Our House Is a Very Very Very Fine House

When Matt was officially offered the job at Stanford, I had three immediate thoughts:

A. I'm so proud of him for taking this huge step in his career;
2. I can't believe we have to leave our friends on Long Island; and
D. How are we ever going to find a home in the highest housing market in the U.S.

But, we looked at our finances and talked to some people.  Amazingly, we could afford a few things.  Granted, they weren't beautiful things, but with some work and effort (aka more $$), they would be livable.  And then we began to talk to some more people. And more people.  We looked at our life and realized we had some big decisions to make.  For variety of reasons, it became apparent that now wasn't the right time for us to buy.

This was heart-breaking to me.  We've wanted our "own" place for awhile now, and with Baby Franck on the way it seems like the perfect time to plant some roots.  Hopefully our next move will be a bit more permanent and we can finally set-up shop.

So, we started looking at possible rentals this week.  We've been focusing so much on the cost of purchasing a house, we didn't have a clue about renting one.  While Matt was at work all week, I sorted through Craigslist depressed at how many places didn't want pets.  Don't they know how cute my dogs are??  I knew we needed either a place with a yard or super close to a park: I didn't want to spend my days with the baby cooped up in a house, needing to drive to get some grass.  We couldn't do a second story (or higher) apt or condo: can you imagine trying to get the baby, diaper bag, hand bag, and groceries up the stairs and down the hall?  And I really, really, REALLY wanted to be close to Stanford (aka: Palo Alto, aka: super cute and obnoxiously $$).  I could just see Matt running to/from work every morning and me loading Baby Franck into the jogger a few times a week and walking to campus to meet Matt for lunch.  They have wonderful shopping and beautiful parks, and my doctor is right down the street.  If we wanted to go to a game at night, we would just drive down the road, instead of commuting for 45 minutes in rush hour traffic.  That was the quality of life I wanted for me and Matt.  But as I looked at the available rentals in Palo Alto, it became very clear: it was way way WAY to expensive for us.

OK, fine. I regrouped and started searching outward from coveted Palo Alto.  I would occasionally find something that might work that was only a bit over our budget.  But it would be in a crummy area or be so ugly I would cry living there.  I would move the search further and further out, until I was suddenly considering places in downtown San Jose.  Hardly convenient for Matt; I feared he would never see his baby during the week (and for a dad who records sonograms, I knew he'd want to see the baby).  It would take an hour to get to my doctor; what in the world was I going to do if I went into labor and Matt was at work??  It was nearly impossible for me to walk the line of "affordable" and "decent quality of living".

And then pops up an ad on Craigslist:
  • Palo Alto guest cottage
  • 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom
  • Hardwoods
  • 1 Garage
  • Fenced in yard with an apple tree
  • Pets OK
  • Washer/Dryer included
  • Amazingly affordable- half the price of comparable places
I figured it must be a DOG of a place... fears of our St. James cottage came flooding back.  But I put in a call and scheduled a viewing.  Matt and I did a drive by but couldn't see it because it's so tucked away.  Mom's strolled by with babies, the UPS man was delivering packages via bike, and there was a great playground/park two blocks away.  We knew there had to be a catch, but decided to see the place anyway.

It was perfect.  We signed the lease today.

It's small (we estimate 900 square feet).  It's older.  I'm not crazy about the kitchen.  I would love larger closets/bathroom.  We don't have room for overnight guests.  But, the hardwoods are just what we wanted.  We can store lots of things in the garage.  The yard is perfect for a little play-set.  We have just enough room to set up a little play-area for the baby inside, too. The bedrooms are a decent size.  All of our favorite furniture will fit.  (I'm really, really excited to just get rid of things we don't need.  I'm tired of dragging our junk around the country.)  They are re-doing the pipes under the house (so no fears of a massive leak like last time) and the entire perimeter of the house is sealed (so no possible rat infestation like last time).  They're putting in new landscaping and a new parking area so I can be super close to the front door with the baby.  The entire place is getting professionally cleaned, inside and out. And as for guests: the hotel closest to us is the Four Seasons :)  For the price and livablity of the house and neighborhood, we got away with a steal of a deal.  Matt starts running to work in early January!

Oh- and they're painting baby's room this weekend :) 

Ashley, Kyle, and Baby Boy  – (December 19, 2009 at 11:10 PM)  

omg!!! i'm coming to visit!!! serioulsy- you're due in July right....i see no reason why we can't come see you- i mean, Kyle will HAVE to get over the fact that we will HAVE TO STAY AT THE FOUR SEASONS- are they baby friendly?? hehe

So so so thankful that y'all found a place! How wonderful it is when the RIGHT things just falls into your lap when you are most frustrated!!! Thank you Lord for teaching us to trust your TIMING!

Emily  – (December 20, 2009 at 11:57 AM)  

CONGRATS AMY! So happy for yall!

Kim  – (December 21, 2009 at 11:32 AM)  

That sounds amazing - can't wait to visit this spring!!

Ramsey  – (December 22, 2009 at 6:43 PM)  

What is wrong with this:

"I had 3 immediate thoughts:
D. "

:) It made me laugh

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