We’d just begun the apartment hunt. I had imagined going to see but one apartment and it being perfect. How easy would that be?
We went to see one. It was odd-shaped, but had hardwood floors, lots of light, a garage, gas stove and washer/dryer. Pretty much everything we need except normally shaped rooms. And the location was not perfect, but good enough.
I kept looking. On a Friday evening, I see this:
Light, roomy 2BR 1BA apt in triplex with shared yard/garden. Laundry room, garage, hrdwd floors. 2 level: One BR and laundry room on ground floor; living, kitchen, BR.and bath on 1st floor above. Close to BART, College Ave., Farmer’s Market. Deposit: $1575. Small pets OK. Garbage included. Year lease. Available March 1. Open house for viewing on Feb. 11, 9 am – 2 pm.
Redondo Ave. at Clarke St.
Cats are ok – prrrr
I was in love…I didn’t sleep for hours daydreaming of moving into it. My mind morphed “Apartment on Redondo Ave” into “the Redondo Beach Penthouse Apartment.”
We woke up. We authored our rental resume and filled out rental apps. We went, packets of rental apps and resumes in hand to the follow up appointment on the imperfect odd-shaped but good enough apartment and then to experience the joy and wonder of the Redondo Beach Penthouse Apartment.
It was perfect. It was beyond perfect. The first level would have been nice enough, but the bottom story had an additional huge room and a laundry room / mop sink big enough to dance around in.
We were charming. We tried not to act too desperate, but responsible and friendly. We tried to embody the perfect tenants.
Of course the open house was crawling with other renters. A fellow was hovering like a vulture — trying the shower, exploring the drawers. “We don’t want to be vultures,” I say to Will. “We just want to subtly charm her and move on.”
Subtle charm: Check. Rental packet in landlord’s hands: Check.
And now nothing to do but wait. A day or two passed. I couldn’t think of anything but the Redondo Beach Penthouse Apartment. I checked my email obsessively and answered all unknown number calls. Nothing.
A few days later we heard that the odd-shaped imperfect apartment was ours for the taking. What to do?!! We couldn’t make a decision about that one without hearing about the Redondo Beach Penthouse Apartment! How could they ask that of us?
We stalled and stalled. A few days later, we were out of options. We couldn’t stall any longer. The landlord at Redondo wasn’t letting us know, and we had to make a decision. We printed the lease and went over it. Shaking with indecision, we showed up to meet the landlords and make our final decision. We called, left a message, and rang the doorbell. No response. Even though we could see him walking around inside!
Perplexed we called again. Rang the doorbell again. Again, nothing. We turned to each other and wondered what was happening. We had no choice but to move on. We moved on.
An hour later found us waiting for a table at Lanesplitters with great friends in town to visit. An hour later found my phone ringing from an unknown number. The pizzeria was loud; I didn’t hear it. A few minutes later I noticed it, wondering if it was the landlord from the imperfect place calling back to apologize for missing us. We still had that decision to make after all.
It was Cathy, the keeper of the Penthouse Apartment. She’d been sick and did not realize we were under a deadline. The place was ours if we wanted it. And want it we did!!
The news had come just in time. The Universe had conspired to keep us from taking the imperfect place for just long enough to hear the great news. And, it has to be said, the rental resume worked. We had a 2/2 acceptance rating using ours in a competitive market.
Now that’s a miracle right?