we found a house!

our long national nightmare is over. we got the fabulous little house i wrote about a few days ago! the landlady called me yesterday & started giggling, which was a sign that she wasn’t going to give us bad news. we went over & signed the lease. we move in on may 1!

our new house!

the funny this is that i was starting to get kind of aggravated with jared for being so particular about what he wanted in a new house or apartment. he had this epic list of qualities that he was reluctant to compromise on. the dream house would be a house all for us, so that we wouldn’t have to share walls with anyone. (in our current building, the guy downstairs occasionally plays blues music or the white stripes at earsplitting volumes. i walked into the living room one day & locked the door because it swings open on it’s own when it’s cold out & it’s not locked, & jared said, “did you lock the door to keep the blues from creeping up the stairs & getting us?”) he wanted each room to be its own discrete room–no open floor plans or galley kitchens. each room would also preferably have a door, so we can keep charlotte out of the bedroom & create “baby-free zones” once we have a baby (ie, one of us can shut themselves in a room while the other stays in another room with the baby). he wanted a large kitchen with plenty of cabinet space, counter space, & room for our kitchen table & chairs. i had my heart set on a bathtub, & was really hoping for a dishwasher (washing dishes is really difficult with my arthritis) & a free on-site washer & dryer (since we’ll doing lots of laundry when we have a baby). we wanted hardwood floor, high ceilings, permission to paint, good light, a location walkable to both downtown lawrence & KU, a private outdoor area (like a porch or deck), storm windows, air conditioning, plenty of storage, a gas stove, & built-in shelving if at all possible. we wanted enough space that we could create a bedroom for the baby if we’re still in lawrence when the baby is old enough to stop co-sleeping. jared wanted somewhere safe to keep his bike. no weird moldy smells, no squishy floors, no crazypants ladlords or fascist management companies. & we wanted all of this for as little money as possible (under $650, preferably).

back when jared & i first moved in together, i honestly thought jared was maybe dragging his feet on the project because he had such an exhaustive list of things he wanted in an apartment. two bedrooms (to use one as an office), doors on every room, no open floor plans, wood floors, close to the train he had to take to work, high ceilings, permission to paint, top floor in any shared building, good light, old house charm, $1200 or less (which is dirt cheap by boston standards), etc etc. we kept looking at places that didn’t quite fit the bill. their kitchens were too small or they had carpeting or they were too far away from the train. then i saw the craig’s list ad for the place we actually wound up getting & i almost didn’t respond because i thought it was a scam. $1000 for two bedrooms mere blocks away from jared’s train? a third-floor apartment with a gas stove, no deposits for pets, & huge windows everywhere? what’s the catch?

well, the catch ended up being that we lived in east somerville, which is close to the train & public transportation to lots of cool places around town, but isn’t all that walkable to cool places. it was walkable to union square, but union square is kind of a dud, in my opinion. plus we got robbed that one time. but other than that, it was a great place, we compromised on nothing, & i had to give jared credit for not settling until we found the right place.

the same thing happened this time around. somehow, magically, our new house has every single dream characteristic we wanted. it does not have central air, but it does have plenty of window units. it’s not a two-bedroom, but the living room is large enough that we could convert half of it into a bedroom (it even has a door already built in that could aid in that endeavor). other than that, it is PERFECT. i really don’t know how we got so lucky. we looked at…i don’t know…thirty apartments? the place we got was not only far away the BEST place we saw, but it’s also the least expensive. every place else we saw had a galley kitchen or carpeting or acoustic ceiling tiles or was near a noisy bar or too far away from downtown or too small or charged all kinds of extra fees for pets or had rotting foundations or smelled moldy or SOMETHING. & this place has other amenities we didn’t even know we wanted, like being set in the middle of the landlady’s huge, beautiful garden. it’s at 8th st. & rhode island, which is literally two blocks from downtown. i’m sure we’ll stumble across some mysterious downside once we move in, but i don’t know what it could be. well, aside from the fact that the rafters in the basement are really low. i’m only 5’5″ & they almost brush my head. jared is almost 6 feet tall & he has to duck a little to stand in the basement. & the rafters are COVERED in spiderwebs. they look like they were sprayed on as halloween decorations. but they’re real. & they’re EVERYWHERE. the landlady said she’d vacuum them out before we move in, but…it’s not like whatever spiders are down there won’t just build more. i actually had trouble sleeping last night, thinking about going down there to run laundry & spiders dropping down my shirt or something.

but that’s lawrence, i guess. the whole town is something of a spider factory.

so yay! now we just need to find a three-month subletter to see out the end of the lease on our current place. i know i’ve talked a lot of smack on the landlord, but the place is nicely priced for all the space you get, it has central air which works really well, & we probably would have just stayed put if we hadn’t found this dream house & the landlord hadn’t been a dick about the whole bathroom door situation. don’t you want to live here?

the living room windows
a partial view of the bedroom
the bonus room that i use as an office
another angle on the living room (which is huge)
the kitchen

Published by Ciara

Ciara Xyerra wrote zines for the better part of two decades. She has a brilliant & adorable preschooler named Ramona & sews as much as she possibly can. She lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her boyfriend. She enjoys catching up on "The New Yorker", meatball subs, keeping it cranky, intersectional post-third wave feminism, dinosaurs, & monsters. If you have nothing nice to say, she recommends that you come sit here by her, so you can say not-nice things together.

2 thoughts on “we found a house!

  1. Yay! Hope you find a subletter so that’s taken care of. Your place looks really cute, and Lawrence prices seem cheap to me. We just moved out of an old worn two bedroom that cost $600. Then again, when I was in college in Idaho, my two bedroom cost $530 back in 2002.

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