We Won't Be Homeless!
(I started this post about 3 weeks ago, and never got around to finishing it-- until now! It's about the process of finding the apartment we're currently living in-- I think Chris will be updating you guys about our apartment from his perspective.) We found a place to live! So, since I didn't mention it when it happened, we sold our house. It sold fast. Really fast. Yay for the Atlanta real estate market... except that it means the ball started rolling really fast for us to figure out the next steps. Once we made it past the due diligence period, I booked a flight to Montreal to find us an apartment. Because of work obligations and travel costs, I knew I'd have to pack the apartment hunt into a short amount of time. And, because of costs, I'd be making the trip solo-- meaning Chris would be moving into this apartment sight unseen. No pressure on me, right? So first, Chris and I sat down and discussed budget and our must-haves: 2 bedrooms/1.5 or 2 bathrooms, washer/dryer in the unit, covered parking, kitchen storage and prep space (we cook A LOT and have lots of gadgets and gizmos), air conditioning (no, this isn't a given in Canada). Then we discussed our level of snobbery as far as how nice the place needed to be (it's a high level). Then I turned to the trusty internet and started shopping. We have Zillow, they have Zumper.
Ultimately, I narrowed my decisions to about 5 different apartments. I contacted some rental agents and brokers, made appointments to see the places, and crossed my fingers that the photographs weren't too misleading. For the most part, the places were a little smaller than what I expected. We were used to about 1500 square feet in our townhouse, so we knew we'd be downsizing a bit-- it was just a question of how much downsizing we could handle (and how much stuff we could get rid of and still live happily). A couple of the places claiming to be "2 bedrooms" were actually "1 bedroom and 1 room where you can fit a chair". Ultimately, I found a modern 2 bedroom/2 bathroom condo in an area of Cote de Neiges called Le Triangle that is in the final stage of transformation as the city works to turn it into a more pedestrian-friendly area. It's about 102 square meters (1100 square feet-- yes, I had to use a metric converter app to figure that out). It has a bazillion kitchen cabinets, wood floors, huge windows, washer/dryer, an indoor parking space, pool and gym. Definitely livable.
My rental agent arranged all negotiation stuff for a 1-year lease to start on August 1, and I learned that it's common in the Montreal rental market for tenants to give post-dated checks for the whole year in advance. However these trusting Canadians requested neither a security deposit nor a pet deposit for Natasha. Now all that's left is for Chris not to hate it, at which time it will be too late to do anything about it anyway.