Sunday, May 6, 2012

Our New Place!

Well, I told you all that I wasn't making promises about posting every week like I wanted to. But still, I have managed to make it less than a month, so give me some credit. Since my last post, Stacie and I did what people dread to do the most, MOVE!! We got the luxury of moving to a much bigger place, and by far a better community, I think. We've settled in nicely for the last two weeks now, so we are thrilled with it. It wasn't that way in the beginning however, as one would "typically" deal with the stress of moving. To say the least, we had our fair share. In all the times before when I have moved; from the very first time I told mom I was leaving and moving in with my first roommate, to my first solo apartment, my second, roomie, even coming back home because I fell on hard times, and to even the first place Stacie and I moved into together, I don't think I ever encountered as much stress in those times as we did in this move. Where do I begin?

Well, let me tell you the beginning. At first, after 3 years of being in our "starting out" apartment, we were strapped for room. After taking on the responsibility of our first "child", Corkie, and after a few holidays and birthdays celebrated.... Um yeah... We collected a lot of stuff. Doesn't everybody? Plus, we were getting fed up with the new management, and the bratty little kids that were living in the complex we lived in. Nothing against them, but we felt it was time to pick up and move out. So, we planned a weekend in February since that was around the time we had to give our 60 day notice, and time for us to find a newer place. We had debated on a either a 2 bedroom, or a much bigger 1 bedroom. Me being optimistic, I was opting for the 2 bedroom, but every place we looked at, I thought we were getting gouged on rent. No surprise there. In the apartment lifestyle, that is to be expected. We spent one Saturday in February, armed with a list of places we checked out online, we set out and hunted for our next place to live. The first one we looked at was in the "Ghetto" side of town. Funny how apartment guides and pictures don't really do justice to what places look like in reality. Now, I stated before that we were thinking about either a 2 bedroom or a large 1 bedroom, we had also considered a split level, or studio loft apartment. As we searched and searched, we found some lofts that were right up our alley as far as rent cost and location. Still nothing appealed to us. The 2nd and 3rd place we looked at that same day were hopeful, but a no go at the last minute. We agreed that for a 1 bedroom, $700 was too much. Some parts of the country, that is considered cheap, but not where we live. Finally, I looked across the street at the last place we looked and saw a place I had previously looked at a few years ago with my last roommate, and noticed the name change of the complex and a sign that said "under new management".. Ok, I optimistic, so I thought, what the hell.

So, we get in, talk to a lease consultant, got a nickel tour of a model unit, and even a tour of the new layout. One word... SOLD.. The location, cost of rent, and even the accommodations for Corkie was enough for us. This place gave a discount because my wife, Stacie is now a student, and that we both work in the medical field. The attractions included: A dog park, a tiki bar kind of setup at the pool with grills and bars to sit at, 24 hr fitness facility, and my favorite, up front parking by our unit. With these great attractions that lured us in, we did however have to make some sacrifices. To us, they were worth it though. We had a HUGE bedroom on the second floor, but very limited closet space. Only one bathroom, but it was upstairs, so if company came, guess what?? The last big doozy we had to give up was our washer and dryer. When I said we had limited closet space, well, a small corner was taken up by a stackable washer and dryer. From what we have been told, and even now if what we have experienced with this, a stackable unit is not that bad. They may be small in size, but you would be amazed at how much laundry can fit in the washer, then afterwards load it up in the dryer. And they are FAST at getting you clothes done. We're happy with that.

Now to the meat and potatoes. Here's where the real fun begins!! After all the negotiations and agreements we made with our place of residence that we were moving out of and with the place we were moving to, disaster struck. We were scheduled to move in on the weekend of the 21st of April. Just like in the business of the real estate, the right hand never knows what the left hand is saying. With that, we had a big time mix up with our unit, and with management. When we finalized our move in day, the lease consultant we spoke with had everything written down, and even and agreement drawn up in which we signed. Somehow, that was not communicated to the manager, nor was it entered into the system. Talk about furious, there was a lot of tension that day in the office. I was drove the unit we were going to move into, and nothing was done to it. The workers were in there ripping out carpet, taking out appliances, and painting. Manager said, it would be impossible for us to move in when we wanted to. With that on our stressor, I had to make a quick phone call to my power company to shut down that particular account to that location I had set up. On the flipside of the mix we had with the manager and the lease consultant, we were able to move into a different apartment, same floor plan, but much better location. YAY!! We were thrilled about that. All the maintenance people had to do with that place was clean the carpets, and repaint the walls. Ok, it would be ready for us in 24 hours. Not a problem, except one thing... the power would not be available until the following Monday. So, it was a weekend we move in, and no power. Thankfully, Stacie's parents let us crash with them during all of this.

Oh it gets better. We decided to take the stress out of us, and not even worry about relying on friends and family to help us by hiring movers. Yes, I mean it does it get better. As I stated above, we were scheduled for the 21st of April to move in to our new place, and we still were. Just not the new place we originally planned on. So, a quick phone call to the movers to let them know we are still moving to the same complex, just a different unit. Not a problem on their part. However, there was a big problem they had which effected us in a bigger way as well. We had scheduled a move for 10am on Saturday, April 21st. Got a call from the movers that it would be about 3pm instead because their customer before us had a lot of stuff to move and they were way out west of us in Weatherford, Texas, which is 2 hours away (not sure on miles). Ok, not a problem. So, Stacie and I took what little items we could move and took them over to the new place, had lunch, sat around and waited, yady yady yady... Well, got a phone call again around 5pm saying that they were going to be much later, probably around 630. By then, we were so frustrated that we both had turns at letting the moving people know how mad we were. Long story short, about the previous customer before us, well, apparently they had more stuff to move than what they led the movers on to thinking they had.

Finally, after cooling off, and by then laughing at this whole situation, Stacie told the movers to just come by on Sunday morning instead. By then it would've too late in the evening for them to come out, and since we had no power established yet, it would've been a safety hazzard for the movers. So, Sunday morning came, and everything FINALLY came together as planned for once during this whole move. Movers showed up at our old place, loaded the truck up with all we had, followed us over to the new place, and unloaded everything in 2 hours flat. It was like a flash before our eyes at how fast these dudes worked, and I quickly apologized for my aggression towards them. They understood, so they sympathized by knocking a little bit off the price for their troubles they caused us.

Here's an aerial floor plan of our new place. This pretty much describes how we have everything set up.

Here's the first thing you see when you open the door. I'm stoked because I have never lived in a place before that had stairs. Probably my favorite feature of this apt.

To the left of the stairs is the living room. It looked small at first, but once it was filled up with our stuff, it looked bigger for some reason.

The Kitchen. We love the look of our appliances from the stove, fridge, and microwave. We're going with the more moderate, contemporary look.

As you first walk upstairs into our bedroom. This was before we put anything in it. Trust me when I say this, but it's huge!!

Our cozy little corner section of the room with a place to sit or lay on. It's actually big enough for the dog to jump up there and sleep if she ever wanted to.

I won't spare anymore details about the rest of the room. All there is, is just the tiny closet and tiny bathroom. Nothing much to it.

I've never lived somewhere that accommodated pets like this. This little dog park has a small creek bed that is ran by a water fountain that the dogs can actually drink from. Plus there's a poop station, so you can pick up after them if they have to go. Corkie likes it so far.

So far, in the passed couple of weeks since we've lived here, we've been very pleased with our new choice of residence. Corkie likes not only the dog park, but she like the stairs as well. In fact, the first night, she got herself a good workout by going up and down them I don't know how many times. Last weekend, our dear friends Bill and Lynn Parker gave us our first house warming present. As most of you know that follow my blogs, know that I am  a runner. I run when I can. Sometimes, when I need to run, the weather has a disadvantage, so I resolve to using a treadmill if I can ever use on. Well, luck would have it, The Parker's blessed us with that very same thing. Granted, I'm more of an outdoor fan and like my hills and change of scenery, but sometimes a treadmill is the best solution. So far I've ran a few miles on it here and there, and appreciate having it. Thanks, Parker's

Our house warming gift. I plan to use it quite extensively in the future

For the most part, we're settling in quite well. Our plan is to stick it out here for 3 or 4 years. Basically, however long it takes for Stacie to finish school, and when we are ready to purchase our first mortgage. Oh the joys of moving. Till next time.

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