I can proudly say that I have officially executed the first step on Habitation Master Plan, I have found a place to live. Now granted, that may not sound like a huge deal … then again, it maybe is a huge deal. Either way, it is a huge-er deal to me than you probably think it is.
For those of you who didn’t read the Habitation Master Plan (either because you don’t like me, or you are just plain lazy … cause that is the only reasons I can think of to ignore my brilliant blogs) what it really consists of is how I intend to settle into life in Southern California. Specifically, move into a rental for a few months as the first step – then find a ‘forever home’ to buy. Sounds simple enough, doesn’t it?
Well it wasn’t.
The problem was that most rentals in this area don’t allow dogs, and only a small minority of those allow ‘aggressive breed’ dogs that poor little Auggie the Doggie officially was categorized as. I can’t even exaggerate how isolating that situation made this search. Let me play this out by the numbers. Looking specifically at Pasadena, CA, and specifically in the area that lumps in Downtown – Hotpads (a ‘reputable’ apartment search site) shows there are currently 211 listings for available rentals. Of those, only 24 (or 11%) accepts dogs of any kind. And of those 24, only 1 would accept my dog. 1 Rental Property out of 211. I know that as a direct fact because I contacted each of those 24 properties that directly stated they accepted dogs personally. While some of those never returned my contact, it was only that one that did. Keep in mind, Hotpads is only one of a number of sites, I was checking Craigslist, Apartments dot com, Apartment Lists dot com, West Side Rentals, just to name a few. I had real estate agents working with me, help from title companies, and friends of friends. I even blew the cover on three apartment scammers who were trying to get people to submit their personal data for identity theft or to agree to rent a property that they didn’t own. I wasn’t just looking Pasadena, I was looking at Burbank, Glendale, North Hollywood, Eagle Rock, Arcadia, Altadena, and the Canada of the south, La Cañada.
The point I am trying to make is that finding a place to live was becoming an all consuming task. I was spending hours each day searching for available rentals. Contacting up to ten to fifteen locations a day. Every time asking the same questions. Every time getting the same shut downs. My options were so limited that I only got to the point of looking at available rentals at two places in the last month; neither of those working out.
A week ago, I was starting to believe I wouldn’t find anything at all.
That’s when I found two places.
Well, three actually. Maybe three and a twin.
I came across a house in Burbank. I didn’t like it, too expensive, right on a main street, cramped. But they would take me and the dog. So I started to draw up plans, but didn’t give up the search.
Then the condos came up. It started on a hint that one of the properties I was looking at was a possibility was another scam. The price was good, the place was good, the contact was iffy. It was in a condo block, so I did a search of other properties in the block and found that it’s neighbor was a rental open for a new renter too, if not for a little higher price. Playing a verification on both, I found both to be legit, and both willing to accept Auggie. Good news. Except it wasn’t perfect. No yard, condensed area, and still a little on the high side. Still,
But there came Manhattan, so named for the street it is on. I will tell you right now, if any of you see this place you won’t like it. It’s kinda dumpy looking, but then again … so am I. It’s a house that currently is under plans to have major renovations. The owner intends to take the main building and expand it, then take the garage and expand it – turning it into two rentals on one plot of land. The thing is, the permits aren’t ready. So he is renting it for six months, and maybe month-to-month afterwords. Which according to my Habitation Master Plan is perfect, right? It’s a house, small, but as much as I really need. Good location in Monrtose, a small older community that is literally less than 10 minutes from work. Most of all, big fenced back yard, with all the room for Auggie to run, be stupid, and poo. That … and great price too!
I got so excited about the place that within 24 hours of physically seeing this place, I was ready to sign a lease. It’s the mad rush to get myself set-up that I hadn’t even settled down to think what could go horribly wrong with the whole thing.
This is not like me. I analyze, over analyze, and regret. Not get excited and make an emotional decision. So it’s just odd. It’s like the post I did a while back about Everything’s Comin’ Up Milhouse; except this is on Manhattan.
As I sat in the agent’s office tonight signing the lease, the agent told me they were pretty happy I came along. Her words: “We’ve been waiting a long time for you.” And here I am. Ready to be no longer homeless.
I move in after the first of the month, pending when I can get movers to show up. By that time I can share with all who want to send fruit baskets and doggie goodies the address.