I feel like Matt and I have spent all but the first few months of marriage looking for a place to live.
I liked our first apartment a lot – probably because it was mine, it was spacious compared to where I had been living, and I got to have my Mikenna back. It wasn’t a great place. The a/c didn’t work, everything was outdated, and one of the neighbors let their cat roam in the corridor, and it would bring in and dismantle birds.
Still, I was pretty sad when we got flooded out and into another building.
That apartment I truly disliked. The nicest thing I can say about it, is that it had some great sunshine. It was drafty, the carpet was well past expiration when we moved in, and it was so loud. I felt like we were living in a cheap motel, so at the first chance of moving out, we bolted.
This apartment was the best we could afford on peanuts. It was ever-so-slightly closer for Matt, and in a nicer general area. Only having one set of neighbors in direct contact with us was a great improvement over three, and this place was a lot nicer than where we’d been. At the time, the building was inhabited by quiet, drama-free families, until the “dudebro” moved in above us. Even then, we only heard him during soccer games.
But no sooner had we moved in here, than we began to think about moving down to Virginia. But to be honest, we were doing little more than going from paycheck to paycheck, with no real ability to save up the money to move across the country. We began to dream of entrepreneurship at a time when the economy made no promises of obtaining a steady job.
Unfortunately, in that desperate hope, we put our eggs into the basket of an untrustworthy individual. But we never actually settled in here because we planned to leave.
I can’t tell you for sure that this is what happened, but I think when the economy in Michigan tanked, a lot of people left, and the complex lowered their standards. When the families in our building moved out one by one, their replacements got increasingly strange. I’ll leave it at that. While we’ve liked the apartment itself, it’s become an uncomfortable place to live at times, what with the neighbors who got their toilet unbolted from the floor and flooded our bathroom off and on for a year.
When that debacle started, we began looking for apartments in Michigan again. When the company Matt works for decided to move even further south, we knew we would have to find a place. We’ve been slowly combing through apartments in a 20-30 mile radius, looking for something that would be worth moving to. Yes, we’re picky, but once you’ve cleaned up your neighbor’s toilet water for the fourth time, I think you’ve earned it. One by one, we’d find a place that seemed fairly promising, only to have some red flag pop up.
I would say that it’s been discouraging, but I don’t feel like that accurately describes it. It’s been downright depressing, trying to find a place that fits our needs (takes pets, 2 bedroom, budget), maybe even our wants, in an area we were comfortable with.
While looking for office hours on the one remaining complex on our list – the one we were dragging out feet on going to look at – I saw a new one. I clicked on a whim, believing that the reason it wasn’t a contender had to do with their animal policy, but no, they were actually new.
We sat down and talked with the regional manager today, and tonight we started the application process. Incredibly, this place fits everything on our list of requirements, many, if not all of our wants, and with perks on top. It sounds like they do things because they want people to actually live in their apartments for a while and be happy, not to view it as temporary housing.
The complex has 1/10th of the units that our current complex does. Each apartment is single story – nobody above or below. Each unit has a two car garage, standard. They don’t charge a pet rent per pet – either you have pets, and pay one fee, or you don’t. Private patio. You don’t share an actual wall with your neighbors – they are separated by two layers of wall, a gap, and a firewall. Not only does it have two bedrooms, but it has a semi-separate den area, meaning that Matt and I can each have our own spaces. No more sharing the living room for us!
I could go on and on. But suffice to say, I’m excited. I really hope that this will be the place that we will settle down for a while and flourish. I am sad that we will be further from the church we’ve grown to love and our music lessons, but we will be so much closer to many of our friends, and we both feel strongly that this will be a better quality of life move for us.
Every once in a while, patience really does pay off.