Allergies, baths, and apartments

Hubby and I went and looked at an apartment today. We actually wound up looking at two, but I'll get to that in a minute.
Anyway, the one we planned to look at is a 2-bedroom garden apartment. A garden apartment, for those who don't know, is a semi-subterranean unit, usually maybe 1/4 to 1/2 of its elevation is below street level. Sometimes good, sometimes bad. I really wanted to check this place out because the rent is an excellent rate, it's in a part of the neighborhood I know and like, it's near several friends, it's also near shopping and restaurants which would encourage me to get out and about a bit more. (At the moment, if I wanted to go out and get a cup of coffee or a bite I have the option of going to a slightly sketchy greasy spoon, walking several blocks to a Starbucks, or going to one of the places in the hospital. Perhaps I'm overly picky, but those options aren't usually all that appealing.)
Anyway, I liked the idea of the place, so we made an appointment to check it out.

First, the likes:
  • It's huge. The master bedroom would accommodate our ridiculously huge bedroom furniture (a legacy from when I still lived with my parents - very nice, but very big).
  • It gets a wonderful amount of light and is not dank or scary.
  • There are only 3 nice clear, wide, indoor steps to go down to get to the front door. This is a huge deal for me given the increasing muscle weakness and balance problems I have. I also think that, in a pinch, the area would accommodate a small ramp or similar thing if I need a wheelchair.
  • Nice big eat-in kitchen with a full size gas range. The windows in the kitchen would probably be suitable for our growing collection of plants.
  • Two full bathrooms. One could easily become a dark room for hubby.
  • Location is on a fairly quiet street near several parks and friends.
  • Living room is pretty big.
  • Second bedroom would be an excellent office/crafting room/storage/whatever room.
  • Heat, water, gas included in rent.
Now, the not-so-likes:
  • It is below ground-ish.
  • The kitchen appliances are older, especially the refrigerator.
  • The flooring in most of the apartment, except the kitchen, bathrooms, and entry is icky, dingy indoor-outdoor carpeting. Bad appearance wise (I have a serious hate-on for that carpet, actually). Bad for my allergies. Bad for Oreo and his allergies and his habit of sniper-crawling on his belly across the floor (rug burns). Bad for occasional spills, Oreo accidents, etc. I sort of doubt it could/would be replaced prior to us moving, but I suppose we could always check and see. I don't even want anything particularly fancy. Decent linoleum or laminate is fine. Just, please, a hard floor!
  • The two bathrooms are dark, oddly shaped, and look sort of dingy. Kind of...yellowed. I'm not sure how this could be improved without a full remodel which is just not happening. I suppose if we were allowed to paint that could improve things dramatically...
  • No parking lot.
Obviously, we have a lot to think about. I think we need to talk to both the current renter and the management company and see if there's any sort of deal that could be worked out re: flooring and bathrooms (really, just paint would make me happy on that front).

Also, while we were parking to go look at the place, we ran into a friend walking one of my favorite doggie friends. He mentioned that the place above him and his wife will eventually be available. We wandered over to check it out after we looked at the garden apartment. While it would be awesome in a number of ways, there are a lot of issues:
  • Steep narrow flight of stairs to get to the apartment.
  • The apartment itself is two floors - living/kitchen on the first, bedrooms/bath on the second. It's not a straight stair up either, so I can't even dream of installing a stair-lift thingie with money from Santa Claus or the Underpants Gnome or some other mythical being who would be willing to give me cash.
  • The prior tenants were utterly disgusting, slovenly creatures who thrive in squalid atmospheres (aka undergraduate males, likely belonging to a fraternity). The place reeks of pot, dog, unwashed male undergrad, and who knows what else. I don't think they ever flushed the toiled. The whole place needs to be rehabbed, the roof replaced, the carpet replaced, etc.
So, like I said, we'll keep looking. We have to be out of here by the end of August. I would prefer sooner rather than later, but whatever.

Hubby is supposed to expand the search tomorrow through the staff housing office. We'll see what happens.

In the meantime, Oreo has had a bath. I have had another root beer.

I also tried cetirizine (Zyrtec) for the first time this evening as a potential replacement for my beloved diphenhydramine (Benadryl). So far it seems to be doing wonderfully - my eyes aren't as itchy, my sniffles went away, and I haven't been as itchy as usual. Hopefully that will continue - the only other antihistamine I've had luck with other than Benadryl was fexofenadine (Allegra) and the side-effects from it bother me quite a bit - stomach pain, headaches, and trouble sleeping. Allegra also needed a building-up period for it to work, usually about a week. While I do frequently have to take an antihistamine daily, I don't like HAVING to take one daily. Cetirizine is stupidly expensive for OTC, even for the generic, but if it works, it works. I'll just keep my eye out for coupons and deals.

I've also been feeling a bit down lately - I don't know if it's partly sleep trouble, worry about the move, or just general blahs. I'm hoping I perk up as the week goes on.

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