Moving Part I: The Housing Saga

We’re finally moved and I have a moment to write about all that’s happened in the last several weeks. So, let’s just start with the Housing Saga.

I mentioned in a previous post that we had found a renter for our home. Well, while we were happy to have someone to take the house, it left us in a situation where we had to turn around and rent a home ourselves. Let me tell you, finding a rental for a family of six – soon to be seven – is not easy. It had to be affordable – I didn’t want to spend more than we were already spending – but we were moving to a more expensive area. We spent countless hours on Zillow Rents, Craig’s List, and various other sites trying to find the right house. I wanted to settle for less – after all, it was only for a year – but Ray was having a hard time dealing with the idea of moving from a lovely 3700 sq. ft. new construction home and into a creaky old 1800 sq. ft. house that didn’t even have a garage. So, we kept looking.

Finally, we found a gorgeous home on Capital. The home was beautifully maintained, with gorgeous hardwood floors, nice built-ins, and even a little office for me, overlooking the backyard. But, the backyard was small, there was no drive for the kids to ride bikes in, and it was in that block between ghetto and great neighborhood that makes a mom a wee bit uncomfortable. I thought we could deal with it for a year, nonetheless, but prayed about it before going to bed on the eve of the paper-signing. Lo and behold, I awoke at 2 AM with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach and the absolute confidence that our family would not be happy in that house. We held off on the signing, and kept looking. That night, we came across an ad with only four pictures – generally not a good sign – for a home that was a “gardener’s dream” on over an acre of land. It was small, with only three bedrooms and one and a half baths, but the location was perfect and the idea of an acre plus was appealing. So we went to check it out.

The house wasn’t much, but it would suit our needs. The yard, on the other hand… we all positively bubbled over with excitement at the prospect of living in such a beautiful setting, with tons of space for the kids to run, a basketball hoop, a climbing tree… for our family, it seemed to be paradise.

Trouble was, the landlord is very picky about his tenants. He lives next door and doesn’t want any “riff-raff” living next door to him. His employees showed us the house, so we didn’t meet him right away. Then, he was out of town on business, followed immediately by a vacation, after which our contact at his company left on vacation. So, we were stuck twiddling our thumbs, wondering when we were going to meet this guy and whether we – and our soon-to-be-five-kids – would pass the “no riff-raff” test.

Moving day was looming close, as our tenant was supposed to move in in a week, and we still didn’t have a place to live. Once again, I was literally sick to my stomach. Then, a phone call. Our tenant – a pro sports figure – had been cut from the team due to injury. We experienced mixed emotions. Of course, we felt remorse for our tenant’s job loss, and hated to see the end of what had appeared to be a mutually beneficial deal for all involved. But, the stress to find a house was over. However, we still really wanted that little house on the big land!

Our relief quickly turned to frustration, however, as our tenant took us along on his roller coaster ride. We offered to let him out of the lease. He said maybe he wanted to move in for three months. Sorry, dude, not a three month lease. But he wouldn’t commit one way or the other, and we had a signed lease that we couldn’t just back out of. So we sat in his indecision for several weeks before he finally agreed to sign the paperwork to cancel the lease.

Fortunately, within days, we were able to sign another tenant who wants to buy the house in just a couple of months. At the same time, we finally met with the owner of the little house/big property place and passed his test. We got the signed lease for our old house on Sunday, signed a lease on the new place on Monday, and started moving that day, and scheduled moving the “big stuff” for the coming Saturday.

Not much time to pack up one house and get all of our junk moved into another. Especially not when we were cutting the size of the house in half. And so, this story will continue…

In the meantime, here’s the pic Ray snapped of our beautiful new front yard. Excuse the finger in the corner… this was an after thought as we were pulling away from that meeting with our picky landlord. And it’s just too darn cold out for me to go outside and take another.

IMG_8252.JPG