I was searching Craigslist, once again hoping to find a listing for a house that would suit us. I found three, and promptly sent inquiries about going to see the house for rent. The first two sent back eerily similar replies, although from two different addresses and names. The first reply was about a woman who had purchased a house where I live but had moved to Nigeria to be a part of some Christian organization. She wanted to "stand in our trust" and to know that "we would take care of her house as though it were our own," so that "she would be pleased to see it when visiting." She continued on to say that if we were serious about wanting to rent her house, to send a long list of information. She would then pray to the Almighty Father (whom she never makes a decision without consulting) and speak to her family about it. Then she would see about getting papers and keys. The entire email screamed scam, so I forwarded it to Justin for a little laugh and deleted it.
The second reply, as I said, was much like the first, except this time the woman was not in Nigeria. She had moved a few hours away and not to join a Christian organization, but otherwise the wording was much the same. Yet another scam.
The third was from a housing company that I had wanted to rent from previously due to their wonderfully accessible website, but they didn't have anything at the time that would work for us. Now, they had a home that I was rather excited about. This email requested that I call for more information, and I did. They had just listed this home and the man, "Scott," had not yet seen it and needed to check a few things before showing it. He said they would allow us to have our two cats, and to get a dog! He said he wanted to look at it on Monday, and asked me to call him Tuesday morning to set up a showing. I happily agreed, and began filling out their online application.
I stopped in to the housing office to drop off our rent application fees. The young man at the front desk, "Jan," (pronounced 'yawn;' he really did have a unique name like this so I kept it close to the original) asked if we had seen the property yet. I had to say no, and he told me they didn't take application fees until after the person had seen the place. Reasonable. He said he could hold on to it for me so that they could start processing as soon as we had seen and okayed the place.
I spent the rest of the day anxiously anticipating tomorrow.
Scott calls me and sets up a 5pm appointment for this same day. I text Justin and make sure my awesome boss is okay with me leaving for an hour or two to check out a house. She says yes.
Tuesday, 5 pm
Ok, so we got there 20 minutes early. I was just a little excited. On the way to the house, we cross a State Trail that goes for miles only two blocks from the house. A perfect place to walk a dog, no? We also took the time to walk down the street a little, where there is a marina on the Bay. We have lake access! We glance around at the neighboring houses, a quiet community with well maintained homes, a community garden and fenced in backyards. We check out the house's backyard, boasting a chain link fence and a garden shed. There is also a nice bench beneath what I'm hoping is a large lilac bush.
The Realtor arrives to find us standing in the porch, where the front door had been left open. The porch has a large bank of windows facing the Bay and providing a sort of mud room before you get to the 'real' front door. We enter the house and it's lovely. A great kitchen, complete with modern appliances (no more setting the oven at 15 degrees below the desired temperature and then cooking food for 10-15 minutes less than you're supposed to, only to have it burnt!) and a dishwasher! There is even COUNTER SPACE, both next to the stove and out far enough from the cupboards so that my Kitchenaid mixer will fit on them! The cupboards are bright white, and the walls are deep pink. There is a dining room connected to a living room, so it feels like one big space. Then there is a back door with space to one side for shoes and coats. I discover what looks like an innocuous older-type door (one of the handles is white porcelain) that leads to both another door outside and the basement.
The basement reminds me just a little of Silence of the Lambs, when Starling goes into Buffalo Bill's basement. Without the moths and the psychopath (or the well), but still. A narrowish hallway with orange and brown 70's wallpaper. There is, however, a door leading to the single stall tuck under garage, a storage room, a washer and dryer, and an odd bathroom. There's a toilet sitting next to the dryer, and an old shower with white cracking tiles. I worry for a moment that this is THE bathroom, but then remember from the online photos that there is another bathroom upstairs. With relief, we go up.
The master bedroom has hardwood floors and space. They have a queen size bed in it and there is still comfortable room around it for dressers and walking. It has two closets, one normal closet size and the other a deep walk in. My hoards of clothes would have a place to live, and Justin's would, too!
The second bedroom is only a bit smaller than the master, with it's own walk-in closet. It also has hardwood floors and would be a perfect Man Cave for Justin.
The real bathroom has a deep, soaking tub with a shower as well. The ceiling curves down so that the shower curtain has to be pulled up the curved curtain rod, but it is designed in a way that works. The shower head is at the tallest part, so if you're standing you may do so comfortably. On the other side of the shower wall is installed shelving for towels. Of course there's the usual toilet and sink, with a cupboard under the sink and one of those mirrors that stores stuff behind it.
We tell Scott that we love the house and would like to move forward with the application process. He tells us that it may be a few days before we hear back if we were approved or not, and asks if we have any criminal history or unpaid bills. We say no and leave with high hopes.
Wednesday, 12:02 pm
I get a call from Jan, and he says that we are approved. I try not to freak out while on the phone with him, and schedule a time to sign the lease. I hang up, allow myself to freak out with excitement, and then call Justin. He's excited but has a conference call to get ready for and therefore must hang up.
I just had to spread the news.
We move in less than a week! :D