Friday, June 17, 2011

Rental House in Austin?

Our house, photographed by Ben Becker

Dear Universe,

I'm not one of those hardcore subscribers to the idea of "manifesting," but I figure it can't hurt to put a tiny request out into the world.

You see, my family and I are going to need a rental house in Austin. We could be moving as soon as August 1, if Matt is able to secure a job and we're able to sell our Houston house before then. I met with a realtor who thinks it's highly likely that our house will sell quickly, since there aren't many comparable houses available in our neighborhood right now.

I am so sad to say goodbye to our current house. In fact, I'm hoping we find something similar to it in East Austin. Here's what we're looking for:
  1. 2 or 3 bedroom house; one bathroom is fine (or more is fine, too)
  2. Must allow us to have our dog (70 pounds) and our two chickens (yard must have a high fence)
  3. Lots of natural light (this one is huge for me!)
  4. Wood floors preferred
  5. Central heat and air

Unfortunately, we have two competing goals. First, we need to spend as little as possible, since we need to put as much money as we can toward saving for our land and future home. However, we could very well be in this rental for several years as we work toward that goal, so we need to find a place that is nice and comfortable. We're raising our son in the Montessori way, so we want to create a space that is beautiful, uncluttered, and organized.

I'm so very worried, Universe. My preliminary searches have turned up dingy and depressing rentals that haven't been cared for very well, which makes me even more sad about what we are leaving behind.

I guess the bigger issue is that I'm scared to leave behind our support network, and I'm scared to undertake my two audacious goals. I'm scared to fail.

So I'm a little sad right now. Thanks for listening, Universe.

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Audrey said...

Dear Universe,

I am writing in response to a note recently received from kindred spirit Sarah Cotner. You might know her as a hard-working and inspired new mom, writer of encouraging words, caretaker of the earth, and teacher of young souls.

She's a fantastic being, and that's why I know you'll be pulling for her as she goes through some big, bold, upcoming changes in her life.

After all, it's just part of the "domino effect" continuum. Some call it karma. Others, The Secret. Either way, I just know you'll be there to continue to facilitate her dreams, and reassure her along the way, won't you? Put good work out, get good things in return, right? I thought so.

Many thanks,

Sara E. Cotner said...

Dear Audrey,

You are making me cry. In a good way. Thank you.

I'm going to a potluck picnic tonight. I wish we were real-life friends, so I could invite you.

Wishing you the happiest weekend,


Sara E. Cotner said...

P.S. I just read your letter again. I think I'll be doing that often.

Autumn said...

Sara, do you have personal or professional contacts in Austin? We are in a very similar situation to you, between selling and buying houses, trying to save money while not living in a hovel. The rental house we just found was because we mentioned our needs to a guy who happened to have a rental house that wasn't even listed, but was perfect for us and our two dogs. Several other friends own rental properties or knew those who did, and helped spread the word about what we were looking for. Tell everyone you come into contact with that you need a rental house.

I had no luck on craigslist or in the paper. You also might just drive around neighborhoods you like and look for "For Rent" signs-- some of the best rentals don't even advertise because they rely on word of mouth and passerby traffic.

Good luck, I can relate to what a stressful time this is for a consummate planner (like myself), having so much up in the air! Sending up thoughts to the universe on your behalf as well.

Victoria said...

The rental market in Austin is kind of dismal at the moment. People just keep moving here but new stuff isn't being built so there is a lot of competition.

I really like the Allandale neighborhood and I see a lot of for rent signs up there. It isn't East Austin but I love the neighborhood. It is close to MoPac & 183 so it is easy to get to where you need to.

kacey said...

You probably already know the Austin 'hoods...but if you're looking east I'd go recommend French Place (lots of families and well-kept houses); I also echo Allendale and Crestview...north-central instead of east but pretty affordable and great for kids (I grew up here and can attest to many bike-riding-routes and climbing trees). I'll keep an ear to the ground. From my internet-only acquaintance I can tell you are brave, creative and big-hearted. Austin is lucky to have you. The universe (and your neighbors) will welcome you with open arms.

Audrey said...

Sarah, so glad I could send some meaningful words your way, as I so often love reading yours.

P.S. I'd be happy to call you my real-life friend, as well!

Shawn said...

It's okay to be sad. I know you know that, but if you're like me, you're harder on yourself than anyone else is and to have someone else validate your emotions is sometimes helpful.
Just wanted to let you know that I find your blog helpful and inspiring and that I read it because I care about how you are doing - the internet is weird and amazing, right? So, even though it will be hard to leave your real life support network, your blog network isn't going anywhere.
I just finished law school and I'm in that limbo where I'm studying for the BAR, so I'm not a lawyer yet. I'm in massive school debt and don't have a job yet. My boyfriend and I want to get engaged soon, and we will, but finances become stressful there too (I've already been to your other blog about that). Just wanted to put it out there in the universe that I am scared, too. I know it's scary to fail, but you know what you want and how cool is that! I've found who I want, which I am immensely grateful for, but I'm still struggling to define my geographic and career hopes and dreams. It's all a process and I try to enjoy the journey, but I'm a planner, too. My bit of practical advice - watching Maria sing "I Have Confidence" in The Sound of Music always gets me back in the right mind frame, but I'm a musical nut, so whatever works for you! Remember, strangers on the internet are routing for you!

Emily & David said...

A thought...My partner and I have had tremendous luck using the "housing wanted" part of Craigslist. We found amazing tenants for the home we left behind in a recent cross-country move (without having to post an add and respond to handfuls of individuals) and also posted looking for housing for ourselves (emphasizing the professional, established, responsible advantages of us as tenants). We found that folks were more flexible with rents and opening up their homes to our dogs when they knew they were getting great tenants.

Cecile said...

Dear Sarah,

Your blog inspires me a lot ! I'd like to give you back a little support. I think you are amazing. You're amazing at making actions to make your dreams / goals come true.

Whenever I am afraid... I keep saying to myself that's is ok to fail. Cause I think it's better to try and fail that not trying AT ALL !

Let us know if there's something we could do to help you.

PS : I always had bad experiences when looking for a rental appartment on the internet (Nothing matched my needs !). Always better to go there and look.

Rachel said...

Some of the more central neighborhoods (Rosedale, Brentwood) actually have better rental properties. Maybe even Cherrywood.

Does it have to be East Austin? Why?

Sara E. Cotner said...

Hi, Rachel! East Austin is where I want to start the public Montessori charter school, since there's more racial and socio-economic diversity. Living there will help me immerse myself in the community and really start to build connections.

Redfrizzz said...

Dear Sara-
thanks for sharing your concern and sadness at the great void of possibility that awaits you. I've often felt the same way about options, possibility, and uncertainty. But you are strong, capable, and really friendly, and no doubt you will create a wonderful support network of friends, neighbors, and strength wherever you go in this world.
Put that void in your pocket. The world is your oyster.

kaitlin said...

Dear Sara,

It's been an incredibly long time since I've visited your blog, decidedly too long, since it seems as though there are huge changes afoot. You are so strong and capable of pursuing these. I'm reminded of a simple mantra that I was introduced to in grade nine at a summer camp: "No deposit, no return." Like on the back of a pop bottle, except that it equally applies to what you put into life.

I also really like the theory of "shame blasting", that I think might pertain a little bit to your situation at large and your experiences of taking the bull by the horns and jumping into these audacious (and inspiring!) goals: I think that's what you're doing here and what this community is doing in response.

I think I'm being a bit redundant, but I do want to echo everyone's comments and say that we have your back: Your blog network won't disappear underneath your feet while you make this transition.

The architect that I am studying received a poem on his graduation from his father. Given your situation, I am reminded of it. It read "into God's temple of eternity, drive a nail of gold."

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