The past 10 days or so are a bit of a blur. Dublin to Boston to Ithaca to Long Island and back to Dublin via JFK. We landed at the Dublin Airport, 9:30 am on Tuesday, went back to the Garza’s home where we have been staying and by that afternoon Liz & I were out looking at houses to rent again.

Housing Update: So I have written a bit about how interesting our housing search has been (here, and here, among other places). We have had letting agents unable to show us places because they have “lost” keys. We have been told our family is too big & that we will not be considered for certain places. We have been told our offer can not be considered because the husband of the landlord is sick and will not be making any decisions for weeks.

Tuesday was a similar story. We had a 4 pm appointment to view a home, and when Liz called to confirm, we were told, that it had been cancelled because the landlord did not want the property seen until the blinds were up. She also called to make an offer on a house she’d seen while I was in the States, and was told it the landlord decided not to rent it.  We then made an offer on another place she saw, and they have still not gotten back to us (or answered our phone calls.)

We did have two viewings that day, however, both were way too small for us…while we are considering 3 bedrooms at this point…our girls have consented to that…they are not willing to share a double bed with each other (which seems reasonable), so we do need to find a place where we could fit two twin beds in the same room.

We had a viewing last night that, while a bit more than we’d like to pay would work for us…and we have another tonight…we have learned something about why our search has been a bit more difficult than it should be…

Problem #1 :: Would You Rent to Us? 

At last night’s viewing, the landlord made a couple of comments that backed up something another agent said a couple of days ago. Basically, the final decision does not come down to who is willing to pay the most money, or who makes the first offer, it is who the agent or the landlord likes, and wants in their home.

And maybe you’ve heard…we have 3 teenagers and a toddler.

Problem #2 :: There Just Aren’t That Many Places Available. 

I mentioned this earlier, but there simply aren’t very many 3-4 bedroom places available at this point. At last nights viewing, the landlord told us that when they rented this house 2 years ago, there were over 40 comparable places in Clontarf at the same time. Currently, there are 3. And since we’ve gone to a few group viewings, we’ve learned we are not the only ones looking to rent in the Clontarf area.

At this point, the only thing that we think will work is prayer.

Speaking of prayer, over the past several months, as we’ve been asking people to pray for our housing, we came up with this list:

  • In Clontarf (less than €1,500/month)
  • At least 3 bedrooms (4 would be great!)
  • Allows pets. (Girls really want a dog)…(not sure we want the wet dog smell though)
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Internet access (sadly, not assured)
  • A “reasonable sized” yard
  • Space in the house large enough so that we can have people over regularly and host visitors.

I think if we were redoing the list, we’d add a dryer & dishwasher…and while we’ve really strayed a bit from the list out of necessity (desperation?), we’ve been feeling lately that we need to return to praying for our original list. The whole project seems like it’s going to require something miraculous to happen.

Speaking of Miraculous.

Our temporary abode.

Before I left for the states two weeks ago, I mentioned wanting to avoid the nuclear option. That basically involved having our whole family stay up at Liz’s dad’s farm in a one-bedroom flat, and driving back and forth to Dublin every day (70 minutes each way). When we were going to bed on Tuesday night, our plan was waking up early Wednesday morning, driving to the farm in Co. Monaghan dropping off the kids, driving back to Dublin, packing up our stuff, going to an 8:40 pm showing, and then driving back to Monaghan and unpacking. Sounds like a lot of fun, doesn’t it?Well, late Tuesday night, James Garza, was talking to a friend who has a large house in Lucan (where we’ve been staying), and just found out that the people who were renting 3 bedrooms in his home were not coming back due to a slow down in work. So as they were talking, James asked if he’d rent to us…negotiated the price a bit…and brought us over to meet the owner on Wednesday morning.

the backyard

So we spent most of yesterday, moving out of the Garza’s & into our new place.  There are a total of 6 bedrooms upstairs, and we are renting 3 of them. We have access to the kitchen & laundry facilities. There is a living room which we are still not sure if it is for just our use, or for all the tenants…but I guess we’ll figure that out eventually.

The owner has agreed to rent to us 2 weeks at a time so when we do find something in Clontarf, we are not tied up in a lease over here. At the same time, the kids are asking if perhaps we should stay here in Lucan and forget about Clontarf…seems they enjoy living in a “mansion,” and each having a bathroom in their bedroom. (Erin & Brenna have a Jacuzzi tub as well.) Liz did inform them that when we finally do find a place, it will be a step (or 3) down from this.

I guess this has gotten long enough for now…thanks in advance for your prayers!