I thought I would take some time to blog about our apartment hunting journey and move. It's a bit long and perhaps a bit boring to some, but I love to look back and see how God perfectly wove this story...
It started in May when we began to actively look for a new apartment. It was at that point that we were ready for Alynne to be out of our room. Our old apartment was a very tiny 1 bedroom, and I thought to myself, there's no way we can stay here much longer with a baby who is getting more and more active every day! Little did I know, we would stay there until she was 14 months!
We initially found an amazing apartment in Hell's Kitchen that was done through the NYC Housing Lottery. It was a huge brand new two bedroom at a great price, so we were so excited to move there. The process to get those kinds of apartments can be pretty grueling. As we were going through the process, we put apartment hunting on a hold because we really wanted this space. 2 months into the process in July, we found out that the person handling our file wasn't doing her job correctly and was fired. Our file then had to be passed on to a new agent, and we had to start completely over. Our file was a bit complicated so it required their supervisor to work closely on our case, and with Ron's job changing a couple times, it delayed things even more and eventually it caused us to have to withdraw our application. This all happened over 6 months. I spent so many hours gathering documents, filling out paperwork, answering questions, and following up with people. With each new week we were told only a couple more weeks! We even had our apartment picked out and reserved. Each week we were told it was only to be a couple more weeks before we could finish up and move in. So when it came to November and we were forced to withdraw, I was more than devastated. I had wanted that place so bad, and I just knew that there wasn't an apartment out there as nice and affordable as that one.
So, when we realized that that apartment wasn't going to work out, we made some changes in our current apartment to make it a little more doable to stay long term. We finally hung the new frames that had sat on our bedroom floor for months waiting to be hung in the "new apartment." We got a baby gate for the kitchen and baby proofed more things because being in such a tight space makes it very difficult to find places out of a toddler's reach. So we made it work, and we were actually pretty content being there.
From there, we started apartment hunting again. We saw so many apartments that were in the hood, super tiny, and still out of our price range. It was so depressing. One day, we were supposed to go look at another apartment, and I opted to stay home with Aly because I just didn't want to waste another morning looking at an apartment that wasn't going to work out. So Ron went and looked at it anyways. He came back absolutely glowing. It was a huge FOUR bedroom apartment, gut renovated, elevator, laundry, dishwasher--everything on our wish list!! We quickly got very excited. We filled out an application and were told that they would have to process it the following week when the landlord got back from vacation. So I had an entire week to completely vacate my current apartment mentally. I was already planning where to put everything in my mind. Monday rolled around and we got a text saying that someone put a deposit down on the apartment over the weekend. What? I thought the landlord was gone? Why weren't we asked to do that? And so just like that, the apartment was taken out from under us and we were back to square one. Again.
We quickly began to swim in fears and doubts. How long would be stuck in this apartment? How long could we make the space work? What did this mean for our desire to expand our family? Should we lower our expectations? Did this kitchen get even smaller?
Not even a week later, Ron found another 4 bedroom a few blocks up from that one. It was actually even bigger with a separate dining room, and it was even rent stabilized, meaning we could afford to stay there as long as we wanted. It seemed way too good to be true. We began the process yet again, and when they told us the apartment was ours, I still couldn't even truly celebrate until we had signed the lease. So we quickly told our current apartment that we were moving out. Now, all along the office manager had assured me that it would be no problem to break our lease early. Our rent was way below the average for the area and they never have a problem filling them. However, when I went told her we were moving, she was like so what are you going to do with this apartment? Uhhh.....hopefully get someone to take over the lease. She laughed and said "Good luck with that! This is slow season and we have 3 other empty apartments right now. I'd be shocked if you get it rented before February." So I left her office dejected. We finally get a new apartment, and now we can't leave our current one like we thought. However, the broker came at noon that day to take some pictures of our apartment, he showed the apartment to someone at 3, and the next morning he called to tell me they had already put a deposit down and he couldn't believe our luck!
So all the pieces finally fell into place for us to move. It all happened in a whirlwind! We signed the lease on Thursday and moved Friday and Saturday. Aly and I were both sick, but thanks to lots of friends and Ron's amazing parents, we were able to get all moved in!
Well that was an incredibly long and detailed story of how we became to be in this amazing apartment. It is everything we could have dreamed of. We have often prayed to God asking Him to provide a way for us to stay in the city long term with a large family, but we never expected to find that space so soon. Of course, we don't know where God will lead us, but we are grateful that we now have a space we can grow into and live forever if we like! Also, we were super sad to be leaving the Upper West Side and all of our friends and community there, but we are absolutely loving Hamilton Heights and are so thankful that God placed us smack in the middle of a great community of friends from church. It has made the transition much easier!
Oh and funnily enough, yesterday, I got an email saying some things had changed and we were now eligible to move into the Hell's Kitchen apartment. I never thought I would be happy that option didn't work out for us, but I truly am! God's plans are sooo much better than ours ever could be.