Today was our second Saturday looking for places and it felt a bit like we were re-enacting Goldilocks and the Three Bears, but with houses. The first place we looked at is located in Barrhaven, which is nicknamed “Far-haven” by Ottawans and we discovered that it indeed lived up to the humorous title. It was a beautiful house, with nice carpeting and floors, new appliances, lots of space, a whirlpool tub and shower attached to the master bedroom with walk-in closets, BUT it’s many, many miles from the school, downtown and anything other than rows of similar town homes and a mini-mall down the street. The bus service, for some inexplicable reason, is also very poor in that area, despite intensive new home development.
So, we said no to that place and went to our next property which had the exact opposite problems: The location was great, but the house was nowhere near as nice, and the cost of the rent was high. The area was basically a student ghetto, with garbage piles on every street corner, most of it consisting of pizza boxes and beer. (Our host told us that they would be switching to garbage cans soon) The houses themselves were fairly small, with no carpeting and cheap flooring. The walls were stark white and it was cold as heck, and with a very old furnace, it made us worry about how much we would have to spend just to heat the place.
Don’t get me wrong: The homes weren’t “bad” and the area seemed fairly well managed (Except for the garbage part), but they just didn’t feel very “homey” to me and the costs were prohibitive.
Our last stop was a bit further out, but much closer than Barrhaven. The landlord introduced himself and we walked up to the front door and he rung the bell several times. A Jack Russel terrier barked at us from the front window but no one answered the door, so we went in and the dog proceeded to jump all over us with kisses. The current tenant was apparently MIA, but more interested people, all young couples, like us, also arrived at the same time to look at the place. (I didn’t like this and felt crowded, but what can you do?)
The place was messy and filled with cigarette smoke and the dog had relieved himself in multiple areas of the house, but after looking around, we discovered that if we cleaned the place up, it could be a great home to live in-Spacious, fairly central in a (mostly) great neighborhood and the rent was very reasonable.
So we’re going to apply to rent the last home and fingers crossed we get it and love it!
Animal House image: http://www.rounds.com/blog/50-films-watch-die/national-lampoons-animal-house/