Wow, this ended up being a whirlwind of a day! We viewed five properties and did a lot of driving around. I'm starting to recognize a lot of streets, but I still have no idea where I am geographically. Mister M is doing all the navigating (via phone GPS), so he's starting to get an understanding of the layout of the town. Man, the Google Maps team has a lot of work to do in Portland--we have found several glaring errors--incorrect exit signs, t-intersections where they show four-ways. And we do a lot of turning around and circling back because we end up missing about half the turns we're supposed to take. I guess there's something to be said for most of the NYC area where the streets are laid out in an orderly fashion and set the same distance apart!
House #3 was really cute and charming with period details like built-ins and paneling. It was small, but had a perfect little office area, along with a gorgeous little backyard. Not a lot of closet space, but a huge basement. We were very interested and eager! Sadly, we heard back later that the landlord went with another applicant.
House #4 was kind of a joke. It was teeny, though it had a nice yard and also a washer/dryer in the basement. Oddly, there was also a free-standing enclosed shower stall in the basement! Apparently the landlord has been too lazy to install a showerhead in the main bathroom of the house and just put one in randomly in the basement. Um...no.
House #5 was okay condition/size-wise, but in a great location, but less than a year lease and over our planned budget.
House #6 was AMAZING. Gorgeous, beautiful, quiet location, though not in a walkable place (it is very near one of the big famous park areas). The house has been updated beautifully while retaining some lovely period detail, like the windows and parts of the basement. HUGE garage, THREE full bathrooms, decent closet space, very cute little front yard. It's a bit over our original budget, but of course this is still notably less than what we pay now in Brooklyn, and for the amount and quality of house, it's so completely worth it! We told the landlord that we were very interested and tried to leave some kind of deposit or something, but he's got a few more showings. Cross your fingers for us!
House #7 was pretty nice. Smaller main floor, not a lot of closet space, small and oddly-shaped kitchen, only one bathroom (which most of the older homes have), but overall the layout of the house was decent. Everything has been updated and modernized (in terms of utilities), and it has another great backyard, plus an older garage. The best part was that they finished the large basement as a play area for their young kids and also some office space. The location is decent, near two parks. The price is the same as #6, which I don't think is really worth it...but overall it's a good little house.
To end the day, we had a lovely dinner with one of the couples we already know here--good food and great talk!