Michael is very skilled at finding things on craigslist, and he did not disappoint with our rental search. We’re both interested in trying out urban living, so we focused our search on fully furnished apartment units in older homes close to the city.
When we sold our house in San Antonio, we packed up our furniture and belongings and loaded everything into two Pack Rat storage pods. These pods are now in storage in Cincinnati, making a furnished apartment a must. By furnished, I don’t just mean furniture, but also all the “everyday” things one needs, including dishes, silverware, a coffee maker, trashcans, a TV, lamps, even hangers in the closet. I imagined that finding a clean, furnished apartment in a safe and centrally located neighborhood that was also pet friendly would be a rather difficult task. I would soon be pleasantly surprised at the outcome of our search.
The first apartment we looked at was near the little village of Linwood. It was in a turn-of-the-century home, pristine on the inside, with sparkling hardwood floors throughout, and an adorable wooden booth that served as a breakfast nook in the kitchen. As we toured it, I cringed at the thought of Kaiser’s nails making contact with this immaculate hardwood. The apartment was tastefully decorated with antique furniture and original artwork on the walls. Unfortunately, the landlord was a very negative lady who gave both of us bad vibes about living in this charming apartment. It was also a pretty small one bedroom, one bath unit. In the car after the showing, we both agreed there were too many cons and not enough pros. We moved on to the next apartment on our list.
This unit, located in the historic neighborhood of Walnut Hills, ended up being the one we chose. It is a two-bedroom, one and a half bath home that makes up the entire first floor of a three-story historic brick house. The house was built in 1909, and is about 2 miles away from the home where President William H. Taft was born and grew up. Michael and I are so excited about this house. The two upstairs units are currently unoccupied, and it looks like they will remain that way for the foreseeable future. We can’t use the upstairs, but we will basically have the whole house to ourselves.
It is considerably larger than the previous one we looked at, and the landlord was much more welcoming. His name is Aidan, and he moved to Cincinnati from England eleven years ago. As he was showing us the apartment, I had to confirm with him that we had three dogs, one of them being a 90 pound Doberman Pinscher. He assured us that the dogs would not be a problem. He said, in a thick British accent,”well, if you guys have three dogs, than I assume you know what you’re doing.” Many things stood out to us as we toured the unit. It was a lot bigger than the first one we looked at. The half bath along the hallway in the front portion of the house would be very convenient. Ten foot ceilings made the rooms feel huge. We knew the second bedroom would be a perfect place for the dog kennels and storage for all of our belongings. We have 12 sterilite bins, several pieces of luggage, and various other odds and ends that take up quite a bit of space.
As you can see, the apartment has been updated and is nicely decorated in a minimalist fashion. Michael looked up the house and discovered that it was purchased for $17,000 in 2014. The property owners remodeled the interior and fixed up the exterior with fresh paint. We are only the second tenants in the downstairs unit since it was restored, and everything feels clean, fresh, and new.
The living room has two sets of pocket doors. I was not familiar with pocket doors until touring this home. They are large oak doors that slide out from either side of the double doorways, and they add a charming turn-of-the century look to the room. One set connects the living room to the front hallway and the other set connects to the master bedroom. The pocket doors have skeleton keys and can be locked shut. Aidan explained that when there are two roommates sharing the unit, the doors allow for one of the occupants to entertain privately in the living room without disturbing their roommate.
The apartment also comes with access to a driveway, allowing us to fit both of our vehicles on the property and thus avoid on-street parking. In some areas, like the street on which the first apartment was located, the only parking is on-street parking. We did not want to have to worry about finding a parking place every time we came home from work or returned from an excursion.
This unit won both of us over pretty quickly! We began the paperwork for the lease at the end of the showing and arranged to move in a few days later. I’m really impressed that Michael found such a quaint, unique, and charming place for us to rent. Living near the city in a very urban atmosphere will be an entirely new experience for us. We will be so close to everything. The neighborhood is home to several beautiful Catholic churches. The bells from the closest church toll on the hour and half hour, and I enjoy hearing them. I can walk Kaiser for miles around lovely historic neighborhoods. We will also be able to walk, weather permitting, to the grocery store, cute boutique shops, hip bars, and coffee shops.