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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Start A New Life

We've been in this apartment for over a year now

We'd decided to move not because our lease was up but because our last place was a tiny 540 sq ft
an example of the lovely detailing in our newlywed place
newlywed place on the 3rd floor (fourth to Americans). No elevator. So when I got pregnant we looked ahead to when our lease would be up and realized that it would happen when I was 8 months along! It just made sense to get out early and in our lease we were allowed to leave early if we gave enough notice.

Our current place, our dear newlywed home, will always have a special place in my heart. It was lovely and right in the heart of things in our city. Walking distance to all the cool places, a cheap rickshaw ride to the best malls. But it wasn't really a place for a baby. We could have made the space work for another year maybe, but there were no parks and those stairs would be killer. Additionally, and actually most importantly, location is king in real estate. So if we moved farther from the heart of the city then even if we got a similar sized apartment, it should be cheaper. That would offset the costs of the baby and keep us more status quo in regards to our finances, which we were anxious about like most new parents. If we could find bigger for cheaper, that'd be great, but I was willing to make it work with a newborn in a same sized place. My husband wanted bigger and was open to maybe having a similar rent price or even a little higher. So we differed in that.

We actually hadn't intended to go apartment shopping the weekend we found it. We had already been looking up apartments casually on sites like housing.com and we'd given notice to our landlord but we were planning on starting hunting maybe the next week. However my husband's parents were also hunting for a place and when we got together they were trying to sell us on living in the society they had picked.

the living room of our soon to be new place when we were touring it
Honestly, I wasn't sold. I'm not really a gated community personality and it was top of our budget. A one bedroom unit there would be a bit more expensive than the place we were leaving, and yet not be closer to anything. We'd also been living in independent builder flats and that was what I was envisioning. It's likely because I grew up in the country but while I understand you need overarching laws for public betterment I chafe at the idea of neighbors inflicting rules on us. The one that really annoyed me was that there were "quiet hours" posted amongst other rules on a big board as you enter my in-laws community. I have a sleeping disorder, my husband works nights and we were about to have a newborn so chances while I wasn't going to be throwing loud parties I knew 100% I'd be listening softly to music or watching TV at 3 am at least one night a week and I figured that any neighborhood that had a posted rule about this would attract the kind of neighbors that would complain about that. Therefore any neighborhood with quiet hours is not the kind of place that would feel like home to me.


But I suggested we could check out the builder flats not that far from their community and so the broker that had helped them find their place took us to see a few more apartments.

The first place he took us to was airy and large. 1100 sq ft to our 540, 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 2 balconies to our 1-1-1 at the old place. I liked it... but it was a little pricier. There were parks and the neighborhood was very family oriented, but it was a 2nd floor unit. My five month along belly was a distinct reminder that a lower unit was a big wish.. and I had wanted a ground or first floor place. So I was discouraging about taking that apartment.

But then we went and looked at other places... and none of them were that appealing. They were
empty kitchen of the new place
ground floor... but smaller than where we were living. They were also second floor... and no cheaper even though smaller!

We went  back to my in-laws apartment and my husband was saying that airy place kept coming back to him. I told him my biggest hesitation was the price. I had NOT wanted to pay more for our new place than our current place. I really loved our newlywed place and didn't want to say goodbye to it unless it seemed like a a really good move, so a pricier nearly as high place...?

So he told me he'd negotiate it. He called up the broker and they went to work. And he did get it down so that while a tiny, tiny bit higher than our current rent it was less than 10% higher... and if we had stayed in our first apartment the price would have gone up by 10% when we renewed. So really this twice as large places was slightly cheaper! Suddenly the only compromise was that it was a bit higher than I wanted, being a 2nd floor place, but since we were currently in a 3rd floor place I comforted myself it was one floor lower and that was an improvement. I was so eager to move in...

our apartment's living room now that we've settled a bit (this was from Christmas time, hence the tree.)
And then I got put on bed rest.

So I wasn't able to help in the moving in, I had to lay on my in-laws couch while my husband directed the movers and instead of unpacking I lay on our bed. Instead of making it homey I was stuck trying to direct unpacking from my back and telling myself the time to unpack would come. It was so frustrating.

our kitchen moved in: sorry the silverware drawer is slightly open. The cabinet under the stove is tied shut as a babyproofing effort.
Now it's been a year. Honestly it did take months and in some ways is still happening to make the apartment homey. But it definitely does feel like home now. I love this apartment. I remember being on bedrest listening to the children playing in the street and being happy we're in a family oriented neighborhood. It would haven't have been safe for kids to play in the streets of our old neighborhood (too much traffic and litter.)

the street where we now live
I still haven't really gotten to know the neighbors well but all of our exchanges so far have been pleasant. We were invited to a Lohri party, have met the local small business owners, have chatted in the park and keep meaning to get with the downstairs neighbors who have a daughter 8 months older than ours.

We have started a new life here that is pleasant enough so far that we've renewed our lease for at least once more year.

playing with neighbors in the park
This apartment is now where we brought our firstborn home. It is where she learned to crawl and to stand and soon where she'll likely take her first steps. It's where I'll probably here her say my name for the first time. Our first little newlywed place was it's own adventure, of us stepping out of our family's homes together. But moving here was the start of a new life, the life as Mom and Dad. It's been a great life so far.

crawling in the living room

This has been in part a promotional post for housing.com for a #StartANewLife campaign. However the story I told was from the heart. Check out housing.com's fun video below.


1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a great place for your needs!
    I've been in my house for 4.5 years and we are still finding ways to make it home-ier and more child/family-friendly. :)

    ReplyDelete

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