Home Sweet Home

When I last left off, Doug and I had filled out a rental application for a brand new townhouse in Green River, Rock Springs’ sister city. While we had a good feeling that the rental agent liked us, we were not content to sit on our laurels – not when the rental market is so aggressive here and getting the place was still uncertain.

So, last Tuesday morning in a slightly less panicked fashion, we set about checking the classifieds again and contacting a few more potential places (including another seniors’ residence!). We were almost 100% sure we wanted to live in Green River, so I was very pleased when one of the people I had chatted with on Sunday night called me back to say they suddenly had a vacant property that allowed pets. Within 10 minutes we were out the hotel door and jumping in the Mini en route to Green River.

The townhouse was on a cul-de-sac we had turned around at the day before, and wasn’t much to look at from the outside. Preparing ourselves for the worst, we greeted the landlords and went inside for the grand tour. What immediately jumped out was the retro 70s vibe of the place: dark brown wood doors, railings, and cabinets; worn, shaggy brown carpet in the upstairs and basement rooms; and brown patterned laminate flooring in the kitchen and bathrooms.

Back in the car, with our second rental application in hand, Doug and I started debating the pros and cons of our “Yuppy” and “Shaggy” townhomes. We drove past a few more places on our list, but none of the other locations jumped out at us. A couple of hours later, we were sitting in the Bitter Creek Brew Pub in Rock Springs enjoying our micro-brews and food, trying to make a decision about our top two choices.

On the “Yuppy” side was the obvious curb appeal of the ski chalet-like row homes. The interiors were decorated in the latest designs and the master suite with its walk-in closet and adjoining bathroom were very attractive. It also backed onto this cool-looking hill and the view of the town and hills was great.

On the “Shaggy” side was the price: $250 less per month, a smaller deposit (which meant more money to spend up front on furnishings, etc), and, because of its more worn character, a lower likelihood of getting dinged for wear and tear. It had an extra room (so my office wouldn’t have to double as a guest room) and a small fenced-in backyard with lots of ‘potential’. It also had the benefit of immediate move-in whereas the “Yuppy” townhome would be several more days and potentially longer.

I don’t know if it was the beer, but we decided that Shaggy had stolen our hearts. But we would have to move fast: we knew there was another couple coming to view the property at 2pm. Doug and I quickly chewed our last few bites of food and hurried to the hotel to call the landlords. If we could get there within the hour with the deposit and first month’s rent, they said, it was ours.

With no US cheques in our possession, we headed to the Wells Fargo drive-up ATM to try and withdraw the necessary $2000. It had a limit of $800. Doug went inside to see if he could get the full amount at the teller. No go – you could only withdraw from Canadian accounts at the ATM. Back in the car and around the building. He punched in the maximum amount and passed the wads of $20-dollar bills to me, which I nervously stuffed into our travel wallet, making sure the doors were locked. Then we went across the street to the US Bank ATM and withdrew another $900. With the $300 I had grabbed out of our travel funds, we were now carrying $2000 in cash, which I carefully counted – with the windows up!!

With minutes to spare we arrived at “Shaggy” townhouse clutching our bulging travel wallet. Grateful to hand over the cash to someone else, we did the inspection tour, filled out and signed the needed documents, and received the keys to our new place.

We moved in the next day and so far are very happy with our decision: our neighbours seem nice, the area is lovely, and even the shag carpet is starting to grow on us…

We’ve added a little pot of flowers and a welcome mat that says “Wipe Your Paws” – don’t worry, we’ll yuppify this place yet! 🙂

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