Yesterday I signed up for Westside Rentals. I haven't found anything earth-shattering that wasn't already on Craigslist, but who knows what will happen in the next month to six weeks?
We talked about having me fly out to CA to do some house hunting, but even with round-trip tickets as cheap as $150 (which is cheap!), it's money we don't want to spend if we don't have to. So for now, our friends out there will tour houses and take pictures for us.
As far as housing goes out there, it's kind of funny how we assume things sometimes. Sometimes there are two houses on a lot--this happens a lot in LA, partly because land is so expensive, partly because people in the front house built a guest house in the back to bring in rent. It's not illegal squatting or something, but it does seem a little odd to a Midwesterner not used to it. In one listing we looked into, the two houses on one lot share a washer and dryer. This is a lot nicer than a communal laundry where you share with a ton of other people, but it's still a communal laundry. The fact that it would allow us to have a free-standing house where we wouldn't be footsteps over anyone's head or have to hear anyone else's footsteps over our heads is really nice, though, so we're still looking into it. I wondered as soon as I heard about this laundry facility-sharing thing where exactly the laundry facilities are. The lady listing the house said they're in the garage. Aha! That's a new one for a Midwesterner for sure! Considering our laundry room is in a less-heated part of our house right now and we have issues with too-cold pipes every year, putting the laundry in the garage never occurred to me.
Another house we're looking at (technically a townhouse) has all of the bedroom space we want and bathroom space we want plus amenities like access to gym facilities and such. The only thing is, not only are the dining room and kitchen floors tile, but so is the living room floor. My children are loud enough. I don't know if tile is a good idea. Then I thought that maybe I could get a rug or rugs, but that is just more money... and when we're already stretching our budget, I just don't know. Still thinking about that one too. I do really like so many things about that one that it might be worth the rugs... IKEA still carries rugs, right?
My favorite house of all right now is adorable. It's not very big, and the landlord is not opposed to renting to us but has already mentioned that raising three children there was tight. The thing is, this house isn't much different in size than anything else we're looking at, so I told her it's not going to matter where we rent at this point; the space issue will be an issue everywhere. The house is free-standing, has an updated (and relatively large for the size of the house, from what I can tell from the pictures) kitchen, and is just so adorable! Did I already say that? I haven't seen pictures of bedrooms and such. I'm sure they're small, but with a decent size kitchen, a living room, and a separate dining room, we'll make it work.