After 3 weeks of research, 2 day trips of scouting around, and 1 thwarted scam* later, we finally have ourselves a new home :) And we move in in two weeks – ack!
This is the 2nd biggest decision we’ve had to make recently, with the first one accepting a job offer my wife got after a year+ looking, and now with that out of the way we move to big decisions #3 and #4: finding the right child care and upgrading the beloved Frankencaddy (tear).
Big changes going on!
Though the house we settled on is actually anything but – it’s 1,100 sq feet :) Which is tight with two kids! Though as my wife likes to now say, “Here’s your chance to prove how awesome minimalism is!” Haha… And she’s right. If we can’t survive in that amount of space, how will we ever in an RV or house boat, or my ultimate dream – a hotel? All at a third of that space, if not less?
It also makes for a PERFECT chance to declutter too.
(I remember once actually reading a blog post about how you should pretend you have to move at least once a year so it forces you to go through your stuff! Such a great idea, right?)
Anyways, we started our search around the $1,800-$2,000 range, you know, hoping that would yield some decent returns, but nope. One was in the ghetto, and the other was way too far away. And every mile counts in the land of the commuters (we decided early on that we’re going to be living within 10 miles of Mrs BudgetsAreSexy’s work so she has more time to spend with the kids – though of course it limits our options).
So we bumped it up to $2,000-$2,300/mo and eventually narrowed it down to two places after our first “dream” place fell through (we fell in love with the first home we found but it had already been rented out! Just 48 hours since being on the market!).
Here are the quick stats on both, House Hunter style... Though I already gave away the answer – oops. Just ask yourself which YOU’D pick as that’s the only reason we watch these shows anyways! :)
House #1 – “The Minimalist Compound”
- 1,100 sq feet
- Two bedroom + tiny office
- 1 Bathroom
- One story + finished basement
- Large fenced in backyard
- Walking distance to shops
- In super sought after community
- Deal directly with the owner
Pros: Cozy feeling, lots of shade and quiet, kids could have their own level to themselves along w/ all their toys (basement), updated windows and HVAC for lower energy bills, walking distance to shops which is a HUGE plus, and a very safe community that seems pretty friendly and family oriented.
Cons: 1 bathroom, 600 sq feet smaller than our current place, no closet space, strict yard maintenance rules, people could be more uppity than they appear?
House #2 – “The Diamond in The Rough”
- $50 application fee (x2)
- $50/mo cat fee (????)
- 1,700 sq feet
- 3 decently sized bedrooms
- 2 bathrooms
- Large fenced in backyard
- Two stories + unfinished basement
- Managed by a property management company
Pros: Much bigger – including a huge carpeted play area for kids upstairs, two bathrooms!, lots of character and charm as it’s an older house, plenty of space to work as I’d have my own office, nice backyard, and the kids level would be separate from ours which is great for noise and sleeping.
Cons: Way more expensive – especially with the fees (have you ever heard of a $50/mo cat fee?), basement seemed kinda dangerous for kids and also creepy as hell (there were windows looking into the crawl space for some reason which were all pitch black and I kept envisioning the dead rising and peering back at me!! Haha…), and the overall cleanliness was pretty bad as it was literally a college party house. On the plus side, this is where the “diamond in the rough” part came in as anyone who watches HGTV knows to look beyond it for the potential! And this place had tons of it!
Oh, and something else both communities had? Tiny Free Libraries!
Where people build these mailbox/bird house looking concoctions so neighbors can share and swap out books to read :) How cute are these??
This just added to the whole community feel and made us newcomers feel a lot more comfortable with things… Though it would have been even better if these were Beer Libraries! :)
So which one did we pick? The first one, of course! Though we were split 60/40 on it… While I’m nervous about the size of it as we’re losing a third of the space we have right now, I AM excited to see how it goes and everyone we talk to in the area confirms it’s an excellent community. Not to mention having the ability to pick up a cup of coffee while out on a mid-day walk too – love it! It’s hard to top that without living smack dab in the city itself (where you’d literally be paying double just for the privilege).
Anyways, we got our home and now we move on to day care and car and packing up the house! It’ll be an expensive month, but nothing that an extra full-time income can’t solve :) And I’ll never complain about $1,700/mo rent again, haha…
How much are y’all paying for rent or mortgage these days? Where in the country/world do you live? Would be cool to see the differences! :)
Details on this new adventure of ours, btw, can be found here if you missed it…
*That Craigslist Scam: after we wrote about our interest in one of the listings, we got back this long – overly detailed – explanation of why they didn’t want to tell us the address (for “safety” reasons – tip #1), and said they’d waive the security deposit (tip #2) if our credit score was above 600. And the “only way” for them to find out what our credit score was (tip #3)? We had to click some obscure link and then fill out all our info online – YEAH RIGHT! Mrs BudgetsAreSexy then took it upon herself to find the REAL house and its address, and it was indeed up for rent, however $500 more and a totally different set of details… But man her email would have been convincing if you didn’t know what you were doing! I’m sure people fall for this $hit all the time – especially the elderly! Ugh… Smart people using their skills for the bad, so disappointing.
Jay loves talking about money, collecting coins, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his three beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!