Saturday, June 29, 2013

housing update

I really thought it would be easy to find a place in our school district so Geoff could stay here. After a solid month of looking, it seems to me that we may have to look out of district. The superintendent's office has informed us that there are no open school choice spots available... and the fact that he has only two years to go doesn't account for anything. So while we're waiting for something, anything, to open up in our district, we've also begun to look out of district.

Geoff is pretty confident (or at least puts on a brave face) that he'll be okay changing schools. To me, it's devastating. I don't want him to change schools, start over at grade 11. Part of me feels like sure, it's a fresh new start... and another part of me feels that it is ridiculous to start over when so close to the finish line. I worry about his social abilities, and how he'll manage his anxiety. Because I'm the one who has to deal with him the most when he gets these anxieties... and then I get anxious.


Here's a rundown of what we've seen for houses...

1. Mid May, we had lined up a rental but it fell through. Miscommunication and what I think is a slightly shady landlord resulted in us losing out on that one. Part of me feels we dodged a bullet, another part feels nothing but regret.

2. Day after we lost option 1, I spoke with another possibility here in town. The husband was all gung ho to rent it to me. The wife has a different idea of what to do with the rental and it does not include us. Got my hopes way high up on that one. Disappointed.

3. Two places in the next town over (also our school district) both way out of our price range.

4. Next town beyond that (we are a three town school district) has a 3 bedroom, in a complex. Not sure we want that. Everything else is a two bedroom. Technically we can't do that - kids can't share a room. Chaos will ensue.

5. Started to look out of district. Looked at a gorgeous place in Haverhill, in the woods, on a hill, perfect. Great size, deck, gardens... everything. Then looked at the Haverhill schools and decided it wouldn't be a good fit for Geoff.

6. Looked at a great place in Methuen, newly restored, perfect floors, brand new kitchen, great backyard, nice neighbors, one town away from the Lawrence line but that's okay by me. Cop for a next door neighbor. Then we looked at the Methuen schools and decided again, not a good fit.

7. A duplex opportunity opened up the next town over and is in our price range.  The owner said 43 people submitted their names for consideration which he found slightly overwhelming, so he sent everyone back a list of questions so he could try and decide who to pick. We made the cut, with three other possible renters, so we get to see it on Tuesday night. I think it is right across the street from my friend Beth's house, and Jess is house sitting for Beth right now so she's looking at the house to see if anyone is coming or going, packing and moving. Right now, this is my first choice for a place. Fingers crossed.

8. Today we crossed the state line and went up into Salem NH. School system there is better than Haverhill or Methuen, not as good as ours. But hey. It's better than I expected. The house we looked at is on 2.5 acres of land, right around the corner from a pond with canoe put in. Nice neighborhood, less than a mile from the main drag with all the stores and shopping you can ever need. The house itself is TRASHED. The rental agent was a little shocked at the condition of the place, as it was her first visit and she rented it out a year ago to a family. Turns out they had about 11 kids staying at the house, 5 adults, and a mess of dogs. No one took care of the yard, it is completely overgrown and wild. It is going to take a lot of work to get it into living condition, even the ceilings need to be washed. The listing agent was happy we could "see through the mess" to see it as a livable option. I feel bad for the owner. Really bad.

So, right now, this is where we are. Fingers crossed.

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