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Moving on…and updates

June 23, 2008

So, I guess we are moving after all.

A strange convergence of events:

Weds. night, everything was set to go at our current residence. The bf’s stuff was due to arrive by end of week. I had talked to both the new roomies and landlord. Everything was a-ok.

Thursday night, we decided to move out.

Back in Feb, when me and the roomies all decided to go our separate ways (C for personal reasons/wants to understandably live alone. R will be attending B-school across the bridge), I contacted the current landlord informing him that C&R were planning on moving out, and that I would like to stay given I could find roomies to occupy the bottom flat. I asked him what he needed from me and if that was ok. He said all he needed was their contact info. Given that we already had 1-2 rotation of roomies, and given that this was all that he needed, I didnt question it.

From Feb to April we had 2 couples that were *this close* to moving in, but flaked. When I returned from DC after my in-between jobs break, I resumed the search. At the same time, the bf and I discussed living alone as a very viable option. I really really wanted this because I really wanted to live alone, and just worry about myself. We talked ourselves out of it and, instead we found 2 more couples that would work. We went with one of them–the decision based solely on my somewhat feeling sorry for them (lesson learned: be wary of taking pity on strangers) bc they seemed like a couple that really liked the place and probably couldnt afford much more.

Because the landlord didn’t indicate otherwise, I created a sublease for the new tenants and for me and the bf. It was something we purchased from the internet, so it was legal and local to the state of CA. They signed the lease, paid the deposit, and we agreed on the move-in date. I notified the landlord that we had found roomies, and that the bf would also probably move in as well (at the time, the bf did not have a job nailed down, so it was a big maybe).

Meanwhile, months pass, and Im trying to hurry along the process with the current roomies to make sure that everything is ready for the new couple to move in. Again, lesson learned: should have given more consideration to roomies and less to new tenants.  We agree on a move out date and a clean up date, etc.

Then, last week, I receive an email from the landlord stating that he wants us to sign a new lease. This came totally out of the blue, altho I guess I should have figured it would happen. The new lease is really not much different than the subleease, except that we included bills in part of the rent in our sublease, and obviously this was not the case for the lease given by the landlord. The landlord and I had numerous calls and emails to hash this out. Another of the discrepancies is that the sublease agreement between me and the tenants was for 6 months, as I was currently month-to-month on my old lease, having lived here for 3 years. With the new lease, I woudl have to start over with a 12 month lease, locking me in with the roomies. At the time we were having these discussions, the landlord asked me about the new roomis, I told them that I had met them via craigslist, that they seemed like mellow, quiet, responsible people–and that is all I was really looking for as I was planning on occupying the top floor and they the bottom.

Thursday night, it all came to a head. We called the new tenants to let them know that the landlord wanted them to sign a new lease, and that the new lease would nullify the old one. This is when I knew things weren’t going to work–they started making excuses and said they didnt want to sign the new lease bc the sublease was a binding document. Then they asked to speak to the landlord and then also to sign the new lease in front of the landlord (???) I called the landlord and let him know the situation, and the landlord agreed that he would talk to them and let them know the situation.

30 minutes later, I received a call from the landlord and he is freaking out. I have no idea what the new tenants told him, but I have an inkling that they had cold feet, saw this as an opportunity, and then worked the landlord into a tizzy (not hard to do, the landlord is a very flustered and socially awkward person). Ultimately, it was decided that the best thing to do was to sever the relationship on all sides, since it was clearly not working, and that everything had gone to shit.

When the decision was finally made, I actually felt more extreme relief than I did panic, surprise, or anything else. I was glad that, in the most fucked up of ways, the end result was that everyone moved out at the same time –alleviating my paranoia that I would be left with all extraneous crap that nobody wanted. Now we would not only get a clean break, but now the bf and I would be able to start fresh/start new chapter in lives/whatever on our own terms.

I stayed up all Thursday night thinking about the situation, rereading old emails, and wondering what I did to fuck it up. I’ve concluded that, while I was definitely a participant in the big mess (another lesson learned: never be the middle man, and cheap rent is cheap rent for a reason–you don’t ever get anything for free, and in this case, it was definitely not worth the hassle), I still believe that the 3 different communication styles just did not work together. Bottom line–better to end things now then get into a situation we couldn’t get out of later.

The unfortunate thing about this arrangement is that as of Fri, we had approx 10 days to find an apartment, sign a lease, move in, clean up. We spent what was left of Thursday night looking up every place we could, thinking of every scenario (possibly moving out of the city) we could, and then thinking of multiple backup plans. While all of this was really stressful, I kind of wasn’t worried (rare for me). I guess the anticipation is always worse than the reality. Worst case scenario would be we move our stuff to storage, and live in a hotel. Not ideal, but doable. Knowing that was the worst that could happen, made it all seem somewhat ok.

Friday morning, C told the bf that her new landlord had just called–the old tenants were deciding to stay and she didnt need to bother with signing the lease later that afternoon. W.T.F.

On Friday evening, we looked at several places–all of them were ok. Not perfect, but I had no problem living there either. On our way home from apt viewing, we stopped by a house we were planning on seeing on Sat–the moment I saw the house, I knew I wanted to live there. Again, I stayed up all night thinking about that house, hoping that it wasn’t totally fucked up and trashed on the inside.

Saturday, we viewed an amazing loft in Protrero. The landlord was an eccentric, quirky, funny lady who told us that we had the place if we wanted it. The only problem, however, was that the move in date was most likely July 15. Even still, we considered it–the loft was probably the biggest and best Ive ever seen in this area, and while at the upper end of what we wanted to pay, it was totally doable as well.

But it was the house in Glen Park, the one we drove by the night before, that stole the show. We arrived early, like 2 Asians attending a garage sale, just to make sure we could get first glance…and it was perfect. (I should say this–a lot of people would not find this house perfect at all–it is old, quirky, and only moderately updated. These are things I love, but I can see other people not liking). Not only do I love older, simpler houses, but I also love the Glen Park area, and have always wanted to live there. This house is located just a couple blocks from the BART, a couple blocks from the “downtown” area with all the shops and restaurants, and another couple blocks from my much beloved Glen Park Canyon. It is also close to the highway for the bf who plans on commuting until I can talk some sense in him to take public transportation.

Built in 1911, on top of a hill (after entering a white gate, you walk up the steps to the house. the front yard is shielded from the street by some shrubs and trees), it is one of the older, yet more modest houses in the area, and if I were to describe it, I would say it could be classified as Grandma’s Shabby Chic Cottage. Originally, there were only 3 rooms built, but over time, there came to be an extension at the back for the kitchen and bathroom and on the side for closet space. Theres a basement (weird) and a small rec room that is accessible by a private door (also weird–it looks like an Italian grotto/Danny’s room in there). But most spectacular is the garden, which has existed for who knows how long, and has been growing and cultivating for I guess 90+ years. The garden stretches from the front, along the side of the house, and to the back, and is completely enclosed and private, just like the house.

So many people showed up at the open house, all filling out applications, that I started to doubt that we woudl get the place. We had 2 cats after all. Plus, I was afraid that my landlord was pissed at me, and would talk shit to the new potential landlord when she did reference checks.

Long story short, the landlady called later that afternoon and let us know that we were her top picks, and providing that everything checked out w/the previous residences and employers, and the check cleared, we would get the keys this week. She also said she would give us a discount since the steps to the front porch were being repaired. Today, if everything works out, I’ll be signing over a deposit, and then meeting with her later in the week to sign the lease. Once that happens, we are free to move in.

I’m still waiting for it all to be finalized, but unlike the previous situation with the new roomies moving into my old house, I have a good feeling that things *will* work out. And I guess, in a very strange, coincidental (and fucked up) way, Life pushed me into the better direction then the one I was previously heading.

So, fingers crossed this all goes through.

I’ll post pix of the house if/when we move in.

Our first weekend *together* — NG and I were planning on packing. Instead we watched 2 movies (Narnia=ok, Indiana Jones=boring), and ate a lot of take out. We also looked at a shitload of apartments since the decision to move out was made Thursday evening of last week.

We also attended our first concert together (this series of “firsts” is going to be annoying…kind of like baby’s first xmas)–Death Cab for Cutie. Yes, I know, how trendy. But whatever, I’ve liked them since before the stupid Garden State album came out and all the bands like them started to become popular. It was a good concert, and Im usually very impatient when it comes to listening to music.

Other than that, we are waiting to hear back from our hopefully soon-to-be landlord regarding the place we found. Im a bit nervous about the whole thing. Given the way everything went down, I’m gun shy that this might fall apart too. We have several back up options, but right now, we are really invested in this new house, from a time perspective.

As for me and NG – so far, so good. It’s not anything different than when we would see each other for weeks at a time when we were doing LDR, but there are times, when I stop to overanalyze the situation, that I start to become overwhelmed. I’m guessing that is normal, though.

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