As I've thought back over the past year, I'm amazed at how many people I know who have made housing changes, and if I widen the lens back to 2019, the list of people who made housing changes grows even larger. In fact, it might be an easier task to make a list of the people in South Florida who have stayed put.
Last night, a group of us gathered at the house of one of us who moved. It wasn't meant to be a celebration of our new lease, but since we had just signed it, we did have a few moments of looking at the pictures on the realtor.com website, of talking about the implications.
I had spent the afternoon hammering out the final details before signing the lease. Our new landlady, the owner of the condo, had been getting calls from people who offered her more than her renting price and longer leases if she would choose them. She asked if we would consider a 2 year lease.
At first I wanted to say, "No. I don't want to be committed in that way." But I didn't want to lose the deal. We talked about the possibility of an 18 month lease, but that would put the lease expiring at the end of January, which traditionally would be a TERRIBLE time to be looking for a new place to live in South Florida. So we signed the 2 year lease.
I have had really positive encounters with our future landlady who said she really wanted us to be her renters, and I really wanted to keep working with her. She has been responsive, and I feel like I've gotten a good vibe from her. I've been duped before, but hopefully my instincts are correct in this case.
Tonight we go to see what we have just agreed to rent for 2 years. Yes, we signed the rent without seeing the specific unit. But I have a friend who lives in the building and loves it, and I know that the building stayed strong during Hurricane Irma; in fact, it was one of the only buildings in east Hollywood that didn't lose power.
This morning, I woke up feeling my usual mix these days: overall excited, with a dash of scared and a sprinkling of sadness. I thought about the condo, which has tile floors. I thought about our current house, where we chose hardwood for the floors. I'll miss some of the planks. Do other people have favorite parts of the hardwood floor? I doubt I'll feel the same about the tiles.
I also feel a bit sad about needing to sell the house itself. We could have kept going for a few more years, draining our savings and dipping into retirement. But at some point, we just wouldn't be able to afford it. And I mean that in all sorts of ways.
I also feel a bit of sorrow that we couldn't pull this off, this living in a historic house until we die. Do I also feel shame? Not really. It's not our fault that global warming is galloping ahead at a much faster pace than even my inner apocalypse gal anticipated, which means that our insurance rates have zoomed into the stratosphere.
I feel a bit like we're letting the house down, but that's silly. Someone else will come along who can do more with and for the house, I hope. I hope they don't bulldoze it down to put up one of those modernist monstrosities on the site.
Part of me hopes for a bidding war, but what I really want is someone who needs a house with a smaller cottage in the back, someone for whom this house will be a blessing--hopefully a someone with cash.