Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A New House to Call Home

Six months ago I posted a video to my YouTube account called Apartment Hunting Persistence. I watch it now and see that I didn't seem terribly excited. Of course, part of it was moving out of my newly renovated home into a space that reminded me of my grad school days.

Yea. I said it.

The "duplex" apartment I'v
e been living in has been uncomfortable to say the least. My office is in my bedroom. The common area is small-when we're home together we trip over each other constantly. Forget entertaining; don't even think about it. Furthermore, the view out the front window is a hideous old garage, falling apart, slouching sideways. The other window looks out over my driveway which might be ok if I drove a Maserati or a Jaguar; but I've got a filthy Subaru. The mommy mobile someone (a date) once said.

I'd only signed a 6-month lease and was looking forward to finding a new home in August. Which meant a July full of (more) apartment hunting persistence. I must have looked at a dozen places. I scoured CraigsList.com and broadened my scope - considered cities to the north and south of me. Anything to find a place that would accommodate two kids, a large dog, a work-at-home mom (that's me!) AND fit into my budget.
When I did finally find something that I thought would work - a house in West Berkeley - I was declined because they didn't think I'd be able to maintain the rent. Moving forward I sought the help of my folks who agreed to co-sign a rental agreement.

When the next h
ouse came my way I was armed with copies of a standard rental application (all filled out), my credit report, proof of earnings and the all important co-sign agreement from my parents.

The landlady was impressed with my organization. I sat and talked with her for an hour. Explored the house ...

The House Despite being open to geographic change, the house I found is one block from my old place. It's a single family home that you climb a flight of stairs to get into. There are two bedrooms and one bathroom, a good size kitchen and large front window looking out over a charming cottage and the Berkeley Hills. Downstairs there is a single car garage, laundry room, storage areas and a finished office with two windows looking at the backyard. (YES! A large backyard with pear and cherry trees...) It's this extra office that makes it a good move. That, and the fact that the house is bright and sunny with lots of .... character. Retro charm, we could say.


It's stuck in 195
9. Think wood and "stone" paneled walls, mirror-tiled fireplace with gold marbling, and lots of other amazing quirks that make it so unique and lovable. I'm already cruising CraigsList.com for "mid-century modern" furniture finds. Just to keep the tone going ... :-)

So on Thursday I sign the lease, get the keys and set about moving my life into, what I hope to be, a long-term home. I feel really good about it and I can't wait to take the next step FORWARD in this absurd journey that I'm learning to embrace.