I have yet to get around to writing my goals for 2014 (it’s not too late! I’m gonna do it!), but the biggest one is that Paul and I want to move to Austin, TX, where we will live fabulous, indie-hipster lives. Or maybe we’ll just be ourselves but in a new city. At any rate, we had settled on moving this summer because my current lease is up at the end of July. Plus moving in the summer would put us in Austin before the fall semester starts, which seems ideal for finding new tutoring students.
The move is something that we weren’t thinking about too much until recently. I just had no room in my brain for anything more than the essentials. Once my sister was married and off on her honeymoon, I felt free to focus on the next task, which was to find housing for three of us in Austin.
(Three of us, you ask? Why, yes, indeed! I already had an Austin roommate, my friend Courtney. Paul had other plans in Austin, but when they fell through, we decided that we’d try to get a home for three, with the caveat that every person would have his or her own bedroom. Private spaces are important.)
The challenge of finding housing in Austin loomed large for me at the end of May. I won’t share the gory details with you (unless you want them, in which case let me know!), but suffice to say that I spent the better part of last Wednesday on the computer and the phone researching our options. Austin’s housing market moves frighteningly fast, according to our sources, so we decided to schedule our rental viewings the day before we arrived in Austin. There was no point in scheduling a visit to see a place that might be rented before we could see it, plus Paul and I aren’t moving for another two months. By the end of the day on Wednesday, I’d scheduled four visits, and we were ready to schedule more on the fly if we could.
We headed off to Austin on Thursday morning, joking that if we liked the first place, we’d apply for it and be done with our search.
We loved it.
Before we started our search, we decided on some basic wants: three bedrooms, two bathrooms (preferably full), and a location that wouldn’t make our lives hell as we commute to work and around the city for fun times. (Austin traffic is notoriously bad; we caught some of that as we drove around on Thursday and Friday.) We had other wishes, too, of course—I wanted Paul to have space for all his work and hobbies, I wanted a kitchen that would let two of us cook (Courtney and I both love to cook and feed people), and we wanted a space that we all liked, of course. The first place we saw had all of these perks and more—there are trees and green space right outside our front door, it seems quiet, there are two and a half(!) bathrooms, and the space feels homey yet big enough to be comfortable for three adults, two of whom will be working at home (at least some of the time).
After touring the first home, we went to lunch and unanimously decided to put in an application. Even before we put in our application, we were getting good news to add to our good feeling about this place: the owner said that Lucy the cat was acceptable. Paul loved that the owner only has one house that he’s renting out, so we were dealing with someone who probably cared a great deal about the condition of this place.
Nervously, we filled out our applications, unsure if our collective income level would be deemed acceptable. I was probably the most nervous about this part: even though I have savings and know that I can pay rent, my income is much lower than it’s been in years past. I know that the decision to freelance as a tutor and work part-time in a lab was the right one for me this year, yet I still wondered if I’d be punished for my choice by being denied a rental home that we loved.
Nevertheless, we completed our applications, breathed a temporary sigh of relief, and dropped off Courtney. Paul and I headed to our hotel room for some rest and some cool air.
The next day, we met up with Courtney and our friend Emily for pizza at Conan’s. We ordered vegetarian deep-dish pizzas and devoured them. With our pending application, I had canceled our other viewings, so we had a leisurely lunch and tried not to think about the news we wanted to hear.
When we planned this trip to Austin, Paul had suggested we make a little vacation out of it, so we were scheduled to drive from Austin to Lost Maples State Natural Area, about 3-4 hours outside of Austin. As we left Conan’s, Paul checked his e-mail and found a funny-sounding e-mail pertaining to our application, so he called our agent and left a message. When I checked my e-mail, I found messages that said first my application had been canceled and second the landlord had approved my application. Confused, we waited for our agent to call us back, and when he did, we found out…
…that the place was ours!
We sent excited text messages to Courtney and joyfully drove out of town, all the way to Lost Maples.
Stay tuned for our Lost Maples getaway…next time, friends!