Thursday, January 24, 2008

Decisions, decisions...

ever make a decision without sleeping on it? and one that involves a $3,000 check?

well, after scheduling a full day's worth of apartment hunting (that's one every half hour from 9am - 3:30pm, and then 4:15pm - around 6:45pm with a broker), for a total of 20 viewings - yikes!, you would think we would need at least a day to think things over before deciding on a new place to live.

in our hotel room, eating our first real meal of the day - a couple of Italian hoagies from Subway, before heading out again to meet the broker

In order to keep some sanity while looking at all these places, we did rate each one on a scale from 1-5, with categories like cost, size, location, etc, and gave each place a name based on a defining characteristic, such as "french doors" "louisiana" "u-shape" and "old lady".

Completely exhausted, we went through our options over dinner, and had narrowed it down to the four mentioned above. Somehow, over a burger and pot roast, it went from the four places to one ("louisiana" - the owners are from there), to calling the owners and then visiting the apartment again around 9:45pm that same night, taking measurements, and then talking about lowering rent since it was several hundred dollars more than another one we were considering that was just three doors down, then realizing it was a 3 bedroom vs. a 2 bedroom, then walking back to our hotel, and even before we reached it, decided to call and take the apartment.

Yay! We found a place! It felt like such a relief. We even had two more potential viewings the next day, but slept in and cancelled them.

So, after checking out, we headed over to our soon-to-be new home to give our application and deposit. Not settling for an old-fashioned tub, Brian even suggested helping out with renovating the bathroom. The owners, being a young couple as well, were ecstatic to have another couple living upstairs instead of the current all male bachelor pad. We would take the second and third floors, with them on the first. As we drove off for brunch, we saw one of the owners take their "for rent" sign inside the house.

Two days later, after designing the floor plan and realizing the extreme lack of closet and storage space for every day things and factoring the extra costs involved to accommodate all of our things, we sent an unfortunate email to our would-be-neighbors backing out of the apartment. It felt pretty horrible, but we had to do it, and as expected, they were shocked and upset.

It was good we didn't sign anything except for our application and check. But more importantly, they didn't say the check was non-refundable, which they claim was supposed to be and had already deposited it. To be sure, we stopped the check ourselves so that we could put the money down for the apartment we ultimately decided to take. That would have been pretty awful if we couldn't get the money back.

So, we actually went with "old lady", named so because the woman who lives there, we assume is an old lady due to how she decorated the apartment, full of antiques and doilies. And it turns out that we would still be neighbors to "louisiana" as "old lady" is just three doors down.

Hope it won't be too awkward...

So the moral of the story?

Sleep on it, or at least visit all the finalists at least one more time, and never underestimate closet space.

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