benchmark 2

A year ago last weekend, I was in Charlottesville house with subtle Art Deco flourishes. I wondered where I would be a year later. We were talking about moving out at that time and figured it would be to another place in Charlottesville.

I considered finding a new place in October while listening to Trash or Treasure by Kerbside Collection. I made a note to listen to this album again and talk about where I we  wound up.

Closet space is better but there still isn’t quite enough storage space, which is ridiculous because we really don’t have a lot of stuff. It’s not like there’s crap all over the floors, but there are some things I would like to keep out of sight until needed or have a more efficient home for them.

The new property management company has spotty hours, which is a challenge when getting packages. If we stay, we need to go back to getting things shipped to work. If we leave, we’ll have to anyway, because this is Richmond. Additionally, there are some minor annoyances beyond that. It’s surprising since we went from a on-site property manager and maintenance man to a large company with other properties in town.

I think they want to get us all out so they can renovate and jack up the rent.

The building dumps all the rainwater from the roof onto the front walkway, which currently is the only entrance. It leaked in our living room after a recent rainstorm. (Mind you, we’re on the second of three floors.) Hearing the neighbors is driving Renée crazy. It’s impossible to get to central or western Henrico County without going through the Bryan Park interchange.

But we can walk to Shockoe Bottom and downtown. I can get to work on foot in 40 minutes. I’ve walked as far as Carytown. I’ve wanted a loft with exposed brick and hardwood floors as much as I’ve wanted to live in a brick Cape Cod. I’ve done both now.

Tomorrow, I’m looking at a house to rent. I have a list of questions about it, because I want to live there until we’re ready to buy.

I won’t be able to walk as much because it’s in a tricky spot — a valley separates it from the city’s core and the crossings are extremely limited. It’s also in one of the city’s vast food deserts because our over-saturated grocery market consists of several stores all near each other on the city’s fringes or suburbs.

But it is a fully detached American Foursquare house — I haven’t been in a detached house since 2008, if you don’t count the six months in North Carolina, and that’s sad. It’s also been a decade since I’ve been in a two-story detached house. It has a yard and a porch and it’s in a transitioning part of town. Two high-profile buildings on the main drag recently were purchased and are poised for redevelopment. In a way, it’ll be like being back on 33rd and Clay.

We can have a dog of any size. Katy lives a few blocks away.

But I don’t know what it looks like yet. There’s only an exterior photo. It could look like a total dump, and then we’ll have to start the hunt again. Or stick it out one more year. We’re running out of time to give our terrible new property management company notice.

I think I need a new benchmark song. I hope it’s the last one for a while.


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