New Apartment

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Well it’s been an exhausting search, but I can finally report that I have a new apartment! We caught a break when Eric spotted a great listing on Craigslist that matched our criteria within hours of its posting, and we were the first to tour it the next day. Although walking around San Francisco in the blustery rain to see apartments was pretty miserable– trying to keep rental applications and our W-2s dry all the while– it ended up paying off because within a week of touring/applying we signed the lease, got the keys, and moved all our furniture into the new place. I definitely don’t recommend trying to rent and move all in the same week, but getting to move over President’s Day weekend meant we could have an extra day to unpack and get settled, so the time crunch seemed to be worth it.

Thankfully we now only have 2 small boxes left to unpack, so the fun can begin of arranging art, buying rugs, and generally decorating this little 86 year old apartment of ours. Here are some “before” shots I was able to take on the walk though last Saturday– I think with a little restoration (I’m looking at you, paint covered hinges and glass doorknobs), planning, and patience this place will be perfect for us. And of course, I’ll try to keep you all updated as I “finish” decorating rooms along the way. :)

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Sorry– clearly I couldn’t wait to unpack and didn’t get a good shot of the kitchen without this box in it!

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7 comments

  1. Oh WOW! It looks GORGEOUS!!! And I know how hard it is cause we literally started our search today and I’m so confused. Actually, to give you a bit of background, we moved to SF 3 days ago (from Sydney, Australia crazy times ;) I have a little one and myself & husband and we looked around the Richmond district. Do you like the Richmond?? Lol, sorry this is probably the most personal comment I’ve ever posted and I probably seem odd for saying so much, but I adore your blog and therefore of course, your taste, and as I’m completely new to living in SF so it’d be great to get an educated opinion on an area we looked at. Where are you guys?

    thea (of spoonfulzine)
    x

    1. Hi Thea, welcome to San Francisco!!!
      I can’t even imagine how crazy it must be moving to a new country with a family *and* finding an apartment– sending good vibes that you find the perfect place soon! When we were searching we limited our scope of places to within a 30 minute walk of a BART station (since that’s how my boyfriend gets to work), and therefore concentrated our search on Hayes Valley, the Mission, and Glen Park. We also wanted to find a neighborhood that was safe, not too hilly, walkable to restaurants, and near a nice park if possible. We ended up finding a place through Craigslist that was listed as Lower Haight, but in actuality is in the Hayes Valley/ Alamo Square area. I guess that goes to show that you can’t always trust the location descriptions in the ads!

      I’ve actually never been to the Richmond area, but I’m hoping to now that I live a bit more centrally in the city (at my old place it would have taken 45 minutes on the bus, just one way!) From what I have heard though, that area (especially the Inner Richmond) has lots of great food and is really a great little microcosm of SF. Plus being that close to Golden Gate Park would probably be great with a kid! Just be prepared for lots of fog out there though ;)

      While we were searching, we would try to spend the weekend days in the areas we were looking to move to, even if we didn’t have an open house lined up when we left the house in the morning. Then throughout the day we could check Craigslist on our phones for new listings and open houses, follow up with building managers for tours, and could easily pop over quickly if the apartment was being shown. Not only did it make things less hectic trying to get to last-minute viewings, but we also got a better feel for the neighborhood by walking around and hanging out in restaurants/coffee shops than we would have sitting at home waiting for people to return our emails. Plus with a kid I’m sure getting out the door quickly to a viewing isn’t always an option!

      A couple last tips that I picked up (should you want them!)…
      It helped us immensely to bring along a filled out generic application to open houses, so we could fill out the specific building’s application that much quicker, should we love a place (lots of rentals in SF are first come, first served). Also, it’s worth asking the landlord/superintendent at the viewing how old the building is– in SF if the building was built before 1979 it will be rent controlled (which is key given the rise in rent prices recently). Also, wood structure buildings are generally safer in an earthquake (since the wood can bend and flex), but brick buildings are sometimes ok too– just ask if they have been earthquake retrofitted. (Don’t worry too much about earthquakes though, 99.9% of them are harmless, although it doesn’t hurt to have some emergency supplies on hand for a future big one.)

      Also thanks so much for reading our blog– your sweet comment seriously made my day! If you have any other questions about SF, please don’t hesitate to ask. :) Good luck!

      1. Grace!!! That was genuinely the kindest and loveliest of replies, ever! Thank you so much for taking the time to respond. I truly appreciate it!

        As you say, it is incredibly daunting being so new in such an intense housing market and so many of the ideas you suggested were so very wise and clever, I would never have thought of them (I feel a little better equipped to cope now! ) Thank you :)

        I shall keep hunting and let you know what happens.

        Perhaps if we end up near your hood, and it’s not too odd, we could have a coffee, or share neighborly smiles :).

        Have a wondrous day & thank so very much again!

        thea.
        xx

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