Upended

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We talked about happy we’d been lately, how relatively not-bad this winter’s been. We talked about the house-buying scheme and decided to put off thinking about it for a few years since we had such a great place now and were so settled and cozy in it. We even took a cab home.

I woke up the next morning, ready for an easy Friday, and of course, that’s when everything went pear-shaped. Frank gets up a few minutes before I do because he has to write a first post for his work website before he leaves. He was sitting at the computer, looking like he was going to throw up.

 

He made me read the email myself—our landlords were moving back to town and they needed our apartment back. Now I too felt like I was going to throw up. I’d always assumed that if/when our landlords moved back to the States, they’d live in the big, fancy upstairs apartment like they used to. I didn’t think about the fact that their kids had all moved out of the house since they left Brooklyn.

So basically, this sucks big old balls for me and Frank. Definitely, it’s an unmitigated disaster. I guess I should thank someone that this is the worst surprise I’ve ever had, but oof, it was brutal. Frank, and he will murder me for telling you this, cried three times. He loves our apartment.

I love our apartment. It’s our home! And beyond that, our landlords rent it to us way, way under market. Which, I know, I should be grateful that they let us live here for three years at that price that they did, not mad they’re kicking us out. I will. But for now: anger. And panic.

Ugh. We considered moving a few years ago, but when we looked around, we realized this apartment was irreplaceable at this price. Our neighborhood is fancier than we are by far. So, here we are. We’ve seen two places already (both awful) and we have until May 26th, so it’s not time for drastic measures, but instead of the quiet pre-spring weeks of enjoying life I’d had planned, we are instead going to spend every waking moment looking at apartments, packing, moving, bickering, and freaking out.

It’s hard to figure out what to give up. I mean, obviously the hope is that we’ll luck into an apartment as good as this one, but that’s pretty unlikely. So do we move to a different, farther away neighborhood? (I’ll miss my friends!) Take a closer-by but less good apartment? (What about all our crap?) Pay more for something comparable? (I don’t have any more money!) Will we have to pay a giant, annoying broker fee? (Yes, probably.) Where will that money and the money for the actual moving come from? (Good question.)

The whole thing just makes me feel sick and worried. Frank and I are such homebody nerds. We’re both so attached to this, our first apartment together. We’re the sort of people that are very affected by the state of the house, and upheaval like moving makes us nervous and weird. Like cats. And hilariously, it’s been pouring down rain ever since we found out the news. (As Frank says, it’s like a magic realism novel out there.)
And of course, it being New York, everyone has an opinion about real estate and what our best options are. Which is very sweet and helpful, except that actually right now it just makes me want to scream at them. It’s different looking for a place when you want to move and when you are being forced to move, you know?

All those smug people with apartments. If Harlem/Kensington/Windsor Terrace/Morningside Heights is SO GREAT and SO CHEAP and we’ll find some thing COMPLETELY WONDERFUL there, then why the hell aren’t they living up/out there? Ahem. Sorry. I’m swear, in a week or so I’ll be calmed down a little.

I hope that in the end, if we work hard to find a place and accept that we’ll have to eat the multi-thousand dollar broker fee  and approach looking at apartments with an open mind and happy heart and the spirit of compromise, we’ll find something good. Maybe better. Home is where we are, right? And our stuff? Well, whatever stuff we can fit into our new little overpriced hovel. Ugh. This is bad.