The Beginning

I will start at the beginning. Lucky for you! When we moved to Indianapolis in 2002, I signed a one-year lease on an apartment in the school district recommended to us. The idea was to find a house to rent by the end of that first lease. While I was delighted with my son’s school district, to this day, I have not found a house in which I’d let my dog live. The township is inside the city limits and consists of 1960’s ranch-style homes, one newly developed middle-class subdivision full of homeowners, million dollar homes around the governor’s mansion, and the ghetto.

Being a single mother without the benefit (and, in my eyes, aggravation - but that’s another thread entirely) of dual incomes in one household, I am limited to the 1960’s ranch homes and the ghetto. There are usually several 1960’s ranch homes available for rent at any given time, but if you want things like indoor plumbing, you pay a hefty price. Seriously, it’s actually $300 to $500 more money for more than one bathroom. Or for a bathroom post hippie-era. A 3-bedroom, 1-bath, never remodeled, never re-carpeted home can rent for $1500 per month easily.

Why don’t I just buy a house, then, you ask? After all, the tax savings alone…

To which I reply that I already have a house. I moved here in 10 days after living in my home for only three years, so instead of losing money I didn’t have, I put it up for rent. And, I don’t plan on staying in Indianapolis for too much longer, depending on my son’s college choice. My house is also currently up for sale, so I am now paying its mortgage each month as well.

So, I want to rent. I want to call a landlord to come replace a light bulb. I know I’m in the minority, but I sincerely don’t want to be a homeowner again for a while and not in Indianapolis.

Every time my apartment lease came to an end, we would diligently look for a rental house in the school district, but never had any luck. The houses I could (or wanted to) afford were embarrassing. I couldn’t imagine sitting on a toilet in one of these places. They never failed to disappoint, and most of the time, disgust me.

Therefore, I’ve renewed my lease and renewed and renewed and renewed. We can move anywhere (out of the school district) after the first semester of my son’s junior year in school (due to senior rights and not forcing a child out of the school mid-year), which occurs in December 2006. This opens doors to us – suburb doors and long-drive-to-school doors - but affordable and livable doors.

Kink in the plan, though: On June 10th, 2006, we arrived back at home after a 10-day trip to Mississippi to ready my house for sale and were welcomed by new neighbors downstairs. Boy neighbors. Two or three or four of them. At least. Noisy, pool-partying, up-all-night, smoking, apparently no-job-having boys. In the first week, their smoke detector went off three times. I can hear it among every other noise they make. (Two families of three, each with newborn babies, lived downstairs prior and I never heard one noise.) I now sleep with a fan on its highest level, a radio, and, as of this past weekend, am up to 3 Benadryl a night (apparently developing a tolerance).

Three days after our return, I discussed the situation with the property manager and discovered that I can move any time with no early termination of lease penalty since I’ve been there so long. Great news, but it is the summer before my son’s junior year, technically limiting our search to houses in his school district again. But given the choice between unreasonable rent and boy noise, I’m opting for the extra rent.

Now, you have the background. Next, a tour through the entertaining freaks and misfits met, thus far (because we still haven’t found a house), along the journey.