Sunday, December 5, 2010

Adventures of house/apartment hunting

There are moments in your young adult life which make you ask suddenly, "Hey, when did I become a grown-up?" Looking for an apartment all by myself has been one of those moments. I know that I am 25, and that shouldn't come as a big surprise for me, but up until this point housing has just fallen into place; I have moved to previous houses because I wanted to live with other Catholic young women, or live with friends I already knew. There was no need to shop around to look at apartments or houses for their structure, location, etc.

But there is a first time for everything, and so for the past two weeks I have been apartment hunting here in Nashville. There have been lots of elements to consider, such as "How far to I want to commute each day?" "Would I rather live in a quiet apartment complex out in the suburbs where you can see the pretty hillsides? Or a neighborhood closer to the city where I could walk each day?" "Or an apartment closer to the universities?" "Could I stand to not have a washer and dryer in my house?" "Do I want to have a porch?" "Do I want to have a yard?" "Do I want something that is new and updated but monotonous, or something older with more character?" Of course, the main criteria being "How much can I afford?"

I looked at several different apartment complexes in a suburb outside of Nashville which were fine, but much too impersonal for my liking. My next option was to look at apartments that were part of larger houses (like a floor of a house or a duplex) that were in neighborhoods closer to where I work. All of these places that I looked definitely had character, but some of them were rather run down and old though.

I have to admit that the whole process of looking at houses and apartments, though stressful at times because of the time and money crunch, was kind of fun. It was a novelty since shopping for an apartment because it was something I hadn't done before. It made me think of watching HGTV shows like "Househunters"...except I was living my own episode. I even had some comical moments along the way, like when the one woman at an apartment complex forgot that they had shut the electricity off in the model apartment and couldn't figure out how to get it back on. She asked if I could still see the place (in the dark), and then after frantically looking around for the breaker box, opened the refrigerator so that the light from the refrigerator would light up the place, "There. Can you see it now?" It was amusing, because besides the layout of the apartment, I really couldn't see anything at all.

It was fun to imagine how the various places could be decorated, updated, and made into a home.

Thankfully, a few days ago I found a place that seems to be a really good fit. It's a duplex in a neighborhood very close to where I work. The neighborhood is really beautiful, with lovely architecture and landscaping; a great place for walking and jogging. I can actually walk to work, which will be really nice, and I will only be a few miles from downtown Nashville, so I can take advantage of all the cultural activities of the city. It has two bedrooms, so if I find a roommate over the next few months, I will be able to share the place, and the price of rent. It has a living room and dining room, with nice hardwood floors; the kitchen has a lot of character, with whitewashed cabinets and a scalloped accents over the kitchen window. It also has a nice little backyard, where I am hoping I can grow some plants in the spring and also use for entertaining.

I am already thinking about the ways I want to decorate, and how I can find inexpensive antique furniture to decorate my abode.

Move in will be next Sunday and Monday. And so continues the settling in!

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