May 12, 2008

Weekend Adventures: On with the Rental Search

While Cameron had skydiving plans Saturday that he couldn’t change, I went from going up to Chico and helping my wedding florist out with Mother’s Day deliveries (I worked for her back in college) and getting some other wedding stuff done, to searching for rental properties available for immediate move-in in Elk Grove. When I left work on Friday I only had one appointment ste-up to see a rental and about 10 I was going to conduct drive-bys on and check out from the outside and the corresponding neighborhoods. By the time I went to bed Friday night, I had 5 appointments and 3 properties to conduct drive-bys on. Saturday came early and as soon as I arrived in Elk Grove after dropping Cameron off at the DZ (Drop Zone) in Davis, I was going from appointment to appointment. I finally had some time for drive-bys after my 11:30 AM appointment.

That’s when I came across a property managed by the home-owner. It’s a cute two-story house with an adorable little porch (so many possibilities for holiday decorating) on a street called Starfish Way.(Sorry, no picture, left the camera at home). The homeowner happened to be there cleaning up the yard as I was driving by. I stopped and asked if I could see the house. The house was clean, with relatively new carpet, and cute. It had a nice backyard and seemed to be in a nice neighborhood. The only drawback I could find was that it’s smaller than what we are used to, but something I felt Cameron and I could live with. We don’t intend to rent for years to come – just long enough to get settled into Elk Grove and the new job, not to mention get through the wedding and then have enough time to properly shop for a home.

After Angela (the owner) showed me the house and yard, we chatted about her rental conditions. My first question for her was her animal policy. Luck was on our side – she’s a huge dog lover and has allowed previous tenants to have dogs, breed not an issue – her last renters had two pit bulls. Her only caveat is that she needs to meet the dog first to know the dog’s general temperament. A bonus is that she lives in Hayward, a city just a few miles north of Fremont. On my way out, I grabbed an application.

I picked up Cameron later that day and drove him by the house to see the neighborhood. I got Cameron’s ok, and we have since spoken with Angela and arranged to meet her this evening for her to meet Melody and hand-off the applications and proper paperwork to proceed with renting through her.

What I like most about this property is that it is owner-managed and it shows. It’s been well maintained, much better than the rental property down the street from a large Elk Grove rental agency, which looked warn down. That property is pretty much the same house as we are looking at with Angela but looks much older. My gut feeling is that if we were to rent that house through the big rental agency we would get into the same issues we are currently experiencing in Fremont. With Angela, I feel we’ll have a much better renting experience, which will hopefully be our last experience.

I’ll keep you all posted on the progress. Hopefully Melody will be on her best behavior tonight. We’re meeting at Lake Elizabeth to take her for a walk, which should help, being that it is neutral ground. Plus, she got a bath last night so she’s all fluffy and smells nice. If all goes well, we’ll be moving to Elk Grove Memorial Day weekend!

Love always,

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