The Blueberry goes house hunting

Yesterday was our first full day in Kentucky.

We got up pretty early and headed down to the free breakfast provided at the classy establishment we are staying in. Thanks Super 8!


After breakfast we headed up to Cincinnati for my boyfriend’s first interview of the day. I dropped him off at the clinic, and the I drove back down the street to a Panera I’d seen along the way. I spent a relaxing hour or so drinking coffee and playing with my iPad, and then got the call that he was ready to go. I set off to pick him up, and then we drove a little ways south to another small animal hospital in South Cincinnati. On the way I asked how his interview went and what he thought about the first clinic. He liked the doctors and the scheduling, and said that they had nice equipment to work with. He also said he was much less nervous now that he had his first interview out of the way.

The second clinic was in a much smaller town and after I dropped him off I couldn’t find a good place to go sit down. I searched Google maps which told me there was a Starbucks, but when I followed the directions I wound up on the Northern Kentucky University campus, which was definitely not where I wanted to be. I think maybe they have a Starbucks in their student center?

Anyway, I headed back towards the second clinic to a Walgreens that I’d seen. We needed some toiletries like toothpaste and shaving stuff for my boyfriend, so I got to explore the joys of the men’s shaving aisle. I have no idea what boys use for shaving so I just got the middle-of-the-road quality stuff and called it good.

By this time it was about 1:30pm and I was getting pretty hungry. I turned the Blueberry in the direction of a Chipotle I’d seen, and went to pick us up some lunch. I got my standard veggie salad, with black beans, hot salsa, light cheese, light sour cream and guacamole on the side (they always give you way too much). I got a chicken burrito to go for my boyfriend. I found a spot at the bar by a window to eat and surf the Internet, and I spent about a half hour there until I got the call that it was time to pick him up.

He unfortunately didn’t like the second clinic very much, so that kind of put a damper on the job hunt for the day. Fortunately for me, it was time to go house shopping! I love house shopping, although I don’t think my boyfriend enjoys it much. (I have to come up with some sort of code name for him so I can stop referring to him as “my boyfriend”. Any ideas?)

I could do an entire post on house shopping, but I’ll run through yesterday’s events pretty quickly here. Our requirements for a house are:

1. Rent less than $1200/month, unless there is room to keep the horses, in which case we can do up to $1600
2. Fenced backyard for the dogs
3. Safe neighborhood with convenient running areas (i.e. sidewalks, >3 miles worth of places to run)
4. No carpet – we’re more flexible on this point but with all of our pets carpet tends to be harder to take care of.
5. Within 20 minutes of my job

That’s all I can think of at the moment. So, on to the houses we saw yesterday. The first was located in Midway, which is a small town out west and about 12 miles from work. Here’s a photo of the house:



This house was okay. It was 1800 square feet, but most of that was in the basement. It’s basically a converted mobile home, and while it’s nice enough inside, the rooms are very small and it FEELS like a mobile home. On top of that it doesn’t have a fenced yard, the neighborhood is just okay, and for the price of $1095/mo we’ve pretty much nixed it.

The next four houses were with a different realtor who I contacted specifically because she posted on Craigslist that she would love to help anyone with animals who was having trouble finding somewhere that allowed them. We’ve been having a terrible time because our pets don’t seem to be allowable by the majority of the rental companies. Before you ask, no, the fact that we’re both veterinarians has not really helped our case. The biggest issues are that we have >2 (we have 5, 3 cats and 2 dogs), the dogs are >50lbs (55 and 78lbs) and one or both are on most aggressive breeds lists even though they’re the friendliest, wimpiest girls you’ve ever met (German shepherd and Rhodesian ridgeback). I’ve honestly been terrified that we wouldn’t be able to find somewhere to live.

Anyway, onto house #2.



This house, although kind of different looking on the outside, was super nice. It was in a wonderful neighborhood, and had basically everything we were looking for. The rent was the same as the previous house. It had large rooms, a huge backyard with a fence, deck and a hot tub(!), the only problem was that it was at least 30 minutes from work. We unfortunately had to say no based on location. Onto the third.



This house was also in the perfect type of neighborhood. The houses were all kind of cookie-cutter, but there are sidewalks and paths, small greenbelts and places to run and walk the dogs. The rent is at our upper limit ($1195), but the house was pretty nice and it did have a fenced backyard and two car garage. The only (and I mean only) detractor was that the backyard was very small, and the house is a little towards the far end of our range, location-wise.

The fourth house was in the same neighborhood as the last (win!) but we liked it a little better. While we unfortunately were unable to get into the house itself, we saw the backyard which is a bit larger with a patio, and peeked in the windows. It’s the same price as the last, a little closer to work, and we’re going back to see it today.



The last house was by far our favorite. I don’t know if we can make it work, but we were really excited when we saw it. Before leaving one of the other houses, we mentioned the deal with our two horses, and that we could increase our budget a little if the horses could stay on our property. The realtor got really quiet and I told her I knew that was a tall order and that we were realistic about our options. She said that she was just thinking, because she might have the perfect property in mind. It’s a caretaker’s cottage on a working Thoroughbred farm that’s over 100 years old. The owner wanted a renter with horses because obviously they could stay on the property, although I think he was expecting them to pay board. Here’s the house:


And the old tobacco barn about 500 yards and over the fence to one side:


There’s also a horse barn a little ways back from the house and rolling pastures in every direction. The house itself has beautiful old hardwood floors with a brick floor in the great room in back. It has large rooms upstairs and a large basement that I think my boyfriend was in love with (the basement has a sneaky side entrance that he was playing around with).

The only things we’re concerned with at the moment are the specifics on keeping the horses at the farm, the amount utilities cost per month to heat the old house, and whether the house is wired for Internet/cable or not. I’m hoping that the landlord takes into account that we are both veterinarians and it can’t hurt to have us on his property. Otherwise, it’s a gorgeous house on wonderful land, and the fact that there’s no back “yard” isn’t really an issue, as it’s in the middle of nowhere up a long driveway. There’s nowhere for the dogs to go to get into trouble. And the whole property is open for me to go running and take the dogs for walks. I really, really hope that it meets our requirements and we can get it.

We’re out at interviews and house hunting again today, so I’ll be back with more updates later!


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