There was also the condo that was farther from the center of town, but was also incredibly lovely with tile floors, skylights, two bathrooms, a backyard, and in a housing area with extensive walking trails and a dog park. These are a big deal for me--the trails and dog park. I am a walker and to be able to walk out my front door and head into relatively wild territory for being within the city limits, is priceless. Both properties were only a few miles from my new studio and the hospital where I will be working. Neither had registered sex offenders living next door (as a last ditch effort we looked up addresses of sex offenders to see if that would help tip the scales one way or the other--unfortunately this was no help at all).
The journey to that point had been somewhat tedious. We turned down a lot of what we saw. There were the apartments that were crammed together and felt like a college dorm room (I'm too old for this, right? A pool doesn't make up for the kid on the bigwheel riding around the breezeway outside my door all day either, and come to think of it, that kid probably just peed in the pool). There was the place where the workmen were ripping out the disgusting carpet to reveal hardwood floor (yeah!), but there were still kitchen counters from 1970 and multiple roach and mouse traps clearly visible. There was the guesthouse that was a block from the hospital in a beautiful neighborhood which had a huge leak in the ceiling (right over the bed) and significant damage, discovered when it was shown to us. We turned those down.
And there were all the beautiful places that were big or in stellar locations but were way above our price range. We didn't look at those. Who needs the temptation.
In the end it came down to the beautiful remodeled adobe in historic downtown Santa Fe versus the large modern condo with the dog yard and walking paths. Both properties seemed to say, I am an adult and my life is something I need to be infinitely grateful for. That this was our choice is humbling.
The search did have some humorous moments.
Here was the absolute best Craigslist ad I saw. It was so good that I went to take photos of the property even though we didn't schedule a viewing (the house was about 30 feet from the busiest road in Santa Fe, and I don't have the temperament for it).
Unfurnished, newly refurbished adobe cottage.... Two bedroom, one bath, large living room, full kitchen, utility room. No smoking. References and security screening required. $800 per month plus utilities. First and last month, security deposit, one year lease.Sounds great, right? And then the last sentence explained the price:
"Cemetery gatekeeper requirements."
The house is on the grounds of Fairview Cemetery, Santa Fe's historic cemetery right on Cerrillos road. And you know, it turns out they didn't allow dogs. I suppose they didn't want the dog relieving itself on someone's grave. I guess I can understand that. (Though of course I don't think my dog would EVER do such a thing!)
When searching the internet for more information about the cemetery, the Wikipedia link revealed this:
In recent years Fairview Cemetery has become notorious for its prairie dog infestation, which causes human remains and coffin pieces to sometimes be visible on the grounds.Perhaps that also explains the "no pets" policy. Dogs with a proclivity for digging would certainly go after the prairie dogs which could be unfortunate for the underground residents of the property. This whole cemetery thing doesn't really creep me out (perhaps due to long years of working in hospitals and nursing homes where the dead are something you do encounter), but I do understand that it might not be everyone's idea of the best job description.
Here is the house (to the right) from another angle:
There is a lot of waiting when you're looking for a place to live. We looked at a lot of properties through a property management agency and they schedule viewings quite strictly. During one waiting period, we went to get a car wash for Emily's Camry (which admittedly was VERY dirty due to the gravel roads we live on in Colorado). I get a lot of flack from my family and friends about all the bags of stuff I cart around, but because I had my knitting bag in the car, I had something to do in the 25 minutes it took to get the car vacuumed and washed.
And if you must know, we finally chose the condo. Perhaps not as imaginative, but much easier on the pocketbook.