Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Movin' on up . . .

Once I started back to school Wally and I knew there was something we HAD to do, and soon: get our house ready to be sold. We knew that there was no way we could keep up a mortgage, pay twice the tuition, books and commuting. We were already paying twice as much in cars/gas/parking as we were in mortgage payments. We knew the smart thing to do would be to sell the house and move to an apartment where the school was located. Our goal was to get through school without any debt. If we were starting over we were going to do it smart.

The first semester I was in school we fixed up the house as I went to school full time, worked every waking moment I wasn’t studying, Wally completed his first co-op. I remember this being one of the most stressful times for us. We knew that we had only two months from the completion of my first semester to get the house sold (and hopefully get what we were asking for in the process - by the time that semester was over we only had enough money to get us through 2 months and after that we didn’t know how we were going to live). The house went on the market on a Monday (a week after I was done) and sold the Friday, for only $1900 under our asking price. Whew!! We had 3 weeks to find a new place and move out.

Just to give a bit of context to the situation I have to tell you that Wally and I had pretty much lived in the same place all our lives. The town we were in only had a population of around 2000 people, and the city we were moving to had a population over 350 000. A big change for us - to say the least! We had never lived in an apartment building, taken a city bus, done much city driving, or lived over an hour away from our parents (my parents lived 2 blocks away). We were infants to this new world we were entering. However we did it anyway.

We didn’t even know where to start looking for a place to live. We had heard a few things but not enough to really know where was a good area and where wasn’t. We soon found out. We checked out a couple of places and settled on one. The rent was decent, the apartment nice, it was on a bus route, and it had a dog park close by (he have 2 pooches), what more could we want? We had all the paper work signed and ready to go in to accept the place. Wally was going to drop it off on the way home from school that day. At lunch he mentioned to his school pals the place we’d be moving to. 4 sets of eyeballs dropped to the floor. One friend told him that we simply couldn’t move there. Apparently it was one of the roughest parts of the city, lots of gang activity, crime and all that fun stuff. So we were back to square one . . .

Fortunately the friend that told us we couldn’t move there sent us a link to a building complex. So we set an appointment to check it out. It was quaint, safe, had a mall right there with all the necessities and once again on the bus route - we took it on the spot. As we got in the car to drive home we both felt a huge sense of relief and excitement that we finally found our new home, but then I began to notice something . . . there were a lot of people with walkers, canes and white hair roaming the sidewalks. After the fifth or sixth one I thought to myself ‘Oh dear, what have we done?’

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