Over the past two weeks I’ve spent quite a bit of time on Craig’s List and Hotpads and Padmapper. These sites make it easy to find apartments and homes for rent, to view pictures, and to contact owners about their properties. Until two weeks ago, I didn’t even know these sights existed!
Now, I can see where rental properties are and I can use Google to save my own personal map with my favorite properties, including notes about each property, links to photographs, and different colored pins to indicate which ones I like, which one’s I have inquired about, and which one’s I have appointments to see.
I cannot imagine doing this before the Internet. I can hardly believe I’m doing it WITH the Internet.
Truly, it’s an information managers dream. : )
Anyway, two weeks into this process I am starting to understand the lay out of my future surroundings – on a map at least. I am honing in on what’s important to me and what I can live without.
Who knew having a laundry machine/dryer INSIDE your apartment was so important?
As it turns out, the types of properties I can rent fall into two basic categories. There are (a) cute, bungalow style homes and (b) fancy, executive style apartments. I get more space with (a), and pools and fitness centers with (b).
I can imagine myself living in a high-rise apartment; 1,000 square feet of efficiently designed space with high-end appliances and funky design. I love the idea of the gym in the basement, the pool outside, and the concierge waiting to collect my dry-cleaning.
The simplicity of that life is appealing, but I keep being drawn into the houses – cute craftsman style cottages with personality. It seems that, right now, I want a house with a small yard and unconventional nooks and crannies. I love the possibility of an attic or a basement, but especially of a patio where I can sit outside and enjoy the warm evenings all year round.
Which makes more sense? For me? For my dog? For my job? There are commutes to be taken into consideration, after all.
Not too long ago, a friend of mine asked me to envision my future self. What was she doing? Where was she? I expected to see her in my house now – the beautiful spot on the river. I couldn’t imagine leaving where I am.
When I thought about moving to a city, I expected I would be in a sophisticated city apartment. You know, door men. Elevators. Concierges.
What I found, though, when I conjured this future self, was that she was opening a door to friends in a cute and cozy home. Coats and a dog leash were hanging on pegs in an entrance way. She was making tea and reading a book in a comfortable chair by a window or a fireplace. I didn’t imagine palm trees outside, but I didn’t imagine the outside at all. Being in a city doesn’t mean I have to give that up. At least not for now, right?
After all, that place could have been anywhere, so long as it was home.