I found a gem (well more a diamond in the rough) in the city by complete fluke.
I went back down to the city today under the motivation of an email for a very understanding and friendly sounding man, who messaged to inform me that he had an apartment in the city available for rent that he believed would suit my needs perfectly. I was skeptical at first in light of my adventure the prior day, but the area looked perfect (I google earth everything! Seriously, I am addicted to google earth.I think it is becoming a real problem.) Thanks to the conveniences of modern technology I can easily google any address and view (in detail) the property and the area, moving around as if I am actually at the location. (Trust me it makes stalking people a whole lot less exhausting.. you should try it!)
The address he gave me belonged to a regal looking home, that had long ago been split into five separate apartments. The lawn was well-kept and the home itself was in excellent condition, as were all the homes I could view in the surrounding area. The street was a tree-lined “family” neighbourhood that resembled something you would see on television. The school was a 6 minute walk away, and the house was surrounded by parkland… It looked perfect!!
I was weary on the ride down there, great price, nice house, perfect neighbourhood, something must be wrong.. I have learned lately that when something seems too good to be true it usually is just that!! But the man insisted I at least come and have a look, and that if I like it, it’s mine. What did I have to lose????
So early this afternoon we piled the kids into the car and headed back to the city for a second time, secretly dreading the time we would waste if it was another roach infested crack-den like we had seen the prior morning. We left early to avoid the chance of being tied up in weekend traffic, and arrived in the area an hour before the scheduled meeting time, under Lee’s helpful guidance (Lee is the man who lives inside the GPS, for those of you who did not read my last post) We drove around the area and explored to pass the time, and I was ecstatic to discover that less than a 5 minute walk from the house was all the amenities a mother could require for her day-to-day needs. A grocery store, a bank, a drugstore, a doctor, and many other little shops we easily accessible and would come in quite handy so close to home. The area itself was well-kept, for the most part, and was far from the run-down drug haven I have fearfully imagined in my mind.
When it came time to meet the landlord though my nerves started acting up, I was physically scared to see the inside of this apartment after the trauma from the day before…. It’s sad really, how one horrible apartment could turn me off an entire city!
We pulled up in front of the address and were greeted by a very well dressed, older, professional looking italian man. He greeted us with a friendly smile, and I liked him immediately.
Now before I get on with my story you have to understand that I am the spontaneous type. I have a tendency to do things on a whim without putting much thought into the process. I once up and moved across the country, basically out of boredom….
Anyway… We entered the house/apartment building through the front door and climbed a small flight of stairs to our apartment door, Apartment 1A was scrawled neatly across the door, but this time the door was not a damaged, mutilated, metal barrier that falsely ensured the ‘bad guys’ would be kept safely on the other side. No, it was a plain, run of the mill white wooden door with peep-hole, and a modest handle lock. (A big difference from the prison like locks and chains we had observed in the other units we viewed.) Though the lock was unobtrusive, the entrance felt safe, and I was sure that nothing larger was going to be required for protection. (I guess the fact that anyone who dared to disregard this lock would be met by my oversized rottweiler helped ease my safety fears)
Inside the apartment was clean (for the most part) and had been freshly painted. You entered into a small foyer and were greeted by an average sized front hall closet. (this is a big plus for me as I have been living sans storage space for the better part of the last year) Directly to the left was a fair-sized bedroom that would easily house both the children and their toys. It had a simple closet, and a large window, with good light fixtures and clean walls. In the room was a large piece of furniture that appeared to be a desk of some sort, the landlord explained that the man who had lived here had just up and moved out one day leaving a few items behind. I couldn’t complain, for the price I would gladly dispose of any left over belongings (and thankfully there were not many) Straight ahead from the front entrance was a reasonable sized livingroom area that held a real wood burning fire-place (I was very excited by this, there is nothing better than a roaring fire and a glass of wine on a cold night.) There were 3 large windows and plenty of natural light. This room also had a small closet for storage, and enough space for a nice couch and our reading chairs. I was impressed so far and continued my tour. There was a linen closet in the hallway and a fire escape through the back. The kitchen (although it needed a thorough cleaning, and a coat of paint) was a good size and had two windows and plenty of counter space. I was content to imagine myself preparing meals for my family in the cosy space it provided. The appliances were newer and in working order, so with a cleaning and some air it would be a useable space. Across from the kitchen was another large bedroom with a small ‘nook’ like area at the entrance that was perfect for placing a small dresser or shelf of some kind. It was bright, clean and rather large. The only complaint I could come up with was that the apartments only washroom was reached only through this bedroom, but seeing as the bf and I are very private people who do not encourage many visitors, I figured we could make it work. The bathroom itself could use a makeover, but it was again a clean and useable space with a big window, toilet, sink and shower stall (the baby will take some getting used to not having a bath tub but I am sure she will manage just fine.)
After wandering through the entire apartment and inspecting every little nook and cranny, I returned to the livingroom to speak to the landlord. He asked me what I thought of the space, and told me a bit about the area. I told him that I loved it (which I did) and he told me he could give me a key today and a months free rent…..
OK, maybe I started this search out of pure curiosity, perhaps I never ‘truly’ intended to move to the city, but with a deal like this on such a great unit, in such a great area, how could I go wrong???? The more I thought about it (and I did think about it) the more it seemed like a sign! Now I know what your thinking “Oh great! Here we go, now she is going to go off about signs from God, etc…” but no, I really mean it, maybe not from God, but a chance anyway. I have not been overly happy with my life in general the last few years and the only thing tying me to the town I live in is my family and friends. People I love dearly, but even with them living within walking distance, they are people I rarely see. I can not seem to find a good job in this town, and every time we get ahead, we somehow fall behind. My friends and family would still be my friends and family no matter where I went in the world, and with it only being an hour away there would ample opportunity for visits….. There were more jobs in the city, more things to do, and just more opportunity in general!
So, I paid the man his last moths rent and he handed me a key!!!! Yes, I got an apartment on the spot, for next to nothing!!!! He explained that the rush was due to the fact that he was heading for cuba the next day for a much-needed vacation, and that he felt the space was perfect for our family the minute he had read what I wrote about the awful apartments I had seen and the credit issues we were having….
Maybe it was all very fast, but I am so thankful that this man took the time to message me and insisted I see this space. I truly think that this was some kind of karma or fate, and I could not have asked for a better outcome…..
But, I suppose this means I should start packing???? Now That’s a whole other adventure in itself!!!
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