Part III of IV
Roughly a week before the scheduled closing of our condo in Massachusetts, we traveled to Nashville to look for housing. Debbie had impressed her Skype interviewers enough that they wanted to talk with her in person. That interview would occur during our home-hunting trip.
We met a broker upon arriving late on a Friday afternoon and obtained listings of some houses for sale and for rent. It was a daunting task to find quality housing in such short order without knowing the area, especially in the fast-paced real estate market in Middle Tennessee. On a ride through one particular neighborhood late that evening, we looked at a larger house for sale and agreed it wasn’t right for us. As we drove away, Debbie looked across the street and said, “Awww, isn’t that house cute? I’d like a house just like that.” However, it wasn’t for sale and discouragement had begun to set in.
On Saturday, we were committed to finding a rental. Options were limited, expensive, and twelve-month binding leases were the norm. We spent several hours at only two apartment complexes and neither seemed right. Five o’clock rolled around too soon, leaving us empty-handed and disappointed.
We returned to the motel that evening believing that we’d need to find housing after we returned with our belongings. The following day, Sunday, we planned to go to church and lunch with some friends Debbie had met years ago in Massachusetts. We’d then attend some open houses in Franklin, several miles to the north. Regardless, I emailed the broker for a list of less expensive home rentals, and I received a list from him of only six homes in the greater area and narrowed it even more based on proximity to the school where Debbie would interview.
Church and lunch the next day were great, but our schedule was lagging. We departed at two o’clock for open houses miles away from 2-4 pm. Since a few of the rental options were on our way to Franklin, we decided to drive by them. We liked the looks of the first home on the list, but no one was around and there was contact info. I asked Debbie where the next house on the list was located.
“It’s a block over on a street we were already down Friday evening, so there’s no need to go there,” she said.
“Well, we’re here anyway, so we may as well check it out,” I replied.
As we turned down the street for the next house on the listing, to our amazement, the cute little house that Debbie had called out two nights earlier had a sign in the window: “FOR RENT, no pets, no smoking”! Debbie dialed the number on the sign while I explored the premises. I couldn’t see any activity inside, so I walked around the house to check out the back yard. Meanwhile, Debbie’s call wasn’t going through.
Suddenly, the back door flew open. After I apologized for being in his backyard, the man warmly invited us in. He and his wife had just purchased the house Thursday. Their sign had fallen out of the window, and they just put it back today. They were preparing the property for rent. Within an hour (even as another interested party had come to the front door), we had given this couple a deposit check. There was a supernatural level of comfort between us. Two hours later, our new landlord helped us save some money on a new refrigerator.
With home in hand, we were upbeat. The next day, Debbie was beaming after her interview. They would talk with several more candidates that day and decide who to hire. On Tuesday, we parked the car near the airport and flew back to Massachusetts to write our final chapter there.
For the final part IV, click here.