So I woke up Monday morning to the news that there had been a fatal shooting at a gas station about a block and a half away from House #1. But that was just the final straw to take it off my list of possible homes. The actual death blow came on Saturday when I went to volunteer.
I was telling my co-worker at the clinic about House #1 in my usual jovial manner. In the same tone, I was joking about how I have pit bulls that would do me no good in that neighborhood as they would probably be eaten alive. I also mentioned that I do not have a permit to carry a gun because I'm anti-handgun on so many levels. She responded with,
"Well, the dogs would offer some protection. You just have to be careful. We get a lot of calls from people who live in shady neighborhoods and have their dogs stolen. People steal their dogs to use them as bait dogs for their dog fighting rings."
Oh HELL no. I don't think she meant to absolutely talk me out of House #1, but nothing could have been more effective in getting me to cross the shady house off the list. Steal my dog? Seriously friends, if you hear that this ever happened, you need to come to where ever I am and restrain me because I am the fool that would be going door to door with a shotgun until I found my baby. And in a shady neighborhood, that would mean I would be dead.
So House #1 was crossed off the list. House #2 was put on "maybe" status as I continued to look and House #3...well, bsj said it best when he said "Who wants 'meh'?"
So it was back to the drawing board. On Sunday, I went to see House #4.
House #4 was okay. Half a double in a neighborhood that was just north of House #3, and still just meh. It had two bedrooms, and wasn't in horrible shape...it even had a garage and a fenced in yard. I think the dealbreaker for this house was that both bedrooms were on the second floor, and the only bathroom for the house was on the first floor....though the kitchen. Like, about as far away from the bedrooms as you could get. It was most definitely a "boy" house.
I drove around some more and made some more calls*. Yesterday, I stumbled upon House #5 and House #6.
House #5 is outside my budget. Like $200 outside my budget. But, (and I sigh inside when I say this) it's not unfeasible. I took a part time job for the summer (starting after finals finish next week) to save up some money for tuition next year. It could go towards the rent for this awesome house. And I could start getting student loans a bit earlier than anticipated. But honestly? Is the house awesome enough to be worth all that?
When I called about House #5, the owner (a lady in her sixties) was very friendly and funny on the phone. We talked for a while. She spoke about this house like it was her lover. I believe her husband actually built or remodeled it. It's half a double, two bedrooms, and about .4 miles away from where I work. Seriously. The neighborhood is great, it has a driveway, a garage... I mean, it's a really really nice house. But it's pretty expensive. The only thing it's lacking is a fenced in yard, but it's only about half a mile from the Monon Trail... (and we all know how much I love the Monon.) As a bonus, the owner of the house loved me. I seem like a "very responsible young lady." (A: it was nice to be called young, and B: can I say that I'm an adult now that I've been called 'responsible?') She was hesitant about the two dogs, but I'm a very responsible pet owner and apparently I say all the right things to back that up. She didn't ask what type of dogs that I have, but I did allude to it when I told her that "I'm a responsible pet owner - I have to be." We'll see if she still loves me after she sees my dogs.
House #6 is just over a mile away from where I work. The neighborhood is still decent, and it's also half a double. However, this house has three bedrooms, vs the two in House #5. House #6 doesn't have a fenced in yard either (but it's the same distance from my beloved Monon) and it also doesn't have a garage. The biggest selling point for House #6 (which I haven't seen yet) is that the rent is within my budget.
Now, I know you're thinking, "Wait...three bedrooms in pretty much the same neighborhood as House #5 for $200 less? What's the catch?" Well, the biggest drawback to house #6 is that it doesn't have air conditioning.
Whew, right? I mean, I'm sold. It's not a drawback on the same scale as "living in the ghetto where your dog could get stolen." It's not even a drawback on the same scale as "okay neighborhood with run down abandoned buildings," or "teeny bathroom far away from the bedroom." In fact, when I told my friend Dave (the guy who, along with jaclyn, seems the most adamant that I can't live in the ghetto) about the house, I prefaced it with "It has a drawback that we can both agree on." When I told him about the A/C, he said, "DONE!"
So I go see House #6 today. Dave's coming with me to keep me from saying "IN!" and ignoring huge red flags. There still could be some, you know... Cross your fingers for me. And your toes. And think happy, positive thoughts. I realize that Curvy will have to sleep on the street, but after the last two weeks of stressful house hunting combined with the stress of upcoming finals...well, I'm okay with that. It's not ideal, but it's the best I can do under the circumstances. I'm sorry Curvy...
*In all, I've called over 40 rental properties. Dear God I need a beer.