Home hunting in San Jose

Last week, Aaron and I went to San Jose to look for a rental apartment. Our flight took off late evening from Chicago and despite it being a direct Southwest flight, they rerouted my bag to Sacramento and I did not get it until the following day which was extremely disappointing particularly because I’ve always held SW in such high esteem. Anyway, Aaron’s bag did arrive and we were fine picking up our bag the next day from the airport. We reached our hotel – Holiday Inn Airport Express around midnight San Jose time or 2:00 a.m. Chicago time. Needless to say, we were both exhausted and crashed right after.

The next day, Thursday, we looked at 6-7 different apartment buildings – managed properties and we just couldn’t get over the ticker shock. Everything is SO EXPENSIVE!!! More frustrating is the fact that none of the utilities are paid so even if a basic two bedroom/two bathroom apartment rents for $2500, utilities (water is ridiculously expensive!!) alone cost at least another $300. We are essentially looking to pay almost $3000 per month on rent and utilities! Then of course, none of the properties we met with had any openings for the dates we need. We will be moving to SJ mid-August so move in date closer to that date or even August 1 works well for us. Given that our visit was in June, the property managers hadn’t heard from their renters in terms of vacating notices. Apparently in California, the law only requires tenants to give a 30 days advance vacating notice.

SO…we kept looking. None of the places we looked at met our immediate approval to the point where we felt that our search had ended. We were exhausted and disappointed at the end of the day. We did shortlist two places, a townhome and a two bed-2 bth apartment, both of which were a little over $2500. The former is in Milpitas and the latter in Berryessa. We will continue looking but if neither work out, we are truly out of luck.

On Friday, we saw a condo for rent. Priced at $2200, this was perfectly within our range. It is a 2/2 with reasonable space. It is about 900 sq. ft. Given that we are moving from a 1300 sq. ft, we will definitely have some space issues but we may just be able to manage if we had no other choice. We loved how big a balcony this place had and I even considered placing J’s diaper table on the balcony along with his diaper pail just to make some room. Haha…Anyway, once we drove around the neighborhood, we didn’t like the condo as much. The area really looked depressing. Although it was a short drive from downtown SJ, the neighborhood itself where I will likely spend a lot of time looked run down with graffiti all over and dilapidated buildings. We did not see a single park around the condo building. I told Aaron that I honestly didn’t think I would be happy here. Even though the price was right, it was not worth my mental health. He agreed.

Then, we saw another condo in a different part of the city that we liked. I don’t want to jinx anything so I am not going to write much about it.

Since we had time to kill on Friday, we drove around San Jose State University and Santa Clara University. The latter looks newer, better maintained, richer, greener, and had an overall better quality aesthetically than the former. SJSU is cheaper though so I might still consider going there to get a degree in Child and Adolescent Development, a program SCU does not offer. After here, we picked a random restaurant, Pluto’s to eat lunch at and turned out, that it was in the heart of Santana Row, THE happening place (shopping mostly) in San Jose. We loved our lunch here (Aaron had a chicken sandwich – as fresh as can be and got to pick what went into his salad from ingredients to dressing; I had a Mushroom Portabella with Goat Cheese sandwich on rosemary ciabatta bread and loved how absolutely delicious it was).

We spent the evening as a date night by going to eat at Elements – a Vietnamese French restaurant and seeing the moving Jurassic World. It was good to go out with J even though we missed him terribly. Thank goodness for grandparents who came all the way from Canada to care for our little one.

So what is the gist of our home search – not much…still waiting to hear from the place to which we applied. If that doesn’t work, we are back to square one and the search continues….will update as we move along.

Published by Suchitra

I am a former Communication Studies professor turned stay-at-home-mom (SAHM) to two multiracial kids. I write about my adventures in parenting and living a multicultural life with my family. Blogger at: www.thephdmama.com Follow me: @thephdmama

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