So you may be wondering how the apartment search turned out (See Parts One, Two, and Three).
Following our initial disappointment at not getting Apartment Two, I was a little bit cautious moving forward. But on we went to see Apartment Four, owned by the same landlord as Apartment Two and located just two blocks away. The details:
Apartment Four: Lower Two-Bedroom Duplex
Amenities: Fridge, lots of storage in basement, parking for two cars (driveway), non-smoking, decent backyard, brand new windows, built-ins,
Rent: $875/mo, plus all utilities
The landlord let us know that Apartment Four was much different than the first unit that we saw, with darker hardwood floors and trim/features throughout. She also told us to use our imagination for how we might use the space, as the current tenants had a lot of " furniture and stuff" because they had two small children living in the duplex. They had also just let her know that they were moving out, so there was a sign out front, but she hadn't posted it on Craigslist yet.
When we arrived, I was excited that it looked more like a home than a duplex. It was on a residential block, and the only rental on the street. Something about that felt comforting. We got inside, and immediately were excited. Chris said quietly to me, "I think I like this better than the other one!"
Despite having lots of furniture and kids toys - the "lived-in look"- it was pretty clean and warm It included both a living room, and dining room with nice dark hardwood floors and built-ins. Gorgeous leaded glass windows, which may not be as energy efficient as I'd like, but we can cover them in plastic in the winter, if needed. The kitchen had a pantry and breakfast nook, which I was excited about. It also had a retro feel, but with a red counter top and white cabinets - I can definitely work with that.
The storage in the basement was HUGE. We are talking a laundry room, and whole separate storage room which will be great for things like Christmas decorations. The current tenants had the storage packed to the brim, with large plastic tubs everywhere, which makes sense because they've lived there for seven or eight years, and have two children. The amount of stuff that we have pales in comparison, so I knew we'd be okay.
A few of the rooms had wallpaper, but nothing that I felt like we couldn't work around. The landlord said she'd repaint all of the rooms and have the carpets cleaned before we move in, which is great.
While the apartment didn't have central air conditioning, a dishwasher, or a washer/dryer, the current tenants were offering to sell their two window units to us for just $50. And with my tax return coming in, I knew that we could get our own washer/dryer set fairly soon after moving in.
As we walked out, Chris asked me if I had my checkbook. He didn't want to risk losing the place, and we knew that the landlord was showing it again later that evening. We wrote her out the security deposit, and completed the application on the spot.
We got a call the next day that we got it and could move in sometime in mid-March. It feels so good to know that we have a new home. And it feels like a home - much more than just an apartment. So exciting!