Some of you may recall that Kara and I live in the Apartment of Doom. That is to say, it sucks here. We're constantly receiving contemptuous treatment from the management. I think they honestly think of us (and everyone else here) as slackers and losers who couldn't buy a house, so we should be grateful they "allow us" to live here.

I'm a little bitter.

So Kara and I decided a long time ago that we wanted out. The problem was, we never found any place that was any better. We looked at all of the apartments in the area and they were either out of our price range or, well, crappy.

Then, one day, it hit us. People rent houses.

We had looked at rental houses before, and we almost got into a couple. They would have all been compromises in one sense or another. Either we went up in rent or we had to make sure every door and window was securely locked (if you know what I mean).

One day, though, we were tooling around online and found a house in price range that was actually in the heights. We called the Realtor and took a look.

It was nice! The neighborhood wasn't perfect, but it was far from the worst we'd seen. The house had a slightly strange layout, and the yard was a little small. But heck, it was a pretty good deal. And that got us thinking ... what if there are even better deals out there?

Turns out there were.

After looking at half-a-dozen homes, we walked into a house in Oak Forest. Now, this isn't in the heights, which was a downside for Kara. But once we saw the place, and the neighborhood, and the new Starbucks around the corner (sweet) and finally the rent, which was a scant $50 more than we pay for the Apartment of Doom, we were sold.

Of course, our lease isn't up at the AoD until August. But I've got enough certified letters, photographs and official complaints with the Houston Apartment Association that I'm confident our lease won't be a problem.

The really funny part is that when we first saw the house we started doing the paperwork, only to find out that someone else had beat us to the punch and given a deposit. "Don't worry," I told Kara, "He'll drop out. We'll still get the house." I'm nothing if not confident.

A few days later, Kara and I are at a bowling alley on the other side of town, far from our usual stomping grounds. That's where we ran into our Realtor ... also out of his turf. He greeted us warmly and said, "I was going to call you in the morning. The guy dropped out on the house. It's yours if you still want it."

Boo-ya.

See what confidence and a little faith can get ya?


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Kevin Tumlinson is the author of numerous novels, novellas, and non-fiction books, and the host of the Wordslinger Podcast. Try three of his best books for free when you download his starter library at kevintumlinson.com/starterlibrary.
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