I have talked about moving into town before. For years I've talked about moving into town. Last summer I put the first steps into place by starting a savings account that would move a small amount of money each week over to an account for moving expenses. I hire movers so I need money for that, plus pet deposits, cleaning fees, transfer fees, pro-rated rent and all that money that comes with moving.
I'd drive around my favorite parts of town and look longingly at places to live. I would take voice memos with my iPhone and look up places when I got home. I would ride my bike around and look at places. Apartment living has been very much on my mind the last year anytime I was in town.
I have said that I was definitely moving, but there was a small part of me that was doubtful I would find a place. I have an unusual combination of things that I need. First it must have central air and heat. This is a deal breaker for me. Also a dishwasher. Another deal breaker. I used to think that a washer/dryer in the apartment was also a deal breaker, but I realize now that as long as one is on site, then I don't have to have it in the apartment. The apartment needs to be at least 650 sq feet. I'm too old and have too much stuff to live in an efficiency. And it goes without saying that it has to accept cats. The problem with a list like this is that it rapidly moves the price bracket to places that are out of my price range. Places in my price range generally have window units or are 400 sq feet.
I believe that there is a place for me out there, but it may not necessarily be the large corporate apartments I have lived in for so long. And that is actually fine because I am ready for a change. But then another issue comes up. I have heard so many nightmare stories about bad landlords. People that don't repair their facilities. I even heard about someone not having a working stove for months. !!!! There is so much unknown when you go with the little guy. So many things to think (and worry) about.
Well I have happy news. I found a fabulous website today that I know is going to help me find a place. It is called Great Landlords and it is exactly what I need. It is a small group of real estate agents working in the Houston area and working with the kind of small vintage properties that I'm interested in. From the write-up it looks like they provide very personalized, specialized service and a search through their properties today gave me some definite hope. I feel like that I might just be able to find something out there for me. I am reasonably sure that this site is being run in part by the person behind Medusa Properties. I have looked at Medusa Properties sites online for a long time. They are definitely out of my price range, but they are lovingly, well restored vintage places and I can tell the owner is passionate about his properties. This makes me feel confident that the people behind Great Landlords will have the same integrity and high standards.
I'm excited! And I'll admit a little scared. I've lived in this part of Houston since I moved here 15 years ago and in this complex for 9 years. It is a comfortable place and I am about to step into the unknown. But I am so ready for a change. I am determined when I look back at the end of this decade my life will look very different than it does now.