As you have probably already guessed if you read my last three posts, by day four I was still feeling rather stressed. We woke up early in Chesterton, Indiana, packed up quickly, and headed north.
Finding apartments to view had already proved to be something of a challenge. You see, it seems that the standard lease length in our new home is twelve months, and because there are hundreds of perfectly good houses in the twenty thousand dollar range in the area, we were really hoping to rent for a short amount of time until we find our own house. I was willing to agree to a 6 month lease, but didn't want to go much beyond that. Out of the fifty inquiries I sent out we received about a half dozen positive responses back.
Of the half dozen responses, most weren't great (you may remember the bed bug report I mentioned last week on one of the review websites), but two looked pretty decent. Paul researched the first by calling the county records office and found out that it was a scam (the man claimed to be working as a missionary in Africa, who just wanted to rent out his house to a nice family who'd take good care of it...). I set up a meeting with the only remaining option and prayed that it was as good a fit as it seemed.
Yet as we drove north through Michigan, I started to feel nervous. We only had one meeting set up while we were in town. What were the chances that it would work out? What would we do if it didn't? What if it was another scam?
We drove past the house several times before the meeting. The first time my stomach was in knots. The house was nice, but upon approaching it from the south you pass through a neighborhood that has seen much better days. While all the houses on the street are beautiful and taken care of, things a block away very obviously aren't. I wasn't quite sure what to think.
On another pass, however, we approached from the north. When you drive in from the north you pass row after row of picture perfect houses with neat yards and families sitting outside.
Finally we decided that we would make our decision after seeing the inside of the house and talking with the owner.
When it came time to view the house another couple arrived at the same time. While we admired the hard wood floors and fireplace I heard them telling the owner that they could just as easily buy the foreclosure across the street for $17,000 (and it is a very cute house!). We looked at the three bedrooms upstairs, and after the other couple left, looked at the backyard and garage.
The owner was very sweet and had lived in the house herself when her daughter was Mae's age (which wasn't that long ago). She explained that the other couple had mentioned buying the house eventually and I said that we totally would understand if she went with them, since we could only sign a six month lease, but that I would still love to fill out an application. After talking a bit more, and doing the paper work, we headed on our way.
Roughly two hours later she called and told us that the house was ours if we wanted it. An hour after that we were reading over the lease and signing it. I was incredibly relieved.
The number one item on my checklist had been checked off. We were ready to begin our journey south to Florida.