Happy House Hunting – House #2­ – 15005 Cherrywood Dr., Laurel, MD 20707

Happy House Hunting – House #2­ – 15005 Cherrywood Dr., Laurel, MD 20707

We pulled up to the impatient looking real estate agent adorned with the sign behind her that read “For Rent, Please Call…” We joked that our fifteen minute lateness would immediately cause her to assume the rumored CPT is in fact true about African Americans. We broke the ice immediately by jumping out of the truck with nothing but warm hellos and reasons of traffic being our cause. Acknowledging her irritated demeanor, we quickly aimed to dispel the myth with overwhelming apologies for the traffic .

She explained that the extra fifteen minutes had cut into viewing the second house we’d planned and my husband in understanding, once again, explained that we had just run into a little traffic. She led us up the outside staircase and we turned our attention to the living room that foyer-ed the front. “Is this a two-level?” my husband inquired. “No, it has a basement,” she kindly replied. As we walked through the kitchen the realtor admitted that she hadn’t been in the basement having no idea what it looked like. I chimed in with the possibility that the basement may not be finished. We came upon the deck which was a nice size but was literally adjourned to the neighboring deck leaving little to no room for outside privacy.

We were surprised to walk down the steps to what we thought would be a basement space but instead found nothing more than the space to fit the washer and dryer that inhabited it. A back door opened to a small half sized patio covered with unkempt weeds.
My husband verified the rent as being $1850 which I though was good for the size and location. The Master Bedroom has it’s own bathroom which is a HUGE plus for my husband and a his and her closet which is a HUGE plus for me. I liked that they had a supplementary amount of closet space not only in the bedrooms but aligning the hallway.

When asked was the house ready to go the realtor responded with a definite yes informing that it has been on the market since May. I thought the house was a catch for the asking rent and was interested in why no one had snatched it up yet. She ignored my surprise and told us that the application fee was $25 per applicant while realizing as she looked at her folder that the house wasn’t $1850 but instead $1950 which made a lot more since to me.
Like any town home the quarters were so close that when you looked out of the Master’s bedroom window you would see the exact clone of bush fronts and similar houses across the way. Neither my husband nor I responded as we looked out the window and when I asked how he liked it he remained silent. I broke the still and almost awkward silence by complimenting the cleanliness of the carpet comparing it to the hideous one we’d seen prior. The walls were freshly coated and it was clear that effort had been put into a new home look.
I can’t help but to wonder however, with the quarters seemingly closer than normal, about the night life, the neighbors, and how many children and teenagers play in the narrow, private, reserved parking lot. I know from experience that a neighbor playing loud music from the home across the way would be a disturbance if done on a daily basis. If a car blasted loud music every night I am not confident that the home would be soundproof enough to shelter me from outside disturbances.
A plus for the Living Room area is that despite it’s small size it didn’t have a shortage of sockets and leaves more than enough option to set up electronics however the tenants desire. We coordinated our schedules so that we could meet up to view the second home that we would miss out on due to our tardiness.  The realtor wasn’t sure whether the next house is vacant but an appointment was made after double checking with the necessary party. Our happy hunting therefore is to be continued….

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Happy House Hunting – House #1, 3411 Memphis Lane, Bowie, MD

Happy House Hunting – House #1, 3411 Memphis Lane, Bowie, MD

I walked nervously to the door with the sound of sirens in the background. My husband introduced us all, three children and myself. The camera caught the realtor off guard and we laughed when she said that she needed me to capture her good side. She made a point to let us know right away that there was no washer and dryer asking whether we’d already owned one or would we need to get one. We answered that we would need to get one but I knew instantly that my husband and I were turned off with that information no matter how professional we remained.

We continued with the viewing and the realtor asked me was I from the area as she jotted notes into her pad. The size of the two car garage was impressive and probably the biggest space of the house, we would soon find out. “What’s this door?” I asked. We opened the side door that led to an asphalt part that could be planned out as a basketball court for the boys. We continued to walk into the quaint backyard that would serve as easy maintenance for my husband if we chose this as our temporary dwelling. I couldn’t however figure out why hoses and cords were hanging from the windows in the back of the house. Coolly, one cord indicated that they had already installed Fios. That’s definitely a plus, but a hose that hung out from the back was strange considering that water was dripping from it and it appeared that the last tenants had taken the washer and dryer unit with them. Why was it still on? These were close quarters and the short steel fence didn’t leave any room for privacy from the adjourning yards.

The downstairs bathroom shower head looked old and rusted but I’m sure nothing a good scrubbing couldn’t fix. We retreated to the living room in which I suggested the carpet be replaced or cleaned. I would think that it only be fair for an asking rental price of $2100/month. The caped in dirt was unbelievably noticeable but it was a nice sized living room, enough to fit the furniture and television and conjugate comfortably with family and friends. The same ugly carpet snugged the steps as we walked upstairs and directly above them was the entrance to the half sized bathroom in which the kids had already warned us about. This mini bathroom would be shared between the two rooms and was barely enough room for me to do a full turn.

The boys had already claimed their space in the room upstairs and our teenager said that her room would be downstairs. I thought the Master bedroom had a nice size but couldn’t heartily claim it as my own when I realized that the door didn’t stay open. When we asked the kids what they thought they asked was this the only house that we would be looking at today. It was good to know that they didn’t want to settle on the first thing. Walking down the stairs the italicized quote caught my attention, “Happy is a home that shelters a friend,” and entering the kitchen, “Live, Laugh, Love.”

The oven was super old and electric. Personally, if I get an old oven I’d take gas knowing that it’ll heat quicker, cook better, and be reliable if there were ever an outage. I did like that it had a gas stove though since I’m not a big fan of electric stoves.

Now it was time for business. The asking rental price for these turn offs would be $2100 a month with a $40 per person deposit. She would run a credit check separately on both of us just in case one didn’t go through. The realtor stated that she would email the application and if we were interested we could meet up with a cashiers check or money order. We inquired about the washer and dryer and she said that she would ask about installation. There would be no HOA fees but we would probably be responsible for lawn care. She wasn’t sure about the utilities but took an estimated guess that they may cost between $200-$300 a month. She would have to ask about the water which we would probably have to pay but the gas would be included as well as trash pickup.

When asked when they were looking to occupy the space, the realtor responded that the house was ready to go. They would need first months rent and the security deposit which is equivalent to the rent. She asked us if we had any pets because dogs are more favorable than cats. We were surprised to hear that so we got a lesson on how cat urine stays in the walls and carpet. Using ammonia is something that you must not do to kill the smell but it is wise instead to get something called Nature’s Miracle. We don’t have any pets so this was just food for thought.

The pickup trash schedule was pinned on the refrigerator and we were trying to figure out how outdated it was considering PG County cut down the pick up to only one day a week. She said that she would check since Bowie has it’s own municipality and may function their schedule differently. If we were interested we would move forward and do two separate application fees. This way, the realtor explained, if one goes through they could give the second payment back.

We waited until we got in the car to agree that not having a washer and dryer was a deal breaker. We couldn’t see ourselves putting down first month’s rent and security deposit, a total of $4200 and still going to the laundromat. Next!