25 October 2010

We need a bigger apartment.....

I've been staying with a friend since the end of June. I've been unemployed and had major medical issues for about a year. When the Senate delayed passing unemployment extensions for thousands of unemployed in the United States, I was one of them. This forced me to reconsider how I was going to make ends meet and keep a roof over my head. Because of the lack of income, I moved in with my friend a scant three days before I went into the hospital for major surgery. I've recovered sufficiently to look for work and go back to work. Many applications later, I finally landed an interview last week. Having been unemployed for so many months is an issue with the prospective employer, because there's no current experience for him to draw from, or that I can prove I can do the job at hand, and he doesn't know me. There is one plus in my favor. I've been a 'casual' driver for the company a number of times in the last few years. I know their system.

After that interview, I commented we needed to find larger accommodations. My friend has agreed in principle, but suggested we wait to see where jobs land us. My point was that while we're not working we should be scoping out potential places, have an action plan in place, just in case.....we do get back to work full time and aren't able to arrange to have time off together to get a move done. Pretty logical stuff here. He's lived in this apartment for more than ten years and has admitted that he hates to move. Well, okay, I hate to move too. I get that.

We all know the economy is poor. Jobs are tough to get even as truck drivers. Neither of us wants to go back over the road as drivers and be away from home weeks on end, that doesn't equal quality of life for us anymore. This apartment is one bedroom, so my bedroom is in the living room. My bed is a queen sized fold up air bed with a collapsible frame. It's a pretty neat thing. Works well because it can be collapsed and pushed out of the way. The new job (if I do get it) will take me away overnights for twenty-four hours at a time, and I would have to sleep between runs when I am here. Logically speaking, the best case scenario is we share a place until (if or when)the economy improves. I'd already started scoping places out because when I came to stay here it was gong to be a temporary thing. I wanted a place of my own with my 'stuff' around me. Selfish thinking, I suppose, times have changed.

I had a starting point anyway when I made the suggestion we go looking. Unfortunately, the economy is not cooperating and is forcing us to combine our resources and share a place together. It will be beneficial for both of us for the time being. I have priorities. First is a budget. I've lived on a tight budget for so long it's just something I do. Affordability is a must in a new place (two bedrooms). A new place has to be a place that either of us can afford if something happens to one or the other of us. Second is location, location. It has to be convenient to our jobs and a short ride down to where I keep my horse. After all that is shopping, banking and paying the bills. This complex has all that and then some.

So off we went to look at Southwest Village where a friend of mine has lived for five years. It has the location and it has affordability. What we save in fuel consumption, will be absorbed in slightly higher rent from where we are now, and splitting expenses will actually help in the long run. We looked at a 2 bedroom 2 bath unit, which had apparently been upgraded, and would cost $50.00 a month more than she'd already quoted us. Strike one, the appliances were black and the cabinets had been refinished poorly. Strike two, the parking left some to be desired, my friend wouldn't be able to look out the window and see his vehicle. Strike three, there were small children next door. Not that we don't like children, we just like them quieter than these were....

I do have to say the views were nice. I could see mountains from the front porch, something I have missed since staying where we are now. The yard in front of the building was huge and overlooked a large alfalfa field. The exposure is to the southwest which might be an issue when it comes to keeping the place cool. The kids would not be a deal breaker but $50.00 a month more for black appliances would be. We've decided that this particular unit will not due for us not because of the parking or kids, but because of the black appliances and poorly finished cabinet upgrade.

On the flip side, we have decided the complex is suitable for our needs. It's affordable and meets the rest of our criteria. Next order of business is to finalize the deal and set a date to move. We don't know when that would be, they will have to find us a unit in a suitable location in the complex for us.

Apparently, my enthusiasm is infectious. He's caught up in it too. One of his concerns is that he has big furniture. Yeah, so what? I've been there before with big furniture. I took a tape measure with me to measure rooms for just that reason. One look was all it took for me to know that it would work his furniture and us. I know how to make furniture work! I already have in mind where stuff will go. We don't know when the move is going to happen.....stay tuned.