Thursday, December 15, 2016

El Paso: House Hunting

Sunset view from new home, El Paso, Texas. August 2016.

August 2016.

El Paso marks my 5th year of annual moves.

In Caucasus Georgia, my first nomadic year, my homes were assigned to me, the first in New Rustavi and the second in Old Rustavi.

In Alamogordo, New Mexico, my second nomadic year, I learned that renters:
  • Are second-class citizens; and
  • With unusual financial lives cause some confusion for potential landlords. 
Nevertheless, I found a terrific apartment quickly, with story here and here. And here was my temporary home til I could move into the apartment.

In Lafayette, Louisiana, I based myself in a hotel when I arrived. Miraculously, I found a teeny place in a dream location about two days after I landed, and was able to move in about two days after that. Here and here are about my hunt. And here is my moving day, heheheh.

In my year for Opelousas, Louisiana, I based myself in an airbnb - well, two airbnbs - while searching for my new digs. The fact that I arrived back in Louisiana just before Mardi Gras was not the smartest decision, but it all worked out fine. My Opelousas apartment turned out to be the perfect place for me. Friendly neighbors, walking distance to a grocery store, super close to I-49 to zip down to Lafayette, and a different view of South Louisiana than I had in Lafayette, which is exactly what I'd sought.

I've learned that when I get stressed out over finding a place, it's of my own making, and is not only unnecessary, but unhelpful.

Well, I should say that I've learned it even better after my El Paso hunting experience.

The biggest challenge, I've discovered, is finding the right information source for apartment hunting. Yes, most cities have a or some such, but these generally focus on the larger complexes. Craigslist is useful, and that's how I found my Opelousas apartment.

In El Paso, it was Hotpads that led me to my chosen place.

But before I found it, I located a Plan B apartment - a teeny studio on Mesa on the west side that would have worked just fine for a month or two, if necessary.

Where I ended up, oh my, exceeded my dreams! I am within walking distance of both the university and downtown El Paso. I am just a few blocks from I-10. The range of architecture here is like a bag of Halloween candy - so many delectables to look at and sigh over.

My apartment is furnished, which means sleeping on an actual bed this year - the first time in two years! Although I cherished my red couch-bed, it's a luxury to have a real bed. The utilities are included, as well, which saves on start-finish hassles and deposits and bill-paying.

My cherished red chairbed from Alamogordo, Lafayette, and Opelousas.

Ouch, though. Frankly, the rent is a real stretch for me. And it's a tiny place with barely enough room for me to set up my work space. But location, location, location.

I'm in the Sunset Heights neighborhood, one of the several historic districts in El Paso. My apartment is within a large, historic home. I can see the roofs of UTEP from my rooftop terrace. (Oh, I didn't mention that yet?)

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