At last writing (June 5), we had a couple days before received a 60-day notice for us to leave the house. 😦 It was not good news. We were in no way ready to move. But we had to get ready. The landlord gave the reason that he wanted to renovate the property. That, at least, was in our favor. New landlords and property managers don’t look too kindly on people who have been evicted because of other reasons, and you know the landlord could have made up some reason.
We talked about what we wanted/needed. And I started looking around. It was easily 10+ years since I’d had to look for new lodging. The last place I’d had to seek was my little 1-bedroom cottage in Golden Hill. It sure seemed a lot easier back then.
But let’s take a moment to talk about my June San Diego Adventure Day. My mom had done the selection from my little glass jar, and the winner was a day in Coronado. I had taken June 19 off work. But when the day came, I had made other plans to do things (will divulge momentarily), and I didn’t feel like I would have the time I needed/wanted in Coronado. So I made my own executive decision and chose to just consider the things I had planned to be my SDAD. Here’s what I did.
During the morning, I probably looked at Craigslist, Zillow, Padmapper, and HotPads.com for the newest rentals. At that time, nothing was coming up as being available by August 1. When the afternoon rolled around, I made my way to my old ‘hood of Golden Hill to a great little coffee spot called Krakatoa to meet Barbara for lunch. She was in town for a gig with Flan, but I wasn’t going to make that so we were able to get together shortly after she got in. It was so great to see her. I gave her the news about the impending move, work shit, and all the other details we share. She brought me up to speed on life if Austin, and everything was groovy. I love her.
After lunch, I went back home for a little bit and packed up my stuff to head to my folks’ for the weekend. But before that, it was time to meet The Becky for dinner before we went to see Steve Earle at the Belly-Up! We went to a great Mexican place called Fidel’s. Super tasty! Then we went to the show where we planted ourselves front and center for the whole show. The opening act was a duo called The Mastersons. They were great! They know my friend, Steve Poltz, and they played a song they’d all written together. That was cool. The Mastersons are also members of Steve Earle’s band The Dukes. Here’s a pic of them that The Becky took:
But then it was time for the man, Steve Earle. I’ve been a fan since college, have seen him many times, and he never disappoints. His new album is in the bluesy genre, and he played a number of songs from it, which was cool. Then he also did some of his past ‘hits’ and classics. He was awesome. Another photo from The Becky:
It was a really good day and evening, and though not a ‘typical’ adventure day, I’d still say it was enough outside of my norm to be considered an adventure. From there, I drove up to La Mirada, which was a lot harder than I thought because I was pretty tired. I got up there around 2 am, and hit the sack shortly thereafter. The rest of the weekend was the usual hang time with the folks which is always good.
I guess I would say that my July SDAD would be looking for a house. As I mentioned, it seems much harder now. We were looking for specific things, but we figured we’d have to compromise on some. Pretty much every spare minute I had, I was driving all over San Diego county, checking out locations to see if it would be something I’d even want to see inside of. I saw parts of San Diego I didn’t even know existed. My GPS got a good workout through all the traversing I did.
All told, I drove around and looked at around 75 houses. I made appointments for about 20 of them. We applied to about 7 or so, each time having to pay application fees for each adult tenant (thank goodness D wasn’t 18 yet!).
One day, I saw a video for a house that was put up by a property management place. It was in Clairemont and looked like it would totally work for us. Han really liked it from the video. I made up my mind that that would be our new house. That particular weekend, I had about 8 appointments. There was another place that looked promising, though the video that had been posted was super cheesy.
When I would show up to appointments, I’d be one of up to 15 other people who were looking at the house, too. It was somewhat discouraging. Because if you liked the place, you had to get your application (and all the ancillary documentation) in first to be considered because the property managers just start with the first application – run it through the credit check, etc, and if you qualify, you’re offered the property. If you don’t qualify or you pass on the house, the 2nd application in line is checked and so on.
I went to see the 2nd place (with the super cheesy video) first. It was in Rolando, which is near San Diego State University. When I got to the house, I was the only one there. I went in and met Bill, the property manager, and we chatted. The house was really cool, very unique layout, lovely backyard deck, and a basement of all things! I started to think that this place may work really well for us. I decided to apply for it. Meanwhile, I already had all the paperwork, the fees and everything ready to hand over at the place in Clairemont. I was the first one to arrive there, and I chatted up the property dude. That was a cool house, too. Great backyard, separate entrance for the master, a shed on the property. It was good. The guy was like “no one ever comes this prepared” so I was feeling good. But that Rolando house was starting to take hold in my head.
I think it was literally the next day that I started getting calls back from all the places I’d applied to. There was a place in University City (just down the road from where I’d lived in college), a place out in San Carlos, a place in Serra Mesa, and these two in Clairemont and Rolando. On the one hand, I was stoked that our credit was good enough to be offered these places, on the other hand, we had to decide and fast. It seems like a whirlwind, but Han was able to meet me at the house in Rolando, and he liked it a lot so we decided to go for it. And we got it! There were lots of little signs that made us feel like we were making the right decision. Here’s a pic:
We’ve been living here just over 2 weeks now, and I really like it. The commute isn’t that much different for me, there’s an insane breeze at all hours, and Han is creating a better space for his studio. It feels like home.
Of course, it’s not all over yet. I did the move-out walk-through at the old place on 7/31. The landlord has 21 days to send us an itemized list of the repair charges and the balance of our deposit, which was quite hefty. Given his history with us, I am not optimistic that he will do right by us. I have contacted a lawyer and am ready to battle with him if it comes to it. He even had said he’d pay us $500 if we moved out by the 60-day timeframe. Why? Who does that? Needless to say, we haven’t seen that yet either. It would be great to get that money. Moving is f’ing expensive, and that would help us right the ship so to speak.
In the midst of all the chaos, we lost more people at work, either through layoffs or by them finding other jobs. I developed a couple more outbreaks of vasculitis, I wrote a story in the San Diego Troubadour, D turned 18 (last Saturday), and oh yeah! 🙂 my mom, sister, and I have booked a trip to return to Spain in September after way too many years! Shit is happening!
So, for those of you who check in, I hope you’ll accept my apologies for being out of touch for a couple months. As you now know, I’ve been busy!
Side note: I’ve seen 2 of the 5 movies I wanted to see this summer. Still to see: Trainwreck, Jurassic World, and Inside Out. I’m sure some others have popped up along the way, too.