In fact, I stayed in 5 different Airbnbs while I was out there. I did this purposely so I could get a feel for the commute times to the office from different neighborhoods. 4 Silicon Valley guesthouse setups of varying sizes and amenities and one shitty loud efficiency apartment that should not be an Airbnb at all somewhat near Stanford. The guesthouses ranged in size of one-bedroom nicely appointed apartments to a duplex setup where you could hear the host family to a literal shed in someone's yard. The shed was actually the nicest one out of it all, except you didn't want to chill there.
I didn't start my apartment search until almost the last week. I found a very tiny cottage just on the outskirts of the Stanford campus via craigslist and went to the open house. (I did think to ask the lady showing it if she had a preference for Stanford students, she said she did not.) All I got was glares from the Stanford students waiting in line as I walked up to the cottage. It was cute, in a "you'll be living in a camp cabin" kind of way. I put an application in that night, the landlord said she'd process it, but I never heard from her. I was a little stressed when I realized I wasn't getting the cottage.
That led me to a few days of actual apartment searching before I was actually supposed to leave for the East Coast. (And oh, the variable daily rate for apartment quotes is a thing and that is a helluva racket.) I thought I had a good lead with this one apartment complex because I had driven through it. The pictures on the Internet were really nice. But when I returned to the complex during the day, I learned I apparently drove through a separate townhouse development. That and it looked like the complex could have been in any other state. I also realized that I didn't want to commute from the other side of 85 anyway.
I went to the office defeated and told the CFO that I needed to stay for the weekend. She was like, "Sure! Go find something you like."
The next day I set up a few appointments, and the apartments ranged from a 1st floor special that was on the other side of 85 (again - I wouldn't have gone but the map was wrong), a complex with gates and bars on the windows (but I did like the garage parking)...and then after a 2-glass of wine lunch in Downtown Mountain View, the place that was kinda pricey but I wanted to check it out because of the Yelp reviews.
I really liked the pricier place. It was a bit milennial, as the leasing office personnel were maybe in their mid to late 20s but here's my new life. The grounds were once a farm and they still have some of the plants and trees. There will be a citrus tree right outside my door. From the Yelp reviews, I knew to ask for a place not near Caltrain. And the best part, I got a ground floor bungalow apartment, with no neighbors above me. Plus, I could get a bike or even walk to work.
Ironically, the apartment complex is close to the first guesthouse I stayed at.
As I was leaving the complex, there was a grandpa wearing a Phillies hat pushing a stroller. If that isn't a sign, I don't know what is.
Anyway, I got the confirmation today from the complex, so all I need to do now is...plan to move in late December. And tell my family.
The plan is for LO and I to move when she is on winter break. We are gonna drive because of the cats.
Errata: While I do get complimented (quite frequently) that I don't look my age, I wasn't expecting the frequency of getting checked out by dudes IRL in SV. Also had the unnerving experience of walking in downtown Mountain View during the day and having groups of tech bros pass me by on the street. Like no women at all in these groups.
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