i hate house-hunting

jared was offered a summer job teaching at KU, in addition to his teaching job next school year. so i guess it’s official: we will be in lawrence for another year.

& that means that i guess we should start looking for a bigger place. i love our current house. it’s cheap, the location can’t possibly be beat, our landlady is super-responsive & nice, all of our stuff is already here…but it’s a tight squeeze for two adults & a baby. especially a baby that is swiftly becoming a toddler.

i just hate looking for new places to live. especially in lawrence. rentals in lawrence seem strangely over-priced to me, & there’s a lot of the town where i wouldn’t really want to live because i would just feel trapped in the house all day, being so far from anything worth walking to. this is probably the primary way that lawrence is different from boston: almost all of boston is reasonably walkable. even when i lived way the fuck out in east somerville, practically on a highway overpass, it was a pretty nice walk to union square (which is even more enticing/gentrified now than it was when i lived there). i would even walk from my east somerville apartment to harvard square sometimes. i’m not saying it was a short walk. but it was a pleasant enough walk. there were sidewalks. that’s more than i can say for a lot of areas in lawrence.

i spent ramona’s entire nap this afternoon trolling through apartment listings on craig’s list. i wound up with five places that seemed possible. let’s break them down:

one is owned by a management company that we have previously rented from. we had a very bad experience with them & would never rent from them again. so we crossed that one off the list.

i left messages for two others & am still waiting to hear back. one in particular is very enticing. the photos are just darling, the rent is fairly reasonable, & it’s close to a fun park & playground that ramona would love, as well as the jogging/biking trail jared uses a lot!

i’ve set up a showing to see a fourth place tomorrow afternoon. i asked if the house was owned by an individual or a company, as i prefer to rent from individuals. they’re less likely to be slumlords. the owner wrote back, “individual…all applicants are subject to background/credit checks though!” okay, lady. slow your roll. i’m not trying to con you into inadvertently renting to an ex-felon with terrible credit. i replied that i simply prefer renting from individuals, & that our current landlady is our next-door neighbor & it’s been fabulous, but we’re looking for something a bit more spacious now that our baby is older. she replied, “maybe this isn’t tne best place for you, as their are outdoor stairs.” ??? she agreed to set up a showing anyway though.

& we’re going to see the fifth contender this evening. it’s in an intentional co-housing community. i feel kind of hopeful about it. it’s a really nice location, & it could be a great place for ramona to live. there are a lot of other kids in the community, & they even have a co-operative kids’ room, a playground, & a treehouse! they’re having a potluck tonight so we’re going to swing by to meet people & make sure we’re down with the whole “co-housing” scene. it could be pretty cool!

but we can also afford to be picky because we don’t really NEED to move. it would just be nice to have a little more space. like, say, a separate bedroom for ramona.

i wish looking for houses/apartments didn’t make me feel so weird. i look at the photos online & have this whole weird emotional journey, wondering what our lives would be like that in that space. if i like what i see, i find myself thinking, “this will be the place where it’s a joy to stand at the sink & wash dishes, & every year i will make ramona a birthday cake with buttercream frosting, & i will never find myself sitting around at 2pm, still unshowered & wearing pajamas. in short, this will be the house where i finally get my shit together.” & other houses make me despair (usually if they have electric stoves or baseboards for electric heat; i don’t know why i find those two things so depressing, but i do). even though i know, i KNOW, that a person’s physical environment or surroundings don’t determine a person’s personality. i found a great listing for a gorgeous house recently (sadly somewhat out of our price range) & was like, “look at the built-ins! imagine what we could do with that cunning little cupboard!” but i started to get really overwhelmed by the yard it had. i was like, “if i lived here, i’d have to maybe be into hanging around outside.” i’m not wild about going outside. i really don’t like bugs, & i hate wearing sunscreen. i don’t even like birds, that’s what a monster i am. even squirrels are kind of overwhelming sometimes.

& of course, it always falls to me to look for new places to live. oh well.

now that we know we’re staying put for a year, maybe i should think about renewing my pool pass. it expired in february & i didn’t renew it because i was like, “i don’t want to shell out if we’re just leaving town in may.” i am mainly writing this with the hope that speaking the intention out loud (or writing it on my blog) will make it so. alternatively, if we end up in this co-housing place, i could start doing yoga in the mornings. (which is something i did right before i got pregnant with ramona.) because they have on-site morning yoga.

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 “i hate house-hunting

  1. I feel you. In a few months, we’re moving from Alberta to Ontario (like 2000 miles away). I have to figure out where we’re going to live while writing my thesis and passing the bar exam and caring for my 7 month old. I’m feeling pretty sorry for myself. Thankfully, my parents used to live in the city we’re moving to, so we have some good contacts there who can even go check out places for us ahead of time. And new adventure! It will be great! But ugh, the moving process.

    1. i don’t really mind moving that much…i just don’t like house-hunting. i didn’t mind it so much in boston because things just didn’t seem as gross there. (or maybe i was less picky?) there are so many awful, overpriced places in lawrence. slumlords run this town. i suppose we could get something pretty nice if we had more money, but even $850 a month is a major stretch for us. we currently pay $550, so you can see why we’re not exactly champing at the bit to abandon ship. (wow, that was a very mixed metaphor. i’m just gonna leave it.)

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