Saturday, March 19, 2011

Meet the Neighbors

A few years ago my ex and I had been planning to buy a place together, but when we broke up I put that on hold.  After a while I decided that I could and should do it on my own!  At that time there were many foreclosures that the average person still had a chance to buy.  So, off I go with my realtor (a friend's husband) checking out some of the crappiest houses in Denver.  Finally we came across one that was leagues above the rest!  It was relatively cute, didn't need tons of work, and was a great price - under $100K.  Unfortunately someone outbid me.  Back to the search.  Then I found a house my realtor was extremely skeptical about.  It looked fab in the pictures, had more square feet than the last one, and it was only $64.000!!!  We looked at it the second day it was on the market.  Upon review we found that there had been a fire in the kitchen so it needed replacing.  But there was no structural damage, so that was good news.  I'm an interior designer and my mom is a kitchen designer, so replacing a kitchen was not daunting to me at all.  Actually it seemed kind of fun!  I could do some really cute things in there and arrange it much more efficiently.  We put in an offer immediately, above what they were asking.  I didn't get it.  :(  Someone else offered exactly what I had, but they had cash, while I was financing the purchase. 

We went back to the drawing board but then I lost my job.  No way was I going to buy a house when I had no income.  I was quite fortunate that my parents let me move in with them while I got back on my feet financially.  But how embarrassing to have to live with your parents when you are 30-something!  When I felt more stable, I moved out, but only to an apartment.  My job market is still a little unstable so I didn't want to buy something just yet.  And it seemed harder and harder to pick-up those great priced foreclosures that are fewer and further between now.

Long story to get to what I wanted to talk about!  So here I am now at my apartment.  It's an okay apartment, not a great apartment.  But I'm fine with that for now.  I needed SPACE after living in one room at my parent's house.  I wanted ALL of my stuff out of storage and lots of closet space.  I have that here.  I have a 2 bedroom, 1 bath, 950 sq. ft. apartment with an east facing balcony and TONS of closet space.  I love the morning sun that I get.  I have a wood-burning fireplace and a dishwasher (live without one for 3 years and you'll realize what a luxury having one is!).  I don't have a washer and dryer, so that sucks, but I can live without them for time being.  I also have quite a cast of characters for neighbors.

There are six apartments that are accessed through same lobby as my apartment.  First are the stoners that live below me, who I've mentioned before, the guys that own Kitty.  I think there is actually only one guy living there right now.  I keep hearing the one guy screaming at the roommate and then the roommate is never here anymore.  This has happened with a couple people already.  He must be really hard to live with.  He also smokes.  Constantly.  It's disgusting.  He recently had a horrible cough that sounded like he was coughing up a lung, but he was still smoking.  Smart.

Their neighbor is an Indian woman who is scared to death of Lulu.  Really?  Lulu's a 20 pound white dog who perpetually looks like a puppy.  But she has literally walked around the entire building to avoid Lulu.

Then there's my immediate neighbor - a young Indian couple.  I think she's just learning how to cook because she burns things all the time.  She is constantly setting off the smoke alarms and opening their doors to let the smoke out.  Sometimes she makes something that smells really good, but usually I just smell a lot of onions and garlic.  She never leaves the house.  I think she cooks all day.  He must be learning how to do laundry because I've seen him in the common laundry room with a mother-figure directing his laundry-doing.  They never say hi to me. 

Above me is a sort-of-nice couple.  They're not looking to be friends or anything, but they at least occasionally say hi.  They, and their cat, are incredibly heavy walkers.  They are up at all hours of the night, keeping me awake with loud thumping over my bedroom.  She is also a clean freak.  She vacuums ALL THE TIME.  I swear, almost every day.  For long periods of time.  At 2 am.  Seriously.  Even her license plate says CLEAN.

Their neighbor is a middle-aged woman who is stuck in the 80's.  On Friday nights (and only Friday nights) she blasts mournful 80's music in the dark. 

It's quite a cast of characters.  We're never going to be the kind of neighbors that hang out together, but that's okay.  I do wonder, though, what they would say about me?

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