House hunting

So with 6 dogs who like to eat wall, you can imagine how exasperated we became trying to find a home for rent in Iowa. This has, hands down, been our biggest concern this year. We know there are other options, but they are not to be discussed in our household. We won’t hear of them. I will move the earth, sell my soul to the devil, and/or live in our Chevy van with all 6 of our dogs before I remove any one of them from our family.

House #1 seemed like it was a sure thing. It was located in Iowa City, had lots of space for the dogs, and had a fenced front and back yard. It was also 110 years old and totally falling apart, so really our dogs couldn’t do much more damage. But then landlord began dragging his feet. The current tenant, who owns a bar in Iowa City, is going through a divorce. And what sounds like a mid-life crisis. So apparently it’s difficult for him to plan ahead and decide when the hell he’s going to get his shit together.

In the meantime, we found House #2: A cute little farm house outside of town on the edge of a small organic farm. Heaven. But the landlord rented it to someone while our application was in the mail. No, I’m not surprised. I know we have 6 dogs. But I was sad, nonetheless.

Landlord of House #1 was still dragging his feet and becoming more distant, as the tenant was likely falling deeper and deeper into an alcoholic stupor. And eventually he stopped returning our calls.

Then came the ridiculous emotional breakdown. I know you were waiting for it. A white girl ALWAYS has to blog about this. There were 7 people recently killed in a local refinery explosion. There is a woman at my local supermarket who is fighting breast cancer. And here I am, being dramatic.

I called my sister and whined. She listened like the dear sister she is, and reassured me that everything would work out. I threw my body around the house like a moping 13 year old girl and cried so hard I got the hiccups. In hindsight, I was only PMSing as usual. I know my husband was glad he was in class that night.

I sat down in front of my computer and poured my heart out in a MS Word document. However, I composed probably the most organized, eloquent, and persuasive piece of work I’ve ever written. And I have a multitude of past professors to thank for this. I wanted to have this draft letter ready in case we found the perfect place. Stuff goes quick on Craigslist, especially in a college town containing just 60K residents, half of which are students.

I then logged onto Craigslist to again torture myself by looking at homes that did not allow pets.

And there it was: Dog friendly home in the country. Could this be true? It passed the first scam inspection – no generic names, no weird fonts or photos that were too good to be true. 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, hardwood floors, a deck, air conditioning, and a large lot of land on the countryside, 5 miles from town. I pasted my letter into an email to the landlord and crossed my finders. I crossed my toes too (a freakish feat, I know), just to be on the safe side.

The next morning I checked my email to discover that the landlord said she was also an animal lover, that the current tenants have 4 dogs, and that she would be willing to rent to us!

We worked with an Iowa City property management company to coordinate the paperwork and deposits, and we’re now ready to move! We hit the road after Sim graduates on Saturday, June 12th!


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