Tuesday, June 9, 2015

The Place I Call Home

Our living room (the only room that doesn't have boxes lying around)

When our lease on our old apartment was coming to an end, Kevin and I started looking for a new apartment complex. We really wanted to buy a house, but that didn’t work out – and probably won’t work out for another two years or so (but I’ll save that for another post). I thought I found a perfect apartment complex for us, but it was a little farther out in the burbs and farther from our offices.  Read = Traffic would be an absolute nightmare.

At the time, I thought that’s the only area we could afford since Houston rent is going crazy. The pictures online made the place look amazing: granite counters, hardwood floors, and even a little fenced in front yard for the dogs. The problem? When we went to tour the apartment, we found out that only certain units had the updated kitchen and floors (ours wouldn’t). Our unit would have the regular, older countertops. Which is fine. I’m not picky. But for the price they wanted, I was sure we could find an updated apartment. Kevin hated that complex anyway.

Luckily, we started looking closer into town and by our offices – even though we thought there was no way we could afford it. I’m not sure where we got that perception from. Maybe it’s because the area is becoming increasingly popular and is known for all the huge companies that line the street.

We spent an entire Saturday going from apartment complex to apartment complex, probably seeing about 15 of them within a few hours.  Some were way out of our budget. Others were way, way, way out of our budget. Then there were the older, but renovated, complexes that were within our budget.  Yay!

We went down the entire street; we saved notes from each complex. We compared. We crossed some off our list. We loved some and hated others.  It was actually going pretty well and stress-free.

The apartment we currently live in was the last apartment we saw.  We left that complex like the others (with notes and a brochure). We noticed it was a nice apartment. I loved the open floor plan and that it was a first floor unit. I loved that it came with a washer and a dryer, and that the kitchen was updated in 2010.

We still had other apartments to see, but when we were on our way the leasing agent called us. She said she would waive a dog deposit ($250) and also knock off ~$50 from the rent price each month. We knew we probably wouldn’t find another apartment in that price range for that nice of a place, so we went back, wrote the complex a check, and signed the lease.

It wasn’t until I was unpacking boxes in the kitchen that I realized something. There wasn’t a pantry.

Then I realized other odd things – the kitchen is pretty small. So small that you can’t open some of the drawers all the way because they hit other drawer handles/appliances. The same thing in the bathroom. I can’t open one of the drawers without closing the bathroom door.

I don’t mind that it’s a small space. But that was kind of annoying. (I’ve learned to just deal with it for now.)

Kevin likes to be organized. When he started unpacking things he realized there wasn’t a coat closet in the living room. Then we realized the only closet in the unit was the small master bedroom closet.

Our last apartment not only had a pantry, but also a walk-in master closet in the bedroom, a coat closet in the living room, and a linen closet in the bathroom.

Space is very limited. We have boxes on top of our kitchen cabinets. We have boxes on the floor in the small dining area. We have boxes on top of my bookshelf. We have unpacked boxes in our bedroom stacked against a wall.

We are running out of space and we’ve only lived here since March.

The moral of my story is – don’t exhaust yourself looking at places to live. Kevin & I saw so many apartments that day that it was hard to remember what apartment had what.

I don’t want to come off as negative and that I hate my home. Because I don’t. This apartment is much better than the last one, but in different ways. Sure, we lost a lot of storage space. But what did we gain? Closer to work. Closer to our families and friends. Wood floors. A patio for the dogs. Oh, and we’re on the first floor.

Not having to walk the dogs down three flights of stairs multiple times a day is amazing. That alone is worth losing closet space.

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