little fenced-in courtyards that are both decked in:  there is not an inch of grass for either the dog or the tortoise.

the next one is one that we liked from the first time:  it has GORGEOUS cherrywood floors in the ground level, and very spacious bedrooms upstairs.  lovely kitchen layout, too.  this place makes very good use of the space involved.  huge sliding glass back door opens onto a small brick patio and about 10 square feet of grass.  so again, no land to speak of.  sigh.  also, the home owners' assoc fees of $300 A MONTH bite me in the ass pretty hard.

the last one is about perfect.  huge living space, and this guy has added in a lot of stuff.  all the window sills have been replaced with nice natural wood, and all the stair rails are similarly lovingly wood-worked.  nice deck, and a decent sized yard out back.  roomy, cute, pretty, well-maintained.  the neighborhood skeeves me out a bit.  it's just a couple blocks from the local high school, and there were a couple instances of punkedy looking kids blaring ghetto-rap out of their tricked out cars in the parking areas of the complex.  is the issue that i've apparently gotten to the age of completely hating "those kids today"?  or is it that i'm a racist asshole because the only white people i saw in the neighborhood were the people selling the house?   i was busy trying to figure out exactly what the problem was, explaining to the realtor that it just wasn't working for me, when the pearls of wisdom fell out of his mouth.  "the issue," he says, "is that the one you really like is obviously the best house in the neighborhood.  so you're relying on everyone else to maintain their places for yours to continue to be nice."

that's exactly the problem.  regardless of the exact nature of why i'm not into the neighborhood, being an island of goodness in a sea of ok-to-crappiness is not such a good idea.

ah, well.  more house-saga on tuesday.  wish me luck. 

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