You’d think that it wouldn’t be such a difficult thing to do, especially when you’re “only” renting and not even selling your soul to buy a house and gain a mortgage. I mean, sure, it isn’t an easy process, especially when you’re trying to coordinate moving in with your boyfriend and balancing schedules, showings, budgets, wishlists as you make a list of what places you want (and then cross most of them off so you narrow it down to what you can afford). But I never imagined that it could be so difficult, especially when you do everything on your end to make things run smoothly.
Let me tell you how Saturday went.
We had set up four showings for the day. Three of them were set up three weeks in advance, thanks to conflicting schedules and the need to do the viewing on a Saturday. So I called the Wednesday before, to confirm none of the places had been bought already and make sure I had the right location of where to meet at first. During that phone call, I found out that two of the places had indeed already been sold. They had two similar properties we could look at instead, during the same time slot. As I was writing the details down, they said, “Wow, I’m really glad you called. Otherwise, that would have been really awkward.”
Um, shouldn’t you, as the leasing office, have called me, to let me know those changes? Especially when the links I saved to the properties hadn’t been updated to reflect the sold status?
Should’ve been Red Flag One. But I was still excited to see these places, so I didn’t really think too much of it.
Friday rolls around and I get a call that one of the leasing agents can no longer make it to the showing, so we’re down to two houses, instead of three. Alright, fine, we can make that work.
(I bet you can feel where this is going. I feel so ignorant, to have had no idea at the time.)
Saturday. We are literally on our way to the first house when we get a phone call from them, again, and the receptionist tells me, twice, that she is “freaking out over here,” as they can’t get ahold of the leasing agent who was meant to show us the other two properties, so they are going to have to cancel.
“Would you like to reschedule?”
We still have another house–and honestly, my favorite option–later in the afternoon, with a different leasing office. So we spent our sudden few open hours going grocery shopping and running a few errands, before we head to the house. We make it and it’s adorable and I’m already making plans of how we can customize this or how we’re going to become friends with the neighbors with the bloodhounds, when 3pm hits–the time of our showing. 3:05pm. 3:10pm. I double check the email with our showing confirmation, verifying the time and the date. Yep, all good on my end. Finally, I call the agent and ask if his 2:30pm showing ran late and let him know we’re at the house. He tells me he thought it was at 3:30pm and then asks for the address.
Turns out, he didn’t have us on his calendar at all.
He must of “forgotten to write us down.”
“Would you like to reschedule?”
Yeah, that’s going to be a no.
At this point, I’m frustrated to the point of near tears, as my boyfriend starts driving away from the house while I’m still on the phone, having picked up on the fact that we totally aren’t looking at that house–and not just that house, but any of the four we’d planned on, after two different companies weren’t able to get their shit together.
And you want to know the most ridiculous part? My immediate reaction: guilt. I felt guilty for not vetting the companies better and realizing they were inept to, I dunno, actually do their jobs. I felt guilty for not confirming with the second leasing agent like I had the first, because I just assumed we were good to go. I felt guilty for wasting my boyfriend’s afternoon and missing International Tabletop Day, which he was really excited to celebrate, until he realized it was on the same day we were going house hunting.
After the guilt, I then grew anxious and worried. In my mind, we were going to love one of those places and then put in an application to rent it by the end of the day. We would have started our moving in together process officially, with a place in mind. Instead, all the remaining houses on my list were scratched off, with two different leasing companies no longer an option, and we’re nearing closer and closer to my boyfriend’s busiest time of the year at work. We really wanted to have something secured by the end of May. What if we don’t find anything else? What if we can’t afford anything else? What if we hate where we live? What if no one else can remember when our appointments are?
Neither of those reactions were necessary.
With the guilt, that’s pretty obvious. I did everything I could in my power to make things go smoothly. Those on the other end just didn’t hold up their end of the bargain. I can’t control that. Plus, I learned something good. If a company can’t manage their calendar or their agents well enough to manage one afternoon of showings, do I really want to trust them with my rent money; with utility problems, when things break?
Yeah, probably not.
With the worry, I’ve always been a worrisome soul, so I’m not surprised. But I also just gotta have a little faith. I’m definitely of the mindset that, once I know something is going to happen or something needs to be done, I just want to do it/get it done. Once we decided to move in together, I immediately wanted to find a place, get it secured, pack, move and then get settled in. That’s just how I work. Just because this progress hasn’t been that quick, cut and dry, doesn’t mean we aren’t going to find something we can afford, love and turn into our very own. It doesn’t mean that the failures of one day are doomed to repeat the next time we try.
I just need to remember that.
Especially as, for house hunting, we’re back to square one.
*goes back to browsing through Zillow ads*
PS: So, if you live in Lawrence, the lease management locations discussion above are Gage Management and Location Properties, respectively.
I wouldn’t recommend either one.