Every morning I've been scouring the ads on Craigslist and sending Alan anything that passed my test - it must have two bedrooms, laundry in unit, and parking. Not a high bar, you'd think ... but there's really a lot of crap out there.
That's not totally fair - we did see some good places on Sunday and Monday, but for a variety of reasons they just weren't a good fit for us. We saw a place that had so much potential - 1250 square feet, big kitchen, gorgeous views of downtown Oakland - but it was a kitty death trap waiting to happen. Having lost our first cat to an 8th floor fall when he snuck behind the window fan to swipe at a bird, there was no way we were going to rent an apartment on the 7th floor that had both a ledge inside and outside at perfect kitty height. Then we looked at a loft in Alan's friends' building and the space was perfect for us. But the building was undergoing major construction for the next year to repair the stucco and since I work from home (and have allergies) there was no way that was going to work. I was starting to get forlorn.
I set up a handful of appointments for tonight and tomorrow hoping that one of them would work out. I didn't have high hopes, but I knew I had to stay positive.
The first place as a gorgeous house a few cities over. The neighborhood was very nice, near a golf course and country club, and the house had a lot of high-end finishes and a gorgeous yard. Unfortunately it was pretty far away. It took us 30 minutes to get there from our house, which could be pretty problematic for how we live our life. As you know, we travel fairly regularly and while we're away Alan's mom comes to look in on Dakota. There was no way that she could go out there everyday to check her food and do her litter box. Also, we have one group of friends that we see fairly regularly, and with a toddler and a new baby on the way, the chances of them coming to our house was pretty low. Heck, the chances of anyone coming to our house was pretty low. That was really the only downside of the place. Did I mention the view? Stunning. But, again, oh so far away.
I was trying to convince Alan that the distance didn't matter as we drove to our next appointment - a two bedroom condo smack dab in the middle of Oakland's Grand Lake neighborhood. In fact, it's spitting distance to the Grand Lake Theater, an iconic theater that anchors the shopping district. We eat at a lot of the restaurants in the area, and Alan's been going to the Grand Lake since we was a kid. Also, it's a hop, skip, and a jump from our aforementioned friends. There is a very popular farmer's market on Saturdays across the street, and Lake Merritt is only a couple of blocks away. We regularly (cough*cough) walk the lake in the summer, so now we'll do it much more frequently.
At 1157 square feet it was significantly smaller than the house we just came from, but it had lots of windows, an outdoor deck that we can put our grill on, a great size kitchen with tons of cabinetry, a fairly large office space, a guest bathroom, a master bedroom with a huge walk-in closet, and deep soaking tub, and a wood burning fireplace in the living room. Oh, and secure parking!
In talking with the landlord - the owner of the unit since the condo was built in 2004 - we felt very comfortable with her and she seemed very reasonable. She said the new tenants could paint provided they painted the room back when they moved out. She also said she was going to order blinds if the new tenants wanted them (we didn't).
We walked out of the unit and were on our way to another place when I told Alan I didn't need to see the next place. I told him I wanted that place. We went back over and gave the landlord a check for the first & last month's rent, plus a pet deposit, and told her we'd get the paperwork back to her by tomorrow. Then we went to dinner at sushi boat, a huge weight lifted from my chest.
So, starting February 1 (pending our credit check) we're going from casacaudill to condocaudill. It'll certainly be a change in how we live our life, but I'm looking forward to what's to come.
I don't have a ton of pics to share, but here are a few from the CL post.