23 April 2012

The new Casa P: the big decision

Happy Monday, dear readers! I might be throwing you for a loop this morning by skipping Eats, I know. But there’s just too many things going on to write about what I’ve thrown together in my kitchen recently! We have far more pressing, unfinished business. That’s right: the big apartment choice. The selection of our new domicile! This multi-part series which is starting to feel like it will never end!

I’ve gotta say, I am thrilled that you guys were excited about this process, too. It’s a big deal to me and I didn’t know if you guys would even care, so I’m glad you also thought it was fun!

So.... which one did we choose? Our choices were...

Apartment #1: pricey historic mansion

Apartment #2: good fit, no storage

Apartment #3: fully updated, but small

For the most part, you guys were voting for option #2, though #1 nearly tied with it. Not much love for option #3! So without further ado, we chose...

[DUN! dun-dun-DUN! dun-dun-DUN! dun-dun-DUN DUN!]


Even after all the apartments we saw later, #1 was still my clear favorite and Mr. P’s, too. Like commenter Rachel said, it’s the perfect blend of updated-for-Mr.-P and historic-charm-for-me that totally won us over. I never ever thought we’d get to live in a place like it, so it’s an opportunity we’re seizing. It comes down to this: we saw several places that were okay, good even! But this was the only option that made me excited about the idea of leaving my wonderful, beautiful house. The house I adore. Whereas before I’d been so so sad about the idea of selling our house, now I can’t wait to get rid of it so we can live in this apartment. Dude. I didn’t think an apartment like that existed. BUT IT DOES.

Plus, the place is so spacious that all my recent downsizing seems laughably for naught – we are actually moving into a bigger space! And remember the house itself is on a private drive of historic mansions, with mature trees and perfectly manicured lawns. There’s even an immaculately-landscaped roundabout at the entrance to our private street, which I traipsed in to get this shot. I really cannot believe that shlumpy old me, stomping around in landscaped roundabouts, gets to live in a place this nice.

I’d love to show you the front of the house, or the streetpost signs with the official fancy “place” name (the street is actually listed in the National Register of Historic Places, what the whaaa). But sadly, I’m skipping that for safety reasons. Instead, here’s the porch of the main front entrance, if you had any doubt about the HISTORIC MANSION aspect of this place.

While the downstairs-landlady situation is not for everyone, it works for Mr. P and me. Mr. P is already friendly with our current neighbors, and I’m slowly learning how to grow out of my shy, awkward self-consciousness toward people who see me get the mail in my jammies. So far our new neighbor/landlord been an easy, delightful person to work with on the business end of getting in the apartment, and I think she will be a great neighbor, too. Really, I knew she and I would get along beautifully when she took us to the backyard to show off her recent deck staining project, and pointed out another building/staining project she had going in the garage. Staining? Garage? Projects? Oh hello, possible future me!

And it’s worth mentioning again that this place is a five-minute walk to church, a ten-minute walk to fantastic restaurants, shops, a library, and a movie theatre, and a twenty-minute walk to my work and the metro station. Location, location, location!

But... the price. All of the above did not come cheap, and that was truly the only thing holding us back. While the price was not more than we could afford, it was more than we expected – remember, I made the appointment because I “just wanted to see it”, not actually consider it. And there was the mental hurdle of knowing that there were places we also liked that cost considerably less. Apartments #2 and #3 would certainly meet our needs, and Apartment #1 didn’t even check everything on the “wants” list, with the one bathroom and lack of our own outdoor space and laundry in the basement.

Ultimately, though, those downsides didn’t feel as dealbreaker-y as the downsides of the other two places. Apartment #2 was in the right neighborhood, but has ZERO storage. Furthermore, even though the place seems like it should have enough square footage on paper, the layout made it feel a bit cramped, with small rooms and narrow staircases (two of them, don’t forget!).

And while being able to paint is a dream come true (you guys know how strongly I feel about my paint chips), what’s even better is having a charming place that you don’t even want to paint.

As for Apartment #3, it wasn’t in my newly-beloved neighborhood, and it was so much smaller than the other two. And although it was the least expensive of the bunch, it violated a rule I’d subconsciously made up (which will give you a real-number idea of our budget if you’re paying close attention): it cost MORE than one dollar per square foot. The others were considerably less than that. Add in the fact that we’d have to start paying rent in May – a dealbreaker, as Mary Beth suggested in the comments – and it no longer felt inexpensive, even next to Apartment #1 that cost more (but was FAR bigger and in my favorite neighborhood).

While we both knew we liked Apartment #1 after the day-long hunt, Mr. P and I still didn’t chat about it for a full twenty-four hours, first sleeping on it, then spending the following day with family and driving home. During that time I realized I was falling in love with Apartment #1 pretty hard, and was trying to figure out how to contain my disappointment if Mr. P said he thought we should go with another option.

About thirty minutes outside of Nashville, Mr. P suddenly said, “So... I still want to live in a historic mansion.”

Squeeeeeeeeeeeeee! “Me too!”

So, after many emails exchange with our new downstairs neighbor, credit and background checks, a very large sum of money as a deposit, and at least one high five, Mr. P and I have a new Casa P!

I’m planning a little new apartment tour of sorts with photos I didn’t post before, so perhaps I can convince you more that this is the place for us (if I’d convinced you in the first place, it wouldn’t have been a fun game, would it?) I hope you stick around for it! And meanwhile, if you didn’t speak up before, did you guess our choice correctly?


Christal said...


Rachel said...

YAY!!!! I'm so excited for you guys!!

Rachel C said...

Yay!! I am so excited that you picked this apartment! It seems so fun and perfect. I can't wait to see how you make it your own!

Mary Beth said...

I'm so glad you guys got this one! It was BY FAR my favorite (which is important, right? Haha). Can't wait to see more pics.