The closest to Normal (Illinois) that I've ever been.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Not a renter's market

This has been a long weekend. We have to move out of our current house by May 8, and we have had little luck with finding a new place. We can afford a big, nice place, but oddly enough, although we have been looking since December, there is nothing big, nice and allowing kids and dogs. However, going into the weekend, we had two leads on available rentals.

House #1
It is tiny, near some questionable apartments, and the train tracks run directly behind the back yard. But it is within Sam's school district. There is a for rent sign on the lawn and we have been calling and calling for 4 weeks. The landlord calls us back about once a week and tells us that his wife will call us to set up an appointment to show us the house. And then she doesn't. Finally on Saturday we saw the house. It was reasonably clean but extremely small, with no closets at all and a leaky basement. The landlord's son who showed us the house denied that there was a leak, although I showed him where water was dripping out of an overhead pipe. The landlord said that he would drop an application in our mailbox on Saturday afternoon, but it is now Sunday night and no application has appeared. The house is so small, that even with our recently downsized possessions, we would have to get rid of or store half of our stuff.

The second house is in a quiet neighborhood, but is exactly one block outside of Sam's school district. We have the option of applying for a variance to allow Sam to continue at his school, but he would be ineligible for the bus, and we would have to drive him every day. On Saturday we were supposed to see the house, but the landlord forgot out appointment and we ended up standing around outside the house for 30 minutes for nothing. He called us back on Sunday, and we had to leave family swim early to meet him. The house is decent. The landlord is a nice guy who lives nearby and only owns the one rental. The house has a very odd layout, but is clean and larger than the first place. There was no basement or garage, so we would still have to out some of our stuff into storage.

And the winner... House #2. We sign the lease tomorrow. Sigh...


Beth said...

Sorry to hear that. I hope everything works out with Sam's school. There are a like a million rentals available here because of the condo-bust and piss poor housing market, but we're intent on buying.

Grandma Dorinda said...

Fantastic pictures!!! Congratulations on the house!