Monday, December 29, 2008

The Weekend in Review: Part I

Part I

Saturday morning I woke up at 5 AM and prepared for my 5 hour drive to St Louis for apartment finding purposes.  I had it all planned out...

1. Shower.  Check
2. Eat a quick breakfast (yogurt, almonds, and high-fiber cereal) Check
3. Grab my packed overnight bag and a cup of coffee.  Check
4. Pick up my friend Court who the night before had agreed to visit St Louis with me.  Che...

I called Court at 6:30 to tell him I'd be a little late picking him up at his house in Flossmoor, IL. He answered almost immediately sounding surprisingly awake.  "Court, I'll be there in ten minutes," I said.  "Oh man, I must have messed up somewhere Jim.  I thought you were leaving in the evening," Court said in a sorry tone.  I knew this was my fault as I didn't specify the time of day when asking him to come the night before.  I guess I assumed that if I were going down to see apartments, I wouldn't be seeing them Saturday night.  "No problem, I understand. One thing... What are you doing up at 6:30 in the morning man?" I asked.  He didn't answer.  I'll probably never know.

The drive wasn't bad save for the torrential rainfall and car-sized potholes recently broken up from the thaw the night before.  It slowed me down a bit, but no matter, I still made it in time for my first appointment Saturday at 11:30.  

I met Jen the property manager of the Fashion Square Lofts at the front door of the massive building.  On either side of the front door are what I'm pretty sure were two separate underwear stores.  The lobby itself was very cool and obviously restored. 

I had contacted Jen beforehand so she was aware that I wanted to see the Grace Lofts as well which are owned by the same developer, the McGowan Brothers.  She thought it best to see it those first so we walked almost directly across the street and entered the noticeably smaller building.  Inside was, of course, very nice as most of the downtown loft buildings tend to be.  I saw a 1 bedroom on the top floor that featured a skylight and fireplace.  I definitely liked it but it was a little more than I wanted to spend.  Not that I had a real limit.  I'm looking for value.  If I'm going to spend serious money I want serious perks.

Grace Lofts St Louis

Next, Jen and I went back over to the Fashion Square Lofts and I saw three more lofts.  These feature stained concrete floors and large windows.  All of them along with Grace had a W/D included.  I can't say these blew me away although there was a nice pool on the roof with fantastic views. Unfortunately I couldn't stay up there long because the weather was really picking up.  More on that later.  Sorry, no pics on this or the next one.  I just wasn't thinking about it at the time.

After thanking Jen for showing me around my next appointment was at Roberts Gallerie Lofts. There isn't much information on these online because they are so new.  In fact, it took me good 15 minutes of calling around to get to the right person. (The general number of these Lofts goes to a recording that doesn't seem to get listened to)  I met a great gentleman there named Truet who showed be around.  The cool thing about this building is that there are no two apartments the same.  They are well designed too and nicely decorated.  They just weren't for me.  They had a more finished feel to them and I was looking for something a little more rugged.  These would be great for a family though. 

By the time I had finished this tour I could hear the rain pounding outside.  My car was about two blocks away and I needed to head over to Soulard to meet with Red Brick Management.  I tried hopping form one overhand to the next but it was no use.  I waited till there was a lull and I made a break for it.  I made it to the car somewhat dry... This time.

Part II soon to follow.  

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas and a Happy NEW Year

This truly is a new year for me.  Everything will change and it's a scary thought.  Exciting, but scary.  
Here's to a successful year.  Merry too.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Moving is expensive

Yeah, you didn't know that did you?  

I'm quickly becoming obsessed with this move.  I'm having a horrible time deciding on where to live!  I keep going back and forth between the Loft District and Soulard.  I think the Loft District will possibly be more of my style of fun but I'm not sure it's as livable as Soulard.  To be specific, the dog is the problem.  I just don't see walking 3 blocks or more to let my dog use the bathroom.  It's not convenient at all.  That's my only complaint otherwise Downtown is a slam dunk.  It's a big one though.  I'll be doing that thing multiple times everyday no matter what.

I did find a really cool loft in Soulard. My only concern here is that I'm not going to enjoy the nightlife.  I won't truly know, of course, until I experience it.  I plan on doing just that this weekend when I drive down to tour apartments.  Here's hoping I can make up my famously undecided mind.

The good news is I've made headway on cleaning the house for sale, getting a Real Estate Agent, and choosing a mover.  The mover?  Me. I had a gentleman from Allied come out and give me quote.  I don't have many things but it was still going to cost me $2,500.  After getting some good advice from cubicle neighbor I decided I'll just rent a truck, hire some loaders, and drive down myself.  It should save me somewhere around $1,500.  Now that's worth the extra work.

Also, I'm frantically trying to get rid of some stuff and I had a bite in one day on a really nice Elliptical I own but will never use.  Thanks!

Diamondback Elliptical

UPDATE:  Sold!!!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The First Steps

The little guy pictured below is Oscar and as a puppy he had many adventures.  One being the conquering of the Berber carpet in my house in Crown Point.  Oh yeah, he taught that carpet a lesson.  Out of the corner of his eye he would see a little bit of carpet pile taunting him from the edge of the wall.  Oscar, having none of it of course, attacked without remorse pulling and yanking at the pile.   You see, the problem with Berber is that one little piece is actually one loooong piece.  Once pulled it keeps going and going.

Oscar the Dog Border Collie Mix

With the move looming and putting the house up for sale only weeks away, today I took some steps into figuring out what I could do to fix the carpet at the smallest expense.  I went to see a very helpful woman named Gwen at Von Tobel Lumber in Schererville, Indiana.  It doesn't look good.  My best bet is to simply replace all the carpet unfortunately. 

In moving news, I talked to an awesome rep at Ely Walker Lofts in St Louis today.  Kristen was more than helpful and really gave me a clear picture of what to expect when living in the Loft District.  This is the first place I'll be visiting when I head down there next weekend to apartment shop.

The rest of today:  Clean, repair, Christmas shop.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

It Begins...

I've done it. I made the decision. To St Louis I go.

I'm all the way in Chicago.

And so begins my two weeks of hellish moving and tearful goodbyes.  I have a house to sell so I need to prepare that as well.  I'm doing this alone and I have no idea what I'm doing.

Welcome to the Arch Observer.