Since I don't like anything to be easy, it's like I've set myself up to fail in this whole "finding a new place to live" adventure. Finding a home between work and school (an area that admittedly doesn't encompass the nicest neighborhoods ever) combined with having a lifestyle that combines the word "pit" with the word "bulls"...well, it's like I'm looking for a needle in a haystack.
Here's the status for today:
House #1 - I love it. Unfortunately, I don't love the neighborhood. In fact, when I mentioned it to the guy who does yard work at my office, he said, "Well, it's okay. You have a permit to carry a gun, right?" (Um, no.) When I mentioned the neighborhood to a close friend, she said, "Absolutely not. I'll kill you myself (if someone else doesn't do it first.")
Still - I'm not one to judge based on reputation. If I was, I wouldn't have a pit bull, right? Everyone/thing deserves a chance. So I did a drive by of the house in the daylight and at night.
What I found is that the block itself that the house is on is okay. The houses are shabby, but well kept. The house itself is immaculately kept. Unfortunately, it's an okay block surrounded by the depths of ghetto hell. But did I mention that the house is awesome? And it's RIGHT between work and school? And it's got a fenced in yard AND a garage? And a FULLY FINISHED BASEMENT?! (I never thought the words "fully finished basement" were orgasmic, but lo and behold...) Seriously. In my price range and 2500 square feet? Seriously? Seriously?!
When I mentioned this to my mother, she thought about it and then said, "Well, that's why you have a dog, right?" (Note that I have not yet broken the news about Blue...) I didn't have the heart to tell her that the pit bulls in this neighborhood could kick my pit bulls' asses. Casey and Blue wouldn't have a chance. Hell, they wouldn't even seem scary. They would be like kittens. The other dogs would look at them and laugh. The only thing they've got going for them is that Casey barks her fool head off at strangers, and Blue sounds like a hound from hell when he sees another dog that he doesn't know. (of course, when the other dog approaches him, he runs and hides behind me.)
When I did my night time drive by, I came at the address from a different direction and of course ended up lost. The first street that I came across and thought I had to turn onto was scary. SCARY! I literally became terrified that I had to drive onto that street...and then breathed a sigh of relief when I noticed that the street I actually needed was one block north. (ONE BLOCK!!!) When I turned onto the street where the house is, I was pleasantly surprised. Well lit, well kept, quiet... It was a nice little street... but then I passed a cross street and looked one block south again. Um - ghetto hell. I was on the phone with a friend and kept her on the phone the whole time...just in case. (I then proceeded to get lost in ghetto hell on my way home, but that's a whole other blog. I escaped with my life and no one shot at me, so I think the neighborhood is okay, right? RIGHT?!)
House #2 - I love it too, just less. It's smaller, very cute, and with an unfinshed basement. Same number of bedrooms and bathrooms as house #1, just smaller. No garage and no fenced in yard. Very safe neighborhood. Unfortunately, it's in the middle of "bohemian chic" and is about $200 higher than I'm willing to spend in rent per month. The main pros for this house are the safe neighborhood, and the fact that I could actually walk my dogs for more than one block in either direction. Oh, and it's SO cute. It's a place that I would love to have my friends over for some wine and board games.
House #3 - Meh. It was a house that was "meh" in a neighborhood that was "meh." The house was also huge, but not as nice as house #1...older and more run down. It did, however, have a full length screened in porch that Laney would love. (Yes, Laney. You thought I had forgotten all about her, right? Shame on you. I love, um...what was her name? Oh yes, Laney.)
However, the bathroom in house #3 was tiny. TINY tiny. Not that I spend much time in the bathroom...but, this was tiny. It also did not have a garage, and cars park on both sides of the street. As an owner of a car that is less than a year old (wait, what's that? You haven't met my car yet? Friends, meet Curvy. Curvy, meet friends.) I would prefer not to park her on the street. Oh, and there was no yard. None. Not a hint of a fence. However, there is the added bonus that if I walked the dogs north, I would get into a really cute neighborhood in under three blocks. I could have friends over here...but they would have to park about three blocks away.
(Am I crazy because I actually prefer a great house in a shady neighborhood over a meh house in a meh neighborhood?)
I'm seeing house #4 today. Decent neighborhood, but it's half of a duplex. I don't have really high hopes, but maybe this one will save me from the great house in the shady neighborhood where I'll live gun free. (But I have baseball bats and pit bulls!! :-)