Friday, May 18, 2007

No knitting while house-hunting

Have you ever gone house-hunting in a part of the country you don't know at all (or that your spouse only sort of knows)? It's intense! I had no idea! I don't think I can even write about it except to tell you that I'm still here and that... my brain hurts. Three people told me today that I looked tired, or not OK, or like the walking dead, which is true.

Last Friday, we left town for Coffeeboy's PhD graduation ceremonies and a weekend of eating, catching up, and good cheer, speckled by sudden downpours and moments of sunshine. We ate many wonderful meals and saw several of Coffeeboy's colleagues who also had their hoods ceremoniously placed over their heads by their advisors.

The real insanity started Sunday, when we drove to the mountains of western North Carolina, Coffee's future place of work, in order to find a place to live. I had no idea at all what I was getting myself into: houses falling off hills, bathrooms without walls, bathtubs with cracked tiles and yards full of overgrown shrubbery, on the one hand, followed by a reassessment of our needs, which led us to condos with nice layouts located far away from Coffeeboy's school. We had endless discussions in the car, over lunch, over dinner, in the hotel at night, about pros, cons, priorities, advantages, disadvantages - and not to mention this mortgage or that, whether we wanted a homeowner's association fee or would rather put that money into renovating a house of our own. Our parents by now, I'm sure, know the ring of the phone as we called for advice, commiseration, celebration, or just to express confusion.

I've never moved to a place I didn't know at all, it seems, so I had little idea that it could be so totally exhausting to try to figure out neighborhoods, price ranges, expectations, and even where to eat for dinner... all in the space of about 52 hours, the total time we spent in the area. Sunday afternoon to Wednesday morning, there and back again.

No wonder I look like the walking dead. And on Sunday, after I finish grading papers, we're headed back. We thought we had found a place we liked, and we almost put an offer in, but no sooner did we arrive home on Wednesday than we found out that there was actually an affordable condo in our most desired location, the college town where Coffeeboy will be teaching. What confusion! What a tizzy! We need to see the smaller, but more convenient place to know which one we should go with... so we're off, again! No wonder I'm exhausted.

This time, though, I might try knitting in the car, since I know there won't be time to get the needles out in the non-existent evening hours!


Sheepish Annie said...

Oh my! I got tuckered out just reading this! I hope that you find a place soon and that the stress will be over for you. Hang in there and I'll think good thoughts for the perfect place to make itself known to you.

Stephanie (aka qdgirl) said...

That's intense! Best of luck to you. I've moved many times to new cities, but always rented first. Any chance you could rent for six months while you get to know the area, then just pay to break the lease if you find something sooner?

schrodinger said...

Oh, I feel for you!! Finding a new place to live is such a tough thing, and when you don't know the area at all, I know that's just mind boggling. Good luck with it all, hope you find something to fit you both.

Danielle said...

BLEAH. I have the same suggestion as stephanie/qd-- maybe rent for a few months to start? So much pressure to find a real home long-distance.

Teri S. said...

It is exhausting! It's also very exciting. Good luck! I hope you find just the right house soon!

Julia said...

Sheesh, and then grading papers on top of all that? There ought to be a law! It will all come right in the end - hang in there!

Zarzuela said...

Wow. That sounds like quite the ordeal. Hopefully this will be the hardest part and the actual moving will go much smoother! Hugs!