Monday, October 17, 2005

An apartment for me and a new house for my parents!

I’ve been in Cary for a week now. I was very comfortable in my hotel but I’m glad to have found an apartment. I went with Avalon Peaks, because it’s the largest and I like the location. Plus, my unit has some really nice views (which will be considerably less nice once fall is over and I’m looking at bare branches).

The view from my screened porch

My living room
The people in the leasing office were very accommodating and got my application approved in less than an hour. I could have moved in Friday, but I didn’t have a bed yet, so I opted for one more night in the hotel. After I signed the lease, I went bed shopping. The first place I stopped couldn’t deliver the next day, but the second store was able to. I picked a queen size bed, my first ever, and I went with something very, very firm, because my last mattress was too bouncy and got saggy too quickly. Of course my next stop had to be a linen store to get sheets. I want to go on to get 600 thread count sheets for like $60, but in the meantime I settled for 200 thread count for $25 from Linens ‘n Things.

I “moved in” on Saturday, which means I brought in my suitcase, computer, and cat. I made a quick Wal-Mart run to get things like toilet paper, laundry detergent, cat litter, hangers, a wastebasket, a shower curtain, etc. Some of these things I have, but they’re in the POD, and I can’t very well live without them for 10 days. I rushed home to be here for the 12-2 window for bed delivery. They came around 12:45. Then I went over to my parents’ hotel (they were not around…more on that later) where the fifth wheel is and I raided the cupboards for dishes, silverware, pots and pans, towels, pillows, and a TV. Came back to the apartment and started to get settled. Oddly, there is no medicine cabinet in the bathroom, which is such an inconvenience. I mean, there is so much storage in the apartment as a whole, but right where you need it, there’s nothing. Another odd thing, different from California, is I have to pay for water, sewer, and recycling. At this point, all the utilities are still being paid for by the complex. The power company is Progress Energy; I called them this morning, and power will switch over into my name tomorrow. The cable company will be out tomorrow between 8 am and 6 pm (yeah, no 4-hour window!) to connect the TV and high speed internet. For water, sewer, and recycling, I go through the town of Apex, but they require me to fill out an application online and I won’t have internet service until tomorrow so it will be a couple days before that transfers into my name.

Yesterday I made yet another run to Wal-Mart, to get some things I thought I could do without for ten days, but decided I couldn’t. First, a lamp for the bedroom. Lighting is provided in the kitchen, bathroom, and dining room/living room, but not in the bedroom. Can’t be in the dark for ten days. Also got a blanket for the bed. In the same shopping center as Wal-Mart is Harris Teeter, which is the upscale grocery store around here. I went in to get a few items. It is nice, but not terribly special. The prices are higher on convenience things like prepared foods from the deli, but normal on necessities like bread, milk, etc. Of course, I’m comparing the prices to CA; they could be high for the area. I’ll have to go to Lowes or Kroger to see if things are cheaper there. Our realtor told us to stay away from the Food Lion. I also made a stop at Best Buy to get a microwave, since there isn’t one provided in my unit. I ended up getting the same exact one I had when I lived in the condo in Playa del Rey.

So the reason my parents were not at the hotel when I stopped by was because they were out in Pittsboro, about 30 minutes west of here, finalizing details on their new house. It will be finished the week before Thanksgiving (hopefully). It’s 2600 square feet, and on three and a half acres of land. Here are some pictures of the construction so far...mouse over each photo for a description.

Walking up the long driveway to the new house
The front porch of the new house
View from the front porch of the new house
Entering the front door
View from the dining room's bay window
View from the kitchen
Fireplace in the master bedroom
The bonus room
The living room
The backyard...or at least part of it
The view from the driveway...all the cars are there for the big fish fry
It’s kind of “out there,” but you get there mostly via a decent sized freeway, not on small country roads. It’s kind of like the way Santa Clarita used to be 25 years ago, removed from the metropolitan area but close enough to commute or visit for shopping, etc. But it has a very rural feel. It will have a septic tank and well, which tells you it’s not really close to “civilization.”

So I signed a lease and my parents made an offer on a house on the same day, Friday 10/14. After all the searching, and all the possibilities, somehow we both ended up with the same street number. Talk about coincidence. Our addresses are both 1221. (Insert Twilight Zone music here.)

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