Friday, July 15, 2011

The times, they are a-changin'

Two weeks ago, Alan and I got a notice on our front door, announcing that our building had been procured by new owners. In 60 days, our rent would jump by over $500 a month. My mood about it, since then, has ranged from stress and anger (stage 1) to delirious amusement (stage 2) to a quiet, tentative sense of excitement (stage 3).

Stage 2 delirious amusement came in considering how NOT worth the new rental rate our building is. Yes, it's been a great place to settle into Seattle - walkable to everything from work to downtown to the stadiums to quaint neighborhood main drags to stunning views and urban parks, close access to highways to the mountains too, a quiet building with mostly good neighbors, etc.

But there are plenty of issues that we've tried to ignore for the last couple years. I won't go into detail here about them, but they're pretty 50/50 with the positives.

The new owners are not really landlords. They're a small investment company who renovate beat up, old buildings into fancy new apartments to make them far more profitable for owners. They don't really expect us to pay the new rent; they just want us out to do their renovations and help along our "rapidly gentrifying neighborhood." (Their phrasing, not mine.)

Learning that caused a brief plummet back into stage 1 (stress and anger), but it was shortly replaced by a leap into stage 3 (!) when I started cruising apartment listings. Although the market for renters is much tougher now than it was two years ago when we were last looking, we managed to land a new place within about a week and a half of initiating the search - and it's a great one!

And so stage 3 continues. Now that I know for sure where we are going, I feel like I'm at the beginning of a new relationship - giddy, distracted, and ultimately obsessed with the concept of something I really don't know at all...but will, very very soon. As I write this, I'm on my lunch break at work, chowing down over my keyboard so I can get some of my infatuated ramblings off my chest before plunging back into work.

We'll be moving to Queen Anne - the other major hill in Seattle that nuzzles downtown. The famous, so-called "Frasier view" is taken from Queen Anne. I took the following photo on my first run up the hill, nearly two years ago.

Hassles of moving week itself aside, we'll get to enjoy all the perks of moving without the hassle of having to find new jobs or new friends. Instead, we'll get to explore new cafes, new restaurants, new bookstores, new libraries, new ice cream shops, new running routes, new evening walks, new hidden public stairways and secret views...all the exciting aspects of going somewhere new!

We'll be in a nicer neighborhood overall, and finally have covered off-street parking! We'll have our very own balcony with beautiful views of the Seattle skyline, Mt. Rainier, Lake Union and the Cascade mountains. We'll have enough space to not need a separate storage unit anymore. And all for about the same price we pay now!

Clearly, we should have made this move a long time ago.

In the meantime, as with all goodbyes - however small - I have lists of things I will miss about our current home...lists of things I still haven't ever gotten around to doing in our neighborhood, that are imperative to do before moving next month. Funny how a deadline sometimes is all the push you need to grant yourself the experiences you've been thinking about, if not dreaming of. Nostalgic list entry coming soon to my blog :)