Thursday, July 02, 2009

U-Haul mystery.

Some of you know that Mr. Plain(s)feminist and I are about to become first-time homeowners. That process might be something I should blog about at some point, though I suspect that most of my readers have already become homeowners and would not be surprised by the things that surprised us (such as closing costs - ouch!). Many of my friends are already on their second or third houses.

Anyway, in preparation for our upcoming move, I decided to pick up some file boxes so that I could unload and then get rid of some filing cabinets that we don't really need any longer. I had a really good experience with U-Haul boxes (sturdy and just the right size) the last time we moved, so I looked up U-Haul on the internet and set off for one not too far from me.

When I got there, the address was printed in big numbers on the building, and there were storage and U-Haul signs, so I knew I was in the right place. However, there seemed to be no front to the building. There were two doors; one was a heavy, single door, set between two loading docks, with a sign above it that read "Sales." The other was a heavy, double door, next to a dumpster, and opened onto another loading dock. Both were windowless doors that looked like employee or back entrances. There was one window in the building, but there was shelving set against it on the other side. Both doors were locked. I felt certain that I was at the back entrance of the building, but when I tried to drive around to the front of the building, I found that there was no way to get there. The driveway ended and was blocked by a large dumpster. The building itself was set on a block next to a railyard, and the street did not go all the way around the block so that the southern and western sides of the building were inaccessible.

I finally sat in the parking lot and called the number I had gotten off the computer, which remained busy each time I called. Then I called the number on the side of the building and got an answering machine. There were plenty of cars in the parking lot, so I assume that they were open for business. But how their customers were able to get into the building to do any business, I will never figure out.

9 comments:

CrackerLilo said...

Well, I'm interested. Not only is it something important in your life, but in our mid-thirties, L'Ailee and I aren't even really interested in owning a home. Congratulations on the move, even though there are clearly some very bumpy bumps on the way!

Danielle said...

I'm interested, too. I'm not that far behind you in the quest for the first home. I'm blogging about it, even though I get no sympathy whatsoever about the surprise of closing costs.

Green said...

You are? Congratulations! I'm 32, have never bought a house, and don't think I ever will. This is a great time to to buy - I hope you found something you really like!

Danielle said...

It's very different to see people actually saying that they have no interest in buying a house and even that they never will.

Plain(s)feminist said...

I think we could have easily been in the "no interest, never will" camp if we didn't have a kid. In some ways, that was the shifting point, because I am so tired of telling Bean to keep the noise down because of the neighbors. Also, he's never had a decent yard of his own to play in. If we didn't have a kid, I think we would probably be living in Minneapolis in a condo, where we wouldn't have the maintenance stuff to deal with. Or we'd rent - but I am tired of dealing with living in a place where things don't get fixed or maintained properly, and also with neighbors who are annoying or the threat of having neighbors who are annoying. Annoying neighbors can be everywhere, but in an apartment or condo, they're much closer than they are if they live in a separate building.

Lara said...

My first "house" was actually a condo, and the whole "maintenance-free" thing is kind of misleading. You have to pay condo fees to keep that up - and they are way, way higher than you would think. I could have (and now do) hired the kids down the block to mow my lawn and shovel my snow for less than my condo fees were per month.

Danielle said...

PF, you don't have parks in your area?

Plain(s)feminist said...

Yes, we have parks. There are actually some nice parks near where we live now and also near where we will be living. But Bean isn't old enough to go to the park on his own; it will be nice to be able to send him outside to play without having to take him somewhere to do that (the yard we have right now at the apartment is not a great play space, since the people who replaced the roof left roof nails all over the place and they would be wicked to step on; they did come back and clean up the ones on the ground, but we keep finding them, nonetheless).

Danielle said...

Hi PF. My husband and I went to a home buyer's education class today. I'm happy to announce that we are now in the same category as CrackerLilo! Not interested in buying a home! I'm so relieved. I hope it goes well for you, though, and I do hope you blog about it more.