Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Apartment hunting in Raleigh - Day 2

We got up this morning around 8 with the intention of being on our way to the first apartment at 9. Our plan got thrown off right away when we decided to just grab some breakfast from McDonald's instead of the soon to expire continental breakfast at the hotel. Surprisingly, we were only about 30 minutes behind schedule and were leaving for the first apartment at about 9:30.

The first place we went looked promising, but the manager was out of the office until 10:15 so we decided to ride around the area and scope it out. We liked what we saw -- an "old people neighborhood", as CaryAnne said. It seemed like it would be a nice, quiet place. With that in mind, we headed back to talk to the manager and toured the model. The kitchen was small and it all smelled a little, but we liked it overall. The day was off to a great start.

Next, we headed toward another complex that looked better on paper than in person. On the way out from that one, we stumbled upon a place that we really liked. We did the tour and talked about move-in dates and were thrilled to have 2 good options so early in the day. While we were waiting to hear back from one other place, though, we decided to ride up to where Michael and Alex are going to live and check it out. We didn't really think it was going to be an option for us, but since they hadn't seen it in person yet, they asked us to just run by and make sure it was alright.

It was way more than alright. This place was the best we had seen up to this point. The lady told us all about it and showed us their model room. We fell in love. Our (my) only concern was that its location is a little further north than we wanted. She told us that they had 2 first floor apartments available so we decided we would go look at a couple other places and decide from there.

The next hour was filled with lots of discussion about how much we loved it, whether or not the location would be alright, and how long we thought those 2 vacant apartments would stay available. After seeing the other places and going through all the other apartments we had looked at, we decided to go back and apply.

We did all the paperwork and are currently waiting to hear back from them about how much our security deposit will be.

After all that, we visited the nearest mall and got a late lunch. Then we drove into southern Raleigh and did a little sight-seeing. We really liked the downtown area and are excited to get back up here and explore some more. We've only been here about 30 hours, but we already love it.

We're going home tomorrow. That drive is going to be a lot of fun...

Monday, May 2, 2011

Apartment hunting in Raleigh - Day 1

Well, we left Brookhaven around 4:30 Sunday afternoon after seeing Willy Wonka (which Lucas, Gooch, and Jessica were great in). Our destination: Raleigh. Our plan: Find an apartment.

We ended up stopping around 2am in Greenville, SC for the "night" to rest up for the long day ahead. The hotel we decided on turned out to be a pretty decent Comfort Inn, that surpassed our expectations. It was a nice break from all the driving. We got up around 7 to get our day started and made the 4 hour drive into Raleigh. We got into Raleigh around noon so we stopped at Chick Fil-A for some lunch then went and checked into our hotel (Super 8). As worn out as we were from the long drive, getting into the city gave us some energy that was much needed.

From the hotel, we made our way out to visit some apartments. Thanks to CaryAnne who put together a binder full of potential apartments, complete with page protectors and a Google maps style list, it was a lot easier than I expected. She had mapped out almost all of the places that interested us. In all, we probably visited/toured 7 different apartment complexes. Some were too expensive. Some were too sketchy. Some were perfect except for an extremely small living room or lack of washer/dryer connections. We did find a couple that we would be happy in, but our search isn't over yet. We plan to tackle the rest of our options tomorrow.

After our apartment hunt ended, we met up with some people from the church for supper. We met Nathan, Drew, Matt, Shauna, and Matt and Shauna's four kids at a little Mexican restaurant (El Dorado) down the road from our hotel. We had a great time and are really looking forward to getting to know them better. It was very encouraging for us to be able to get together with them; they made us feel like we belong here.

It's 9pm here so I guess we are about to go to sleep. It has been a long couple of days and tomorrow is going to be as well -- more apartments and hopefully a chance to get out and see more of Raleigh.