I'd talked to one rental agent last week on the phone and a couple on email, and the one I'd talked to on the phone seemed the most reasonable, and the company had clearly stated policies about deposits and pet policies and stuff (as opposed to another company, whose pet policy was "uh, we go talk to the owner and they tell us what they're going to charge for a pet deposit." Um, no. We might've come out better, but we might've come out much worse.) I went through company A's list of standalone houses in our price range near school, and we checked out the two today.
Place B sounded good on paper: 2 bedrooms, 1200 square feet, hardwood floors, gas heat. It ended up being scary. I wish we'd remember to take pictures. First of all, it was apparently freshly moved out, and hadn't been cleaned yet, and it smelled of Dog. Lots of Dog. The front hallway, which ran all the way down the house, was twice as big as normal. Jeff said he liked it; it reminded me of something out of an asylum horror movie. Dead center, it had one of those large, old-fashioned heating grates, the kind that melt your shoes if you stand on them too long (and that kitten legs could get caught in way too easily). The carpet was a disaster; it's going to have to be replaced. The front porch was exposed plywood, and wasn't in good shape. The rooms inside were definitely big - hence, the 1200 square feet - and there was a room that could have made a fake third bedroom, which was the only real plus. The only bathroom was accesible through one of the bedrooms, so that would have had to have been the office. The kitchen was an obvious add-on, shotgunned onto the back of the house, and it would have made me crazy. The whole place just felt kind of creepy. It felt like a bunch of stoner college kids had been living in it, juding from the cleanliness levels and the posters left on the walls. We both said that we wanted to like it, because under the mess there was a bunch of character, and it was a lot of space for the money. If we were buying it cheap as a fixer-upper, it would have been perfect, but for a rental, no dice.
So we went back in to the office and put in an application on place A.
- standalone house. no sharing walls with people. enough said. :)
- decent looking neighborhood. Well-maintained houses and lawns, maintained cars that don't financially outstrip the neighboorhood, quiet. No obvious crack house/meth lab next door, unlike the last place in the CD that we lived in in Seattle.
- decent square footage. I don't know the exact square footage, since it's not listed on their website and we forgot a measuring tape, but decent. Small, but not tiny.
- three bedrooms. Our room, office, and guest room/library/crafts room. It'd be nice to have a room for guests. Our guests have always been gracious about sleeping in the living room, but it'd be nice to have a space that's not in the middle of everything, for them and for us.
- decent sized bedrooms. nice closet space in two of them.
- front porch. Small, but servicable. I want rocking chairs.
- door on the shower. no shower curtains to get ganky.
- washer/dryer hookups. praise be and hallelujah.
- yard. clothes lines and a picnic table (that needs a little repair) in the back. gravel driveway, so Jeff can work on his car.
- 1 mile walk to the south end of campus.
- bigger kitchen than currently (not that that's hard). cabinet space in quantity. new fridge, new stove.
- lots of closet space in the hallway. attic for storage.
- central air (woot) and gas heat.
- lots of stuff within short driving distance
- no dishwasher. But I've lived with no DW, no W/D, both, and neither, and I'll take the W/D hookups. It just means that we have to be unlazy and keep up with the dishes, and well, I'm almost 30, I should be able to do that. We're lazy about them now, but with the DW to catch us up, it's easy to be.
- the "fenced in back yard" is a fence around the back yard, but is open to the front. Not a big deal, but a little odd.
- at the top end of what we wanted to spend on rent.
- not so much stuff, after cursory looking, within walking distance. there should be reasonable bus access, though.
As one list is much longer than the other, we went back and told the nice lady in the office that we wanted it. We should know something by Tuesday, though she reassured me several times on the phone and a couple of times today that the only thing they turn down for out of hand is drug/alcohol convictions or sex crimes, and otherwise it's just