Now that the dust has settled a bit and we have been in our home for a week, I finally have time to tell y’all about our big move. Our family is safe, happy, healthy and has a roof over our head. BUT getting to this point was a bit of an ordeal for us. I chalk it up to a string of bad luck and mediocre last minute planning. If you’d like to read about our disaster moving day, then stick around!
I’ll start with a little background information first. We were presented with an opportunity to move to North Carolina due to my husband’s job. We had about a month to find a place to live and pack up our lives. We found a cute little yellow house in a small town called Thomasville, just outside of High Point. My husband’s job is in Greensboro, which is about 20 minutes away from Thomasville.
With our previous rental in Knoxville, we dealt directly with our landlords who were amazing and lived on the lot behind us. I know it sounds like it would be annoying, but it wasn’t at all. Renting from them was such a breeze and they gave us plenty of privacy. There were no formal rules and they made us feel like family. If we ever had an issue, I would just text her and the problem would be solved asap. This time around, we are renting from a property management company, not directly with the landlord. It has already been a completely different experience for us, and not a positive one.
I received an email from one of the property managers, lets call her Sally, with instructions on how to schedule a key pick up time. We were told the pick up time had to be scheduled Monday-Friday during normal business hours. We sent a reply email indicating that we would like to schedule our key pick up for Friday, November 2nd, the first day of our lease. She never responded to my email.
That Friday morning I called the office to let them know I was coming to pick up our keys and leaving from Knoxville shortly. Sally stated she never received the email I sent her to schedule a time, but that it wouldn’t be a problem to come pick the keys up at the office. I explained that since we e traveling long distance, we would be there closer to 5pm. She told me that was the latest we could pick up the keys since that’s when the office closed. Shouldn’t have been a problem, right?
Well, that morning we completely underestimated the amount of last minute packing we had to do. We got a POD earlier that week which took most of our belongings to NC for us, but we still had some small things to pack in our 2 vehicles. We got a trailer to haul my car with Brendan’s truck, so we packed that thing to the brim! We even had to leave some belongings behind because we underestimated so much of what we still had left. Anyways, it took longer than anticipated to pack up everything. Between delays at U-Haul, trying to round up the cats and tending to a screaming baby, we didn’t get on the road until 12:30pm. I nervously called Sally explaining our situation and we wouldn’t be there until 5:10pm. She replied saying the latest they could stay was 5:15pm and no later than that. We were BOOKING it up and down those mountains. I was crammed in the backseat with the baby, a mattress over my head and barely any room to budge. We didn’t even have room for the cats in the truck so we stuck them in my car and hoped for the best. Then, after about an hour into the trip, I desperately had to pee! I sat there in agony for three hours since we running so late.
To make matters worse, it started to downpour in the middle of the Asheville mountains, causing major traffic delays and accidents. As a result, our ETA was now 5:21pm. Six whole minutes past the “deadline”. I frantically called Sally again explaining our current situation. I pleaded with her and informed her we had a 6 month old baby, 2 cats and 2 packed cars with no overnight bags packed. I told her we would meet her anytime, anywhere, even the next day. Her response included a copy and paste of the original email stating “key pick up must be during normal business hours” and that she could not accommodate us. We would have to wait until MONDAY MORNING to pick up our keys!
Okay, so I’m not an unrealistic person. I understand she has a life and probably had plans that night. But we were willing to meet her anywhere! We had already put down a security deposit and signed a lease, so technically that house was OURS! She could have easily left an envelope somewhere or thought of something. I was seriously in shock of the lack of customer service from these people. To add to the stress we had to cancel movers that we hired for Saturday (non-refundable by the way) and reschedule cable and internet installations. And what is even more frustrating is that the next day we drove by the house to make sure our POD was delivered and noticed a lock box on the door!! She could have just given us the combination and none of this drama would have happened. UGH.
Rewind back to Friday night. Once we realized we wouldn’t be staying in our house that night we started looking for pet friendly hotels to stay in. It was still pouring down rain so we pulled into the first hotel we saw. I ran in to see if they had vacancy. They were booked. All of the parking lots at the surrounding hotels looked pretty full. We decided to call different hotels around us. ALL of them were booked due to a local college homecoming weekend. Awesome.
We finally had some luck, but had to pay about $250 for a mediocre hotel room. On top of that, only one cat could fit in the crate that I had. So one of the cats was roaming free around my car and ended up pooping on my luggage. Totally my fault, but it just added to the inconvenience LOL.
Spending the night with 2 cats and a baby in the same room was not ideal. So we did a quick search on airbnb to see if we could rent a whole house for the rest of the weekend. We found one we liked that was only a couple of minutes away. We noticed it didn’t have any reviews, which was kind of sketchy but we just thought maybe it was a new rental. After booking, we never received the typical email with instructions on how to get a key for the house or how to check in. The next morning we packed up our things and headed to the house. We tried calling the home owner with no answer. When we showed up at the house there was a car in the driveway. Brendan knocked on the door while I stayed in the car with the baby and cats. A man answered the door (a woman posted the house on airbnb). The man was bewildered when Brendan explained we booked the house for the weekend on airbnb. Apparently he had just signed a 6 month lease to rent the house and moved in the day before…SERIOUSLY?! The tenant called the home owner who was also confused because she claimed she had taken her house off airbnb weeks ago. Anyways, we ended up getting our money back plus a 50 dollar voucher, so I guess there was a silver lining.
So here we were, homeless again, scrambling to find another hotel room. Luckily we found a cheaper one closer to our rental home. On Sunday we decided to stop by the house again. We remembered there was a large storage area underneath the house that was unlocked when we looked at the house a month ago. We hoped it was unlocked so we could start at least unloading our cars. Luckily it was unlocked, so I guess the weekend wasn’t a complete waste.
The funniest part of the this story is that on Saturday when we first stopped by the house, we were so angry that we tried to see if any windows were unlocked so we could ‘break in”. We didn’t have any luck. But Sunday, right before we were heading back to our hotel, we decided to give it one more try. Lo and behold the master bedroom window was UNLOCKED! It was just super sticky the first time we tried to open it. Brendan crawled through the window. Hopefully our neighbors didn’t think we were breaking into our own home. We ended up unloading a lot of belongings from our cars into the house. We didn’t feel bad because technically our names were already on the lease and the house was ours. We still stayed in the hotel that night because we already paid for it, and we weren’t about to waste another penny that weekend.
Fast forward a week later and we are now getting settled into our home. We emailed the manager of the property management company with our concerns about the situation. We have not received a response.
Though Thomasville hasn’t left the greatest first impression, we are keeping an open mind and making the best of it! We just laugh about the situation and say it will be a good story to tell the kids one day. Life does not always go how you expect it to, so it’s best to just make the most of it!
And the adventure continues.