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Mary and Joe's Big Adventure: Apartment Edition

Last weekend we trotted up to King of Prussia to find a place to live. After all, 135 miles is a bit of an unsustainable commute.

Okay, let me back up a tad. As I was wiling away my remaining days at work, I researched apartments in King of Prussia. Our first requirement was that the apartment would have to have three bedrooms, or two bedrooms and a den. The second requirement was that it be close to work - within five miles.

These two dealbreakers eliminated all but five properties, one of which was a townhouse apartment. Aha. Another requirement for us old farts with our bad knees: one level, no stairs. That left four.

I called each property to set up appointments. One - which looked very promising - never returned my call. Down to three.

The first complex was on 28 wooded acres, adjacent to Valley Forge National Park, two miles from work. Beautiful! Two three-bedroom apartments were available for us to look at. The rent was cheap, and they offered a discount for eBay employees! My hopes rose - could we possibly find our new home on the first try?

Nope. The complex was built in 1976. Although both apartments were fairly spacious (same layout, but different buildings), they really showed their age. They had window A/C units, baseboard heat, and the original cabinets, which were covered in many many layers of paint. The kitchen was a tiny little galley deal. They did have ample laundry facilities - not a dealbreaker, but to schlep laundry was a downer. Finally, the halls were redolent with cooking smells - and not nice cooking smells.

The second complex was literally walking distance from work, right next to our hotel. This one was built in 1986. The leasing office was in a nice community building that also housed the fitness center and wi-fi area. Although it was smack dab in the middle of the corporate corridor, there were trees all around the area that, in summer, would disguise the concrete and steel nature of the neighborhood.

The apartment that we saw was a corner unit with lots of natural light. The kitchen was a real kitchen, not a tiny galley. Unfortunately, it had a lot of the same detriments as the first complex, and a couple more. The unit had two deadbolts. While this might seem like additional security, I had to wonder why a previous renter felt the need to install that extra lock. And, the trash chute was right outside the door. While that would, no doubt, be convenient, it also meant that every other resident on the floor would be coming right up to our door and dropping their trash down the chute. Sigh.

We discussed the pros and cons at length while we drove over to the last place. You know, they would do and we could manage. We talked ourselves into liking any of them.

Then we got to The Lofts at Valley Forge.

It was situated right on the Schuylkill River, directly across from Valley Forge National Park. It looked new. The leasing office was in the clubhouse, next to the fitness center. The leasing agent was delightful. While she took care of some other folks, we waited in the beautifully decorated, modern clubhouse. We checked out the beautiful view of the river and park, the hot tub, and the pool. We had a cup of Starbucks coffee from the machine in the breakfast area (available 24/7, by the way). (Oh, did I mention that they serve a continental breakfast every morning? And no, it's not a senior community.) We struck up a conversation with a lovely woman who had recently moved into the same type of unit we were interested in - a two-bedroom and den apartment of 1232 square feet. She offered to show us her apartment!

We. Loved. It.

Open floorplan. Take a look.

Floorplan

And and and!! See that full size washer and dryer right by the front door? How about the gas range, microwave, pantry, and those 9-foot ceilings? Did you dig that walk-in closet off the master bath? There is plenty of parking. They allow pets!

We oohed. We aahed. We applied. The leasing agent was able to give us some wonderful concessions. The rent is almost twice that at the first two places, but you really do get what you pay for.

We have a home. We move in March 15.

I'm heading up tomorrow, ahead of another impending winter storm, and will hang my hat at Hyatt Place for the next couple weeks. I don't mind a bit.

 

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