Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Déjà vu

This feels all too familiar. Here I am again looking for a place to live and I need to find it in two weeks! I was really hoping that the next time I moved it would be to a place that I would actually own, or at least a place that really felt like home. Now I’m feeling the pressure of just finding something that will work. Perhaps something that won’t require a year lease since I really have no idea what I will be doing for the next 12 months, a place where I can bring my poor old cat Ellie, a place with a nice outdoor space to sit and relax, drink my morning coffee and maybe even a cooks kitchen to practice my baking skills.

I get that a landlord’s bottom line is in making a profit, or at least making a good chunk of his mortgage payment. But renting for the last 4 years has led me to see the world of tenant/landlord in a whole new light. Your “living” is really restricted with a rental. They tell you what color you can paint the walls or if you can even paint the walls, if you can have a pet, if you can have overnight guests (usually limited to a very short amount of time), where you can park your car, on and on, and there is very little storage if the rental isn’t a full on house with garage. It is more like staying in a “guest cottage”– you are welcome to stay, but don’t get too comfortable.

Maybe it is because of where I am in life, but I have acquired quite a few possessions over time. Look around your house, your garage, your basement, your attic. There are things that need to be stored seasonally and there are things that you keep just to keep. Bits and pieces of your life that you need to hang on to. Compared to most people, I really don’t think that I have that much. I manage to clear my clutter quite often. I have already put my larger sofa, table and chairs and armoire on Craigslist. I have given mounds of clothing, books, and extra linens away to charity, given accessories and artwork to the consignment store and still the garage seems to be packed with items that I need, or at least, will need sometime very soon.

Yesterday I looked at two places in Mill Valley. One was a studio in an old nunnery. The studio was smaller that my second bedroom in the current condo I am living in. I am talking the entire living quarters was about 200 square feet. Okay, this won’t work no matter how great the view. The second place I looked at, a small two bedroom wouldn’t fit two chairs in the “living” room and maybe a twin bed would fit in the larger of the two bedrooms. Maybe Mill Valley isn’t my Green Acres.

Tomorrow I am going to look at an incredible place in St. Helena. It is more money than I’d like to spend and it is only a one bedroom. But it has incredible views of the valley, A/C, large rock fireplace, washer and dryer, and a very private deck. It is basically a guest apartment that is attached to a magnificent home. But most importantly, the landlord seems to realize that I have a life and that my space is just as important to me as his space is to him. He speaks to me with respect and is concerned that I will be happy there. He truly wants someone who appreciates this property, who can appreciate living in such a spectacular setting. I have a very good feeling about this. I am keeping my fingers crossed because something tells me this could very well be my new home.

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