Saturday, June 21, 2008

Finding a House, Pt. 1

We need lots of room. Not in the Yuppie sense of "we need room for yoga and to assure our egos that we are worthy people," but because Mrs Elliott and I both have own home businesses. Mrs Elliott handles car donations for charities and needs an office for her and an employee to work in and answer phones. I repair precision electronics and take up a lot of space. Our present house in Carlsbad has four bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a very large artist's studio with a loft. Mrs Elliott uses two of the bedrooms for her business, while I use the studio and loft -- and garage -- for my work. Then add my 17 year-old daughter to the mix and as far a living space goes, we're living in a two bedroom, one bath house.

Now, my daughter has decided not to follow us to Bend, which lowers the room count requirement. She's planning to attend community college, and while she could do that in Bend as well as here, her friends are here as well as her job at Legoland (does face-painting on the kiddies). Since teen unemployment is at record height nationwide and jobs give teens valuable experience, job history, and that feeling of independence which comes from folding money, it just makes more sense for her to stay here and move in with her mother.

But my 20 year-old son - not presently living with us -- is thinking of coming to Bend, so that cancels out the daughter not-coming thing; and Mrs Elliott has a deep desire to have a guest bedroom where her sons, daughters-in-law, grandchildren, friends, assorted cousins and sisters and nephews can stay when they visit. So when you add that to the space we need for our businesses we knew we would be looking for more than a bungalow with a garage.

So we got to Bend, thought it was worth exploring, and checked into the Riverside Motel Suites -- a genuinely funky place. Mrs Elliott thought the room smelled bad. I didn't notice any room smell, but my pillow smelled like vegetable soup. All night long I thought of soup. having decided that one night was more than enough, we checked out, parked our car downtown, and strolled around. Nice little downtown! I must add that I took note of the brewpubs.

We happened across the Bend Oregon Visitor Bureau where a nice fellow gave us a map of the area, with areas circled where he felt we might focus our house-hunting. After we spent the morning exploring the four quadrants, it became clear that we needed a native guide with access to MLS data.

So we found this innocent realtor at Duke Warner who had been minding her own business, and, with a little smooth talk, convinced her that we were serious, so she ran off a list of possible properties for us to look at. With Mrs Elliott driving, and me manning the map and GPS, we looked at house after house. Mrs Elliott was charmed by the houses in River Rim, but I disliked them as being too cookie-cutter, and not close enough to downtown. I liked the idea of living downtown, maybe in a loft over some commercial space, but Mrs Elliott wanted someplace with a view.

Looked and looked that first day, until evening. Got a room at McMenamins (quirky, fun, not much more $$ than the dreadful Riverside place) and wandered into town for dinner. Merenda seemed to offer some interesting food for me, a vegetarian (by which I mean a real vegetarian: no animals at all. It's part of the Buddhist precepts I took when I sought refuge).

Over dinner we talked about what we'd seen, had to re-calibrate our expectations because the places we liked were more expensive than we hoped to pay, while the affordable places were not very interesting or well-suited for our needs. But the wine was good, the meals were good, and after a nice soak in the Turkish bath at McMenamin's we climbed into our bed and dropped into childlike slumbers.


  1. Hey, what the… where’s my comment? Help! I’m being censored! I’m being oppressed! I’m being held down by ‘the man’!

    Ok, I’m being ridiculous. All kidding aside, controversy is good for driving blog traffic. Responding to a comment instead of sh*tcanning it shows you want to have a dialog and a relationship with your readers (all four of us), and it gets people coming back to check on the ruckus. Nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd, y’know.

    That’s of course if the comment wasn’t particularly inappropriate or heinous. Maybe you thought it was heinous, I dunno.

    And here I spent all of, maybe thirty seconds on that particular comment. : (

    (BTW, I’d also suggest activating your RSS feed.) Cya!

    p.s.: When you're done moving to Bend (or done blogging about it), perhaps you should consider blogging/writing about your 'taking refuge' (whatever that was). Sounds interesting.

  2. I move first, when I do, and make notes later, so this blog is an entertaining, informative, and novel approach to the trying, and doing we all face at move time. Thanks a bunch! Please add ONE tick mark vote for republication of the skidattled comment/conversation. Who knows, might be an enigmatist's dream come true for all!


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