January 1, 2011. What is significant about this date, you ask? Hopefully, Curmudge and I will be moving into a bigger place. Yay!
In October, I posted 'We need a bigger apartment'. The goal is to find a larger space to suit us, bring us closer to our jobs, and closer to my horse. In these down economic times, this is a workable financial solution for us. We're both too old to be buying into something that will probably outlive us.
I do not like inner city living, never have liked it. I'm a peripheral dweller, like wide open spaces and access to trails for riding my horse. Curmudge has lived in his apartment for ten years (inner city). The freeway is right outside the front door, icky yuck!
A month ago, we looked at a 2 bedroom 2 bath in an apartment complex. It was decent, bedrooms big enough and would have worked with our budget, too. There were things about the complex and management company Curmudge did not like.... said he felt like it was a hustle, nickel and diming. For this reason, the complex was shoved to the bottom of the 'possibility' list. Neither of us is or ever has been an apartment community dweller.
We procrastinated through Thanksgiving... though, I kept my eyes peeled for likely places. Basic needs are a must. The general area/neighborhood has to fit, access to grocery shopping, convenience store, post office, banking, our jobs, etc.
I make lists for everything. Good habit, bad, I don't know, it's what I do. I have scraps of paper littered around my desk, posted on a bulletin board and on the wall. I know where to find everything on these scraps of paper. I'm not messy, it's organized chaos.
On Sunday past for lack of something better to occupy our time, we took a drive into the neighborhoods around where I used to live. As we drove through these different neighborhoods, I could see Curmudge was not impressed. When we got home, he was clearly disappointed and so was I. Moving to a bigger place is something we both know we need to do soon.
I did drive by one mobile home community, twice. I didn't do it intentionally. A little history is in order. In 1998, I bought a double-wide home in this very park. I lived there 4 years. It wasn't my intention to influence Curmudge's thinking at all. I hesitated mentioning I had lived there.
In our conversation the next morning, he suggested we have a closer look at the trailer community 'at the bottom of the mountain'. I was surprised. Who'd a thunk? I wasn't convinced the community would meet what he thought he was looking for, so we went to have a look see and ask questions.
Whisper ... I don't usually admit to being wrong, but in this case I will. I was wrong.
The property manager was friendly and informative. She answered our questions and offered to take us around to look at a couple of units she had available. The monthly rental cost meets our budget, easy 'move in' terms too. After our tour, we came home with the necessary credit application. Ooops, I forgot to ask what amount of income is necessary to qualify, so we're kind of sketchy on this.
Different things to consider with each unit we looked at, specifically kitchen and living space, bedroom sizes, roof condition, awnings, water damage of any kind, the surrounding neighbors, etc.. I've been a mobile home dweller for 9 of the last 12 years. I've a pretty good idea what to look for and Curmudge's eyes were helpful in some things I did miss.
Our tour included three units. One we couldn't go into, it had just been set and wasn't completely ready. Liked the layout of the older 3/2, but it had water damage. The newer 2/1 was too small. Curmudge's bedroom suite would not have fit, and the second bedroom was little more than cubicle sized.
Any kind of water damage screams at me. Red flags! Mold and mildew in/on the walls or under carpet or flooring! I firmly believe excessive mold and mildew (in another place I lived) were big contributors to the health issues I've had this year. I'm highly sensitive and allergic.
We agree pre-qualifying is a good thing to do. As Curmudge put it, the property management will have to work to fit our needs once we're qualified. Curmudge is optimistic we will get pre-approved on his credit and income. I hope he's right. He's also of the opinion ... we don't jump at the first thing we see, we leave our options open, and take time to decide.
I'm getting hyped. Target date ... January 1, 2011. We have time.