I Just Want a Tree. And Some Decent Square Footage.

April 5, 2011

For those of you who don’t already know, I have lived in Los Angeles for eight years.  I have lived in the same apartment for all eight of those years.  And for those who are not already familiar with the housing scene in LA, I’ll fill you in quickly.  It sucks.

When the almost-hubs and I started looking for our first LA apartment, we were excited!  It was LA!  We were getting married!

And then we saw what a lot of money will get you in LA: not much.  And a moderate amount of money?  Even less.

We spent several days looking at grungy apartments and rental houses that were over our budget and way below my standards.  And then we found the place we live in now.  It was big.  And clean.  And bright.  And affordable.  And we said, “We’ll take it!”

After eight years, it is still big.  And when I say big, I mean tall.  Like many places in LA, it is built into a hill.  Our place is like the stilt man of apartments.  It is tall and skinny.  Which keeps me trim enough, because I feel like all I do all day is go up and down stairs.

It is still clean.  Because, duh.

It is still bright.  And by bright, I mean that with the ridiculous amount of out-of-reach windows, primer-white walls, complete lack of shade, and relentless SoCal sun, most of our furniture has been bleached to a soothing pastel, and on any given afternoon, Hayden and I can be found watching Thomas with sweaty upper lips.

It’s still affordable.  Thanks to California renter’s laws, our rent hasn’t increased that much over the eight years we’ve lived here.  To move to another rental would mean dishing out another grand a month.  No exaggeration.

It’s big! And clean!  And bright!  And affordable!  Our apartment is awesome!

And not awesome.

We share a bathroom with our 3 year-old.  If I stub my toe on his wooden potty stool one more time…

We enjoy not a patch of grass, much less the shade of a tree.

The interior style of this apartment could set the scene for an eighties coke party.  That takes place on a cruise ship.

The landlord lives next door.  Need I say more?

It’s time to move on.

Which is easier said than done, because we need, like, a million dollars.

So we have saved and scrounged and skimped and begged and finally started looking at houses this year.  We found a nice realtor and gave her our budget and told her what we were looking for in a house.  She started showing me houses.  My reaction quickly went form insulted to disheartened. What we could afford did not meet our expectations, which were not unreasonable:

  1. A single story home.
  2. A back yard for our son.  Doesn’t have to be a big one.
  3. A garage.
  4. A kitchen big enough for all three of us to stand in.
  5. A bedroom for everyone.
  6. A tree.
  7. A good public school.

We were about ready to give up.  Each time I dragged Scott to see a house, he always gave me the same reaction.  “I can’t believe you’d even consider that house.”  My response was always the same, “You haven’t seen the other ones.”

We were about ready to give up until I dragged Scott, Hayden in tow, to see another house.  It was a single-story home in a good school district.  As soon as we made our first walk-through, we both knew it.  This is it.

Long story short, we put a bid on the house last week.  Eeek!  Every day and night I have been mentally planning our life in this house.  I can see it, feel it.  And yesterday, our realtor called and said the next-to-worst thing we could hear at this point.  The worst would have been that they accepted another bid.  Instead, she said the seller, which happens to be a bank because it is a foreclosure sale, wanted to give each bidder a last chance to up the offer.

So now the wait begins all over again…

Ps.  Today is my birthday.  Maybe the universe will give me a house.

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6 Responses to I Just Want a Tree. And Some Decent Square Footage.

  1. Elizabeth on April 5, 2011 at 7:42 am

    You should probably tell the bank it’s your birthday. Banks are always super nice to people on their birthdays. Right?

    I hope you get your wish.


  2. Ginger on April 5, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    Oooh, I have my fingers crossed for you. The housing deal in SoCal is the pits, so I hope hope hope this works out for you guys–in part so I can dream that it’ll work out for us one day!


  3. J on April 5, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    Every kid deserves a yard. Grass stains are a right of passage!

    …and 80’s coke party cruise ship apartments are definitely not in right now. So I hope you get out of yours STAT!


  4. d, the undomestic housewife on April 5, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    Aww.. how frustrating!! Hope you get good news!


  5. christy davis on April 5, 2011 at 6:42 pm

    Happy Birthday! Good luck! I know how stressful/exciting buying a house process is!! I’m sure it’ll work out.


  6. elle on April 6, 2011 at 6:18 am

    “The interior style of this apartment could set the scene for an eighties coke party. That takes place on a cruise ship.”

    … AMAZING, and yet not… obviously. but god, you make me laugh.


    and also, happy birthday!



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