Okay, call Steve and I naive. We were thinking that in a few short days back in Denver we’d be able to locate our next abode. What we quickly realized though, is that it requires patience as the first step. In the sport of hunting for our new home, we had no formal training. While some sports require a trip to a sporting goods store, we were fortunate to have all of the proper goods on hand, except for “The” Denver map book, which we easily found at Barnes & Noble. Our list of essentials for the sport: prayers, the internet, our cell phones, a perfect-sized spiral notebook, a working pen, extra cash for many visits to coffee shops in between showings, and a full tank of gas.
This is how the abode-hunt ensues. Say a prayer that the right place will be found. Check out rent.com, rentals.com, mynewplace.com, & craigslist.com. On cell phones, proceed to call each listing that falls within one’s price range which also fits one’s needs i.e. # of bedrooms, baths, garage, full basement, neighborhood, mass transit, etc. Leave a multitude of voicemails. (Some return calls, others do not). Talk to one or two real people to schedule a showing. Schedule more than one showing per jaunt to the area to save time. Fill vehicle with gas. Take the Denver map book to locate the addresses. Visit the properties, taking notes in the perfect-sized spiral notebook with the working pen. Do not react to a property until one reaches vehicle with doors closed & windows rolled up, out of earshot of owner/leasing agent. (Abode-hunting does have a way of bringing the worst out in some properties and in a few agents!)
Repeat above process daily for 7 days. One will notice that the process actually becomes more refined with time as one becomes more of an expert. Essentially, we found it was better to just drive up one street and down the other, looking for “For Rent” signs in front yards. We soon realized that many of the homes are managed by leasing companies. After visiting numerous properties, we also came to understand that price usually reflects condition. By the last two days of our search, we found clarity and discernment, when we discovered that our best option was only 1/2 mile from University of Denver, 1/2 mile from the light-rail station, 8 blocks from Washington park with its beautiful walking/biking paths, flowers, lake, and serenity, 2 blocks from a grocery store, bank, pharmacy, coffee shops, and a plethora of eateries. It’s a Denver bungalow with 4 small bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, finished basement, washer & dryer, 2 car detached garage, a covered patio, and a small, easy-to-tend lawn & yard. While it is located on a busy street, the garage is accessed via a paved alley, which is typical in Denver.
By Day #7, we again used a prayer, completed our application, dropped it off, and within an hour received a call. (By the way, this home is neither option #1 nor option #2 to which I referred in my last post). The agent didn’t see any obstacles to being approved plus informed us that the owner agreed to drop the monthly rent by $105. Yeah!! We gained full approval Friday evening. Today we dropped off the deposit. Friday we will sign a two-year lease. Next Tuesday, 8/10 we have movers scheduled to help us load two 17′ U-Hauls and move our household from storage to the home.
I must admit that while the heading says that patience pays off, I have found myself not always patient with abode-hunting. I think the sport is over-rated. Therefore, I am of the opinion that it should not be done more than twice in one year! I am content to have two years in one place for the next stretch. Until then, I will gladly put my handy abode-hunting components back to work in other ways.
Thanks for your prayers. They’ve been answered.