Anyway, she decided to rent a house in a little 1950s tract neighborhood on the other side of downtown from the cute 20s neighborhood I like, so I am trying out both house living and dog living this weekend. Here is what I have learned, in random bullet form:
- walking a dog is fun; picking up hot poop in a Baggie is not.
- this neighborhood is full of cute little ranch houses in varying states of upkeep; I love looking at the colors and teeny yards.
- I forgot which houses had the pit bulls that my friend said never to walk by. Now I know exactly why I should never walk by. (Soooo glad those fences go all around their property)
- the downtown is on flat land by the river and is muggier and full of more mosquitos than where I live. I might like hill views and breezes more than cute and historic places.
- cute and historic places feel pretty dark and hemmed in inside and I might not like that.
- I can see into the neighbor's living room and watch tv with them from her kitchen sink, because there is hardly any side yard.
- this teeny back yard is awesome and just the right size, although mature shade trees mean it must be hard to grow things.
- today I saw a welded scrap metal sculpture in one yard and also talked with a very friendly street preacher who looked like a hippie/biker. He was also walking his dog. I like meeting up with "characters" in a neighborhood; I do not like encountering shifty eyed dudes who appear to be on meth, checking all the cars for any ciggies and loose change.
- oh yeah, and living next to a rented house is a huge crapshoot: the next house over has just been rented by a bunch of Dudebros who do nothing but drink and party all the time. They have set up a beer pong table and trampoline (!) in the front yard and festooned the air above with garlands advertising Bud Light. Good thing she has already put a deposit down on a cheaper place across town! No yard for the dog, unfortunately.
In sum: I have no clue how people buy houses without living in them for a week or two first. How do you know if you like the neighborhood? Or, god forbid, how do you vet the neighbors?