I've mentioned several times that John and I will be moving soon. Well, Wednesday I went to Silver Lakes to look for a rental house. First, I drove around the area, looking at real estate signs and getting a feel for neighborhoods. I stopped and looked a few housed more closely and made a few phone calls, to no good end. I saw several lovely homes, but nothing that called to me. After I bored of that, I drove to Professional Realty, an agency that had advertised in the local paper as dealing with rentals. Butch, the agent I dealt with, gave me a map and a list of rentals; he suggested that I drive around and look at the outside of the houses I was interested in. Once I had it narrowed down to three or four, we'd go look at the inside of the houses.
I sat down and had a Diet Coke at the local pizzeria, and plotted the houses on the map -- at least the houses I could find! I marked the houses that were either too small or just blatantly out of our price range off the list and then planned to look at several. Fortified, I headed for the first house. There was no real estate sign in the yard and there was a car out front. It felt lived in. So, I headed over to the second house. It was okay. I liked it well enough, but I didn't love it. Slightly discouraged, I headed over to the third house on my list. Remember the saying The third time's a charm? Well, I fell in love at first sight! It was just beautiful. A little bit of yard (enough that we'll have to buy a lawnmower), a pretty front door, a bay window. While I was looking, a neighbor waved and said, "Hi!" I went over and talked with him for a few minutes. Roger was a very nice man, full of information about cell phone service and satellite companies.
I continued to look at other houses on the list, but there was always something wrong with them. Either they were too small, or they were two-stories, or they were not very well maintained, or they had too much yard -- which means watering and grooming, since Silver Lakes is in the middle of the Mojave Desert. I really just loved that one house so much -- I got such a good vibe from it -- that none of the other houses could compare.
I went to lunch, back at the local pizzeria. The lasagna was kind of expensive, but excellent -- and there was plenty to share, had there been anyone to share it with (As it was, I brought home two meals worth after I ate my fill!). After lunch, I headed back to Professional Realty so that I could see three of the houses on the inside. I had narrowed it down to the house that felt lived in, the house I loved, and one slightly larger house that I couldn't find.
Butch checked and, sure enough, the first house was currently occupied, so we went on to the house I hadn't been able to find. It had some great selling points. It was four bedrooms and three bathrooms, and had a large upstairs deck. The view was amazing. It had a large (dirt) yard, and was on the edge of Silver Lakes, so there weren't neighbors on all sides. On the minus side, it looked like a rental. The carpets were stained in a couple of places and some of the walls were kind of banged up. All of the wood work was very dark, and I just didn't like the way it felt. Plus, it was $50 more a month than the dream house (which I still hadn't seen).
So, off we headed to the house I really wanted to see. It is currently occupied by a Korean family, so first we had to make sure no one was home. Wouldn't have have been awkward? As it was, I didn't look as closely as I would have liked to have looked at things like closets, the pantry and kitchen cabinets. It had a really big two-car garage, three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a dining area in the kitchen, and a fireplace in the living room. Most of the walls are yellow, except in the living room (where they are cream) and I believe in the kitchen (where I'm thinking they are blue). The floors are a combination of ceramic tile and carpet. In the kitchen, the sink (stainless steel, I'm pretty sure) is in a y-shaped island. It's by far the nicest house I've ever lived in.
And the best news? The landlord will accept our three lovely kitties! I got the phone call at about 11:15 this morning that we were good to go. We "take possession" of the house on 10 April. When I'm finished with this post, I'll go over to the rental office and give our notice to our current landlord, so our move-out date here will be 20 April, I think.
No pictures of the inside of the house, since it is currently occupied. It was nice to see it lived it; it gave me ideas for where the furniture could go and for decorating. But it was very awkward to be looking at someone's house, someone's things in the closets. I didn't look under the bathroom or kitchen sink, or in the kitchen cabinets. It felt a bit like prying.