in which renting a house feels like going on the bachelor.


I went straight from living with my parents to living in this house. I never lived in an apartment or a rental home, which I realize sounds weird to some people, but that’s just how life happened. When we bought our house in 2006, it was as easy as writing a check and signing some paperwork. Anyone could buy a house back then. We bought brand new; there was no competition, no other offers. We saved up our money, wrote a big fat check, and signed our souls away on the dotted line.

This whole renting-a-house business is new territory to me, and in a lot of ways it just feels awkward. Brett and I have been stalking Craigslist and Trulia and Zillow on a daily basis, making phone calls and sending e-mails, trying to put our best selves forward. The rental market in Sacramento is highly competitive, at least with the nice houses.

And I can’t get over this feeling like I’m on a job interview, or stepping out of a long black limo on the bachelor. I feel like I should put on a ball gown and tease my hair up high and think of something super clever to say while the underlying message remains the same: Pick me! Pick us!

We don’t have pets but we do have a baby, so I guess you could say we’re carrying slight baggage. We’ve brought Everett to all of the showings, crossing our fingers that his big blue eyes will flirt their way straight into a one-year lease.

Last week we found the one. The house we wanted with the huge master suite and the perfect backyard and the tall ceilings and the beautiful dining room and the hardwood floors. We fell for it. All of it. And then we found out it was walking distance to Chipotle and I just about dropped to the floor and started begging. Pick me! Pick us!

I needed to convince the owner that we were the perfect family without sounding too desperate. I had to refrain from shouting things like, “We are SO CLEAN! I am SO ORGANIZED! We are totally FINANCIALLY RESPONSIBLE!” That would be like telling the bachelor that you’re pretty and have a good sense of humor. You can’t come right out and say it; you have to play it cool. While I didn’t end up begging on the floor or writing a list of the top ten reasons why we would be perfect tenants (contemplated it), I did send him pictures of our current house and the link to this post, crossing my fingers he would like us as much as we liked the house.

And guess what folks?

It worked! They picked US.


On Tuesday morning we received two e-mails within two hours of each other, the first informing us that our house had sold (!!!) and the second informing us that we had gotten the house we wanted to rent (!!!). God is good. We move in a few weeks. I am excited to 1) declutter, 2) redecorate, and 3) walk to Chipotle for dinner ever night until I get the kitchen organized.

Have you ever rented a house before? Did it feel like being on the bachelor?

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18 Responses to in which renting a house feels like going on the bachelor.

  1. Jo says:

    Congrats! That’s pretty great news. We rent, an apartment not a house, and it’s not bad at all if you have a good landlord. I guess there’s pros and cons to both renting and owning. Anways, congrats again.

  2. Angeline says:

    Congratulations! So excited for you guys!

    Ah, rentals. Welcome to my life. While rentals may feel only temporary, don’t hesitate to make it your home! We’ve rented mostly apartments and a duplex (though several apartments have been through private landlords, similar to renting a house). When we moved to Miami, we left Davis without a lease…we signed one on our way out! But yes, we lost out on one because we acted too slow, and it was pins and needles hoping to get the one we got (and then nerves again when we saw it for the first time, since we’d already signed the lease…eek).

    Anyhoo, can’t wait to see the new place!
    Angeline´s last blog post ..The Law of Inertia, or how productivity begets productiveness

  3. brittany says:

    i did then same thing! went straight from my parents house to married in a house we bought. i don’t think i even know any other person who did that! i am sure renting is a whole new experience! congrats on “winning” your house!! so wonderful!
    brittany´s last blog post ..10 months for maddalena

  4. Christine says:

    Oh lady. You don’t know the half of it until you’ve tried to rent an apartment in New York City. Next gelato date, I can give you some stories. This is dead-on:
    But yay super super happy for you three!!! Everything always works out exactly as it should 🙂
    Christine´s last blog post ..Postcard from Ma’In Hot Springs

  5. Natalie says:

    Congratulations! That is amazing! Don’t you just love when everything works out like that?

    I’m sure that email you sent the rental property owner cinched it. We actually own a rental property and have gone through 2 different tenants. (You can’t imagine the reaction of 40 year old tenants coming to look at our rental property in Danville owned by 27 year olds, so funny!) But I always want to rent it to the people who want it the most and seem like they would take the best care of the property, especially ones with kids.

    Happy moving!
    Natalie´s last blog post ..Tomorrow Will Be The Best Day Ever

  6. Kelly says:

    Congrats! I think your strategy was super smart and obviously paid off.

    I rent in NYC which is a lot like speed dating. I looked at roughly 30 apartments and met with countless potential roommates before finding my “perfect” apartment… perfect meaning I was able to actually get it. I got really discouraged early on when rental questionnaires included things like “are you married” “do you only have a single source of income” “can you provide a guarantor” “do you make the required 70-75X rent?” It felt more like some sort of criminal hearing than a residential search.

  7. Holly says:

    First off, congrats you guys!!! Second, I’ve rented foreverrrrrr – I’ve rented so many apartments I’ve lost count of them (okay, I think it’s 9). I think the best part about renting is that if something breaks, the landlord fixes it – it’s so much nicer on the bank account 🙂 I have some great rental stories, and some pretty horiffic rental stories (but those were mostly in college…haha) Best of luck to you, Brett & Ev! 🙂
    Holly´s last blog post ..TWO WEEKS

  8. Kelli Breton says:

    Yay!!! So happy to hear about both selling your house and getting the rental! I hate the process too, but when you compare it to the Bachelor it sounds way more fun! Are you guys staying in West Sac or moving to another area? Russell told me about the go girl drinks! Too funny that he mixed you and Lesley up! HAHA! I hope you enjoy them! 🙂 Moving is sooo not fun so I always offer to help with it. Let us know…Russell has a truck so we could help with a few trips or whatever you need. Exciting changes!!!

  9. kiki says:

    OMG, what a stressful process!! So happy to hear it’s gone well so far 🙂 Renting is crazy competitive in Portland too. To get the best spots, we’ve always come to look at the property with application and check in hand ready to hand over on the spot if we love it. And we’ve done that 3 times to land good houses!! I think they like the preparedness 🙂

  10. Ah yayyy! That is awesome! And such a great idea b/c I’m sure the owner also read through your other posts and realized how great you and your fam really are! Is the house off Fair Oaks? I remember that Chipotle fondly!! Congrats!!
    natasha {schue love}´s last blog post ..Nine and Ten Month Favorites

  11. Laura says:

    Ha. We’ve never owned a house! And yes, renting can be intimidating. The last house we had in Sac we charmed the landlords (I am in a similar field as they are so it worked). Our house in San Jose is owned by family so it was much easier.

  12. kelly ann says:

    YES! I am so stinkin’ excited for you and the new house. I can’t wait to see pictures!

    kelly ann´s last blog post ..fields – a mix. and a story.

  13. Megan Clark says:

    Congrats! The military adventure we’re on has had us in that exact same situations a few times. Two renting (a first for us, too!) and one buying. Home is where the heart is, so finding out where that will be is a BIG. DEAL. xoxo

  14. Katie says:

    God is so good! Excited for you guys and your new place. Can’t wait to see it!

  15. That is so exciting! Renting is fun because you don’t really have to worry about the “investment”. We love our pretty little rental in this season of life! 😉 I hope it treats you well!
    jennifer blair´s last blog post ..A Simple Truth | How To Live a Life That Matters

  16. Jennifer says:

    This post is so hilarious…and so true! Renting or buying a home around Sacramento is a crazy experience right now. I’m so glad you found “the one” and get to make it yours. 🙂
    Jennifer´s last blog post ..In the Gallery: It’s a Banner Day

  17. Britty says:

    Congratulations! I actually really loved renting. Can’t wait to see your new digs!
    Also, I’m very happy to see that the succulent I bought you is still alive. 🙂

  18. Anne says:

    haha this post is great! First off congrats! Second off, I’m glad you didn’t need to pull any out of the limo gimmicks a la this season of the bachelorette
    Anne´s last blog post ..One Month Old

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