Monday, June 17, 2013


It's been a crazy couple of months since I made the decision to move back to Albert Lea. The toughest and most important decision was where was I going to live. Smaller communities don't have many strong options for renting. And I'm kinda picky.

In the middle of it, I was presented with the possibility of owning a home. It was something I hadn't even considered, but the possibility was a bit intoxicating. So, it was a bit of downer when the option was taken off the table.

Soon after true reality sunk in, I spent an evening in Albert Lea looking for a place. First I went to the apartment complex that I had always thought I would like, to meet up with the rental agent. I waited and I waited and I called and didn't get a call back. While waiting, I started to cross the apartment off my list, thinking I had built it up in my head as something that it wasn't. After waiting 25 minutes, it was off to see three more places to rent. 

The first one was a house in a great neighborhood and when I pulled up, I couldn't believe how big it was for what I would be paying. Wrong! I wouldn't be renting the house, I would be renting a tiny two-bedroom mother-in-law's suite on top of the garage. No thanks.

The next was a townhouse that was on the opposite side of town, but it was roomy, had a detached garage and a washer & dryer.  The third one was even more out of the way, but had a nice layout, a washer & dryer hook-up (not the actual appliances) and an attached garage. It wasn't exactly what I wanted, but I didn't think I had many more options. I told the rental agent that I would take the application home and send it to him that weekend. 

As I was driving out of town to head back to Rochester, my phone rang and it was the rental agent from the apartments I had given up on. He had spaced the meeting and would be happy to show me the place right now if I was still around. I agreed and headed back to meet him.

Even though I had sort of written it off, I still remained hopeful. It was the best decision of the evening.

Robert, the agent, apologized for forgetting the appointment. He had been helping to move one of the current tenant out of the apartment he was about to show me. The DON apartments were built in 1927 and have that quality of 1920s style. DON stood for the Dormitory of Nursing as it was built about a block away from Naeve Hospital. It's now Mayo Clinic Health System Albert Lea and it's no longer one block away - it's across the street. 

Floor plan
There were so many reasons why I shouldn't have liked it. No air conditioning, but if I buy A/C units, Robert and the caretaker will install them. (!) No dishwasher or microwave in the kitchen. No washer/dryer in the unit, not even the hook-ups, but the coin operated washers/dryers were just below my unit. It's got an attached garage. 

I fell in love with it and wrote out the deposit check before I left. 

Why? In a word - location, location, location. 

It's right by the lake and I'm excited that I'll be able to get up each morning and take a walk around the lake (about five miles). It's within walking distance of downtown Albert Lea with a great little coffee shop, a fun/casual locally-owned bar, the community theater and the weekly Farmer's Market. It's also across the street from Mayo. So, if I ever have wi-fi or VPN connection problems, I can just cross the street and solve my problem. They might not have an office space I can use, but I'll just hang out in the cafeteria that overlooks the lake.

So, next Monday, the moving van is packing me up and moving me home. 

Next blog post - The joys of packing with ADD. Or I could just repost this one from my last move "The 800-pound Squirrel In the Room"- the situations are pretty much the same.  

1 comment:

Lynne Hartke said...

Happy Moving! I know that location and I love the farmer's market! I'm jealous of your access to a walk around the lake.

Post a Comment