Great news for me this week is that I have found a new rental and I am moving in two weeks. Here’s my new house, which is three times as large as the apartment I am living in right now.

My little house, some random car for scale.

I was told how hard/impossible it would be to find something affordable and year round in Bar Harbor but here’s how I performed my real estate miracle:

I networked like crazy.

I looked at seven places and inquired about ten places total. I combed the local newspaper classifieds and an internal bulletin of the area’s largest employer courtesy of friends who work there. I told everyone I knew locally that I was looking for a place and as a result, I got phone calls, Facebook messages, and emails with additional leads, some for places that hadn’t yet even become available.

I made the choice and did that I could to make it happen for me.

I narrowed my list to my top three and began rent negotiations. I visited my top choice twice, the second time bringing a tape measure and the measurements of a few of my bigger furniture pieces. I talked my top choice to a rent $200/month lower (so I could afford it) and yesterday, I signed the lease. My new landlords are cleaning and repainting the whole place for me and are letting me pick the paint colors.

I didn’t wait to look for an apartment until I was desperate, and only got the new place because it had what I needed (and some of what I wanted).

My new rental meets all my essential criteria (more than 220 square feet, affordable yea-round rent, heat included in the rent, full size fridge) and some of my additional bonus criteria (gas stove, clawfoot tub, hardwood floors, a fenced in yard, washer/dryer).

Timing and nice people are everything.

You could say I lucked out, and I kind of did. My current and new landlords are really nice people and also, I happened to be looking for a place at the right time of year (ie Maine’s less busy season). But it was worth doing the legwork and being honest about what I could and couldn’t afford to both the potential landlords and myself.

I am not letting bigger place give me license to buy new stuff.

I could fit all 220 square feet of my stuff just in the living room of the new place and boy, is it tempting to go out and buy things! But I am going to wait and seek out donations of anything I might possibly need from friends and family who may have extra stuff only after I move in.

Need an apartment in Bar Harbor? I have some ideas of where to rent (and not rent).

Of course, since I’ve stopped looking for places, I’ve gotten even more offers. So if you or someone you know is looking for a nice year-round apartment in Bar Harbor, let me know!

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