We had been looking at apartments on short notice, trying to see if we could find something before the honeymoon to simplify our living arrangements. To further those ends, I posted an ad on craigslist detailing our situation and our needs. A man answered me with this great e-mail:
Basic House…two VERY small bedrooms, small kitchen, small living room, small bathroom, small doors, small windows…and small price.
He wasn’t kidding. The place is teensy. It was built in 1950, and every scrap of space has been used. It reminds me of my friend’s 450 year old farmhouse that had twenty rooms and sprawled out all over the place and everything was different and mismatched and just odd–except this place has stayed entirely within it’s original shell. I love it’s crazy quirkiness! I came home squeaking with excitement over how cool the house was, and how cool the landlord was, and how Patrick had to be the one to say yes or no because I was totally in love with the place.
We were supposed to meet with the landlord (Burt) at one point, but he called and said he forgot he had a parent teacher conference and we could just drop by and pick up the key and walk ourselves through it and get back to him. After picking up the key, we drove over, and Pat thought it was pretty neat. Needed some cleaning and some work, but the benefits outweighed the drawbacks.
It’s in a slightly scary part of town. But it’s cheap. And private. And it’s bigger than an apartment. It doesn’t have a dishwasher, but it’s got a washer and dryer. And it’s actually got three bedrooms, though they’re all about the size of jail cells. There’s no bathtub, and the bathroom is carpeted, but the kitchen is big enough for our table. It’s on almost a quarter-acre lot, well grassed, with some trees and some mountain views and we are allowed to build a fence if we want. We can paint and garden and make as many improvements as we like. We can have our pets with no problems. We’re free to do whatever we want, except make drugs or fight dogs. Oh, and it’s about a ten minute walk from Pat’s work. Plus, I love it!
We’re in the process of settling in still. We are living almost entirely in the first floor because we are still doing deconstruction in the basement. We took down one of the walls between two of the rooms, and we will be taking down another to open it up to the laundry room. Right now there is about 18 inches of space between the washing machine and the wall that we’re going to remove: not very good for moving things, at all. We also decided to keep our bedroom upstairs and to put our living room downstairs, mostly because we don’t want people to be able to see that huge liability 50″ flatscreen TV that we got for Christmas.
The fence is up, but we’re lacking gates. The property is cut off from the apartment complex next door though, and that makes a huge difference. We have kids everywhere, and people were coming out to barbecue and congregate in our backyard. Not acceptable. Did I mention we’re paying about the same for our house and yard as they are for their crappy, crowded apartment complex? Man, I feel really lucky.
We have the new tiling in the entryway and bathroom, and sadly, the crazy wallpaper in the kitchen had to come down due to some mold and general disrepair. I’m going to repaper the walls and paint the brick after everything gets bleached to high hell. It’s currently very gross.
More updates as we go.