The Mister and I spent the first weekend in October in sunny California, house hunting. We have been searching on line looking at listing after listing for places to rent when we get to our new base in Riverside. This search has been going on since the day in April when we found out that March AFB would be our new assignment. So to say we were excited to see these homes in person would be an understatement.
We stayed at a home of one of our friends, who happens to be very close to where we will be living! They took us out to Laguna Beach the first day we arrived on our short journey to see some of the sights. And oh, it was just so picturesque! The beach, the cute little boutiques, the restaurants that gave me choice after choice of cuisine and ambiance...it was such a delightful day...
Now, if I may, I have to confess a dirty little secret. I am an optimist. There. I said it. Now you all know. So, when I tell you that my idea of California was shaped by Keeping Up with the Kardashians, and The O.C. you should not be very surprised. Yes, I have been to California several times before to visit, but my vision of house hunting remained in my "bubble world" of shiny cars and three story mansions.
The second day in town, we met up with a realtor to see houses! We were all set. I had notebook and mechanical pencil in hand! We had narrowed down the areas we thought would be best from all of our research on line and talking to people from the area and we did not expect to be surprised by what we found...
But we were surprised! We were shocked in fact! What we saw were homes in sketchy neighborhoods, built in the early 1980's that had hideous tile floors with flower patterns, magenta kitchens, and care bare celling fans! One kitchen was painted royal blue and the remaining rooms in the house were painted pistachio! AHHH!
Now, I do realize these things can be changed, but the whole reason we wanted to rent, was so that we would not have to put additional work or money into a home! My parents have been land lords for many years and they would never think of renting out a home in sub par condition, let along without putting a WHITE coat of paint on the walls. So, when we found an eviction notice on the counter in one house, my head was spinning.
Then, finally we entered a gated neighborhood that has the resemblance of where I used to live in Orlando. A townhouse community with cute little streetlights and matching mailboxes, which the type A personality in me loves. As we entered the adorable little home and our feelings of anxiety started to subside and we began to think we might have just been looking in the wrong places before.
WRONG! Someone had smoked a whole pack of cigarettes in the bathroom and put them out on the counter, leaving the ashes and butts everywhere! They had stuffed the toilet with grocery bags to stop it up, broken a window, and the kicker? They spay painted "f" you and "f" my life in the master bedroom. Only it was not in the PG version I just wrote, if you get my drift. Yep. That was the place we thought was going to give us back some hope.
As you can guess, it was super disheartening to say the least, especially after all the time and effort we have put into our house hunting. We took a few days of from our search to regain compose and now we are back on track. Buying is back on the table as an option and we are broadening our desires and locations in hopes we might have missed something.
What a way to start the month of Halloween. I think we saw all the haunted houses I need for this October.