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We’re Here! Have a home for us?

Very good news: Sandy has been called as the pastor for a church in San Francisco.  They are happy and we are happy… more news on that front later!

Obviously we are meant to be in the Bay Area. Now we just need a place to live…

Sandy is back in Florida finishing up the household-move stuff and getting the house ready to rent (good timing–the legislature is coming in and our home is prime territory for a rental to this crowd) so I am scouring Craigslist, driving to prospective homes, digging around in Google, etc.

We are going to rent (and rent out our house in Florida). We can either live in the City (as San Francisco is known in these parts) or in the East Bay. If we do the former, we need to be close enough to the major freeways that I can get to Oakland reasonably easily. If we live in the East Bay, we need to be within a short drive of a BART station with good parking, as Sandy’s new church is very close to MUNI and she’d like the option to not have to drive every day. (Public transit to my library is really not an option.)

We want a comfy place in between dinky and plush… enough space so we are not in each other’s stuff all the time, nice enough to have parishioners and friends over without feeling apologetic. We don’t need an enormous amount of square footage, but we are used to having our own home offices (the gold star in that department was my separate garden office in our rental in Palo Alto, though I did miss the cats, who gazed at me longingly all day from the living room).  We obviously need parking; we don’t really want either of us to come home from a long meeting and then circle and circle the block. We are also post-laundromat. Laundry in the building, fine.

Right now is a very good time to be renting, but at that, apartments/homes aren’t falling off trees.  We can always rent a sketchy 2-bedroom third-floor walk-up with no parking, dirty cream-colored carpeting,  an electric range, and a laundromat down the street… those are plentiful and affordable. But I’d like to do better. There is very brisk competition for the nicer homes, particularly those homes that are on the rental market primarily because the owners want to relocate and don’t want (or need) to sell right now.

I feel very whiny when I see these nice homes… like a kid asking for a puppy… “We’re really nice people, and our cats are well-behaved, and we would take really really REALLY good care of your home! Pick US!!” I find myself writing back to these owners to tell them why we are such a good choice.  I am good with roses and bedding flowers! We would cherish your lovely gas range! Our cats have long passed the “vomit at will” stage! We are homeowners who would love and care for your home the way we want our home cared for!  “That’s a particularly nice dishwasher, Mrs. Cleaver!”

I have yet to be rejected (we started our search Sunday afternoon, while Sandy was in town) but I know the first time we’re not picked for Our Dream Rental I’m going to feel crushed, and will have a sleepless night of personal reassessment. (Is it my hair, which is getting wild and shaggy? Maybe my coat is too casual? Am I projecting weirdness or personal disorganization? Did I appear insincere, or too interested in the owner’s dog?)

Anyway, if you know of a place–for example, a 2-bedroom-“plus” apartment, with a gas range and laundry on site, or a house someone wants to rent for a year or two while the market gets better–well, for heaven’s sake Pick MEEEEEE and drop me a note! (The fact that I am staying in a sketchy one-month rental without heat–yes, you read that right, the “heat” is one cheesy space heater–and with questionable electricity and a strange funky odor that is either old food or a corpse moldering in the room below mine makes me a Highly Motivated Tenant who would sign a lease Right Now.)

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