Sunday, March 27, 2011

Moving back to Portland

I can now reveal the project we have been working on for the last 2 months.  Mike has resigned from his old job, gotten a new job in Portland, and we have signed a lease on a rental house and are moving back in the next week or so.  He started the job a couple weeks ago, and since it starts with 12 weeks of training, the schedule is quite demanding at the moment.  As soon as he got the job, we immediately called off the home-buying search and started on a rental search.  He has basically been living in Portland with a friend for the last couple of weeks.  Since we do not want to live apart for very long, this meant that buying a house was off the table for now.  It will take a long time to find one (time we no longer have due to the work schedule), and then our mortgage broker advised us that with our type of loan we should expect a 60-90 day escrow period.

I remembered that the last time we moved to Portland, we came up to the area and gave ourselves a single day to secure a rental.  The rental market has changed since then...evidently due to all the foreclosures and people hesitant to buy homes, the rental market is hot right now, which was kind of bad for us...great if you're a landlord!  Every time we found something advertised that was the right size and in our price range, we'd find that it had been rented already or that we were the 20th applicant.  This happened over and over again, and we realized that we'd have to use the same strategy as before, only start earlier in the morning!

In spite of the difficulty in finding something appropriate, I used the power of positive thinking and simply believed that we were going to find something in our price range.  I had this vision of myself telling my sister that we'd found a kick-ass house to live in and that it was across the street from Starbucks.  The vision was so clear that I believed it was going to happen with all my heart.

Mike and I picked a day that we could both be in Portland.  The night before I was to leave for Portland, we still had no leads on a house, and I'd had to reluctantly make an appointment to view an apartment.  I started to have some doubts, but I remembered my vision and it was just as clear as ever, so I did not abandon it.

I got up at 7am and drove Libby and me up while Mike got on the phone and started calling about listings that had just posted minutes before.  He called me at 9:30 and said he'd found us a kick-ass house to rent and that he'd made an appointment to view it and already made friends with the landlord.

We went to see it that afternoon, and it was clear that the landlords had already decided that it was ours.  It seemed they had made no other appointments with prospective tenants.  They said they were surprised at the response to their ad; their phone was ringing off the hook; but that we were the first callers so we got the appointment.  I said, "We planned it that way," and I'm pretty sure they thought I was kidding or something.  The house is big and relatively new construction, only 6 years old, I think they said.  So it's really clean.  It's an easy commute to Mike's new job, and it was the price we wanted to pay.  I'm sure the landlords could have gotten more money for it, so it was quite lucky that we developed the strategy that we did.  I'm not surprised at all about the response they received to their ad.

Even though they had to run a credit check and couldn't get back to us until the next day, we insisted on leaving them a check for the first month's rent and security deposit, to show our good faith intentions.  They called the next day to say the place was ours.

It has a single car garage.  When you walk in to the house, it opens to a small entry way, and then there is a long hallway that is the full length of the garage.  The living space is at the back of the ground floor.  It is kind of small, in my opinion, and the floor plan could not be more open.  There are no walls whatsoever!  Other than the 3 walls that are the house's exterior walls.  So the living space is a square, with kitchen counters forming an L-shape in the back corner.  With no other walls, even the kitchen is open to the living room.  There is a very small kitchen island that floats in the room, but it does nothing to close off the kitchen at all. 

In spite of our opposition to open floor plans, I think we can keep this space relatively nice-looking instead of crazy-looking, and that is because there are 3 bedrooms upstairs and they are very large.  We will use one as an office most of the time except when it is being used as a guest room.  I think we can keep most of our "stuff" out of sight in the office and garage, leaving minimal clutter in the living space.

It's not across from a Starbucks.

We're excited to move.  With the distance, and our schedules, and living apart, the actual packing and moving pose a small challenge, but we're up to it, since we really want to go!

Mike's job had over 300 applicants, 20 interviews, and only 2 hires.  We're very proud of him!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your patience, organizational skills, faith, and drive made the move a success. We're going to be working out the kinks for a few months to come, but we'll be ready for Mae when she shows up.

I love you babycakes, more than ever.


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