The Quest for the Perfect Home

Finding a new home is no easy task, especially when you are looking for one in a new city where you aren’t familiar with the neighborhood. Michael and I spent the first weekend in August looking for our new humble abode. His dad took us around on Sunday and showed us some areas of town where it would be close for me to walk to the train to get to work, and easy enough for Michael to hop on the highway to head out to his new office in Oak Brook. We settled on the West Loop thinking that would be the best spot for us.

That evening, after dinner, we met a young guy who over heard our conversation about apartment searches. He just so happened to be a Realtor and offered to show us some places the following day. “What luck!” we thought. I took the afternoon off and we met up with our new guide. He showed us 3 places, all high-rises in the loop.

High-rise #1:
It was clean and had a nice view of downtown, but it had a really small balcony and was very cramped. It sort of made me feel claustrophobic and we would have been on the 14th floor. Something about having to go up and down with the dog didn’t appeal to me. NEXT!

High-rise #2:
I almost immediately nixed this one. I could tell by the location that I wasn’t going to like it. We went up to check out what would be our unit on the 4th floor and I quickly confirmed my original thoughts. It sat right next to the train and was on the same level as the train. I could see it zoom by! Everyday hearing a train continuously shoot by did not agree with me. How would we sleep!? NEXT!

High-rise #3:
Super dog friendly, great view, huge balcony, spacious, but something still wasn’t right.

I don’t like the high-rise life and neither does Michael we realized. What were we to do!?!

Sigh… I know coming from our home in Houston I would have some problems finding a spot I truly loved, but I had prepared myself for an apartment and recognized that it wasn’t going to be anything like what we were used to. I knew all this, but I just figured that when I saw one I would just know that it was it. None of these made me feel that way and I was stressing out a bit just because we were leaving the next day and wouldn’t have another opportunity to come back and look. I hated the thought of having to rent something without seeing it first and I started to get anxiety about us being homeless. We had to be out of our house by the end of the month!

Just when I started to have a panic attack, Michael’s dad tells us his friend owns a few buildings and he’d give him a call to see if there’s anything open we could see. His friend tells us to meet him at his office in Wicker Park which sits on top of an old bank – very cool. We walk over to the building which is adjacent to his office and we walk in so he can show us a unit. He opened the door to unit #1 and it was like a scene out of a movie where the door is shining white lights, it was truly magical. I whispered to Michael, “Now I can live here”. He turned to me and said, “Oh yeah”. With it’s high ceilings, beautiful wood floors and granite counter tops, we were in love. I was right, when you find the right place, the feeling of “this is my home” rushes over you.

Fearful to hear the price tag on it since the prior places were higher than we had anticipated and weren’t remotely as attractive as this place, I was shocked to learn it ran about the same as the others. I guess things are a bit more expensive in the Loop than they are in Wicker Park, at least from what I saw.

We hadn’t really thought about Wicker Park as a place to live, but driving around it after we sealed the deal on our new place, we realized it fit us perfectly. Its a little hipster area with tons of great bars and restaurants for us to visit. I can’t wait to start exploring!

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About Maxine

May 1, 2011 I started my adventure in Chicago by taking a new position. I spent the better part of the summer traveling to and from Chicago and learning the ways of the city. Uprooting my life and moving to Chicago from Texas is proving to be quite the feat, but I'm making it work. I've never lived anywhere else but Texas and I'm embarking on a drastic change in my life. Everyday this little Texan learns something new and I'd like to share my tales with you. Some stories are too good not to share :) www.texandthecity.com
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