We rent. We aspire to own, but since we don't really know where we want to set roots permanently and the market here (well, everywhere) is not so good.... we rent. Renting has been good to us. So good that we've lived in a cute little bungalow style home for less than $900/month. We were lucky. One day we were just driving around and I saw our house with a for rent sign. I asked Daniel to stop the car and we snooped in the windows. We've lived here for two years and were glad to be out of the little apartment we were in. But in the two years, our family grew. We adopted Max and then I got pregnant and well, then Zoe was born and with her came a lot of stuff. Toys and whatnot. Our space seemed cramped. I felt cramped. And then I became more and more uncomfortable with our little neighborhood and the people who knocked on our door asking for money. So we looked around a bit and while we saw places in nicer areas, knew we could never afford them. And then Cheryl and her husband (the people who watch Zoe on "Mama Mondays") offered to rent us their home. They just bought a new home and because they wanted to help us and not deal with a bad market right now, us renting from them seemed so perfect.
I am elated.
The old house was in built in the 20's. The new house was built in 1997.
The old house is about 1000 sq. ft. The new house is 1700 sq.ft.
The old house has a huge kitchen at the back of the house, far from the living room. We bought the refridgerator and the washer and dryer (that are in the kitchen). I have not had a dishwasher in two years. The new kitchen is smaller, but has a laundry room off to the side, gorgeous hardwood floors, new appliances (including a dishwasher!) and a dining nook. Oh, and it looks over the living room.
When we first looked at the old house we were told that the extra wide hallway right in front of the bathroom was actually a dining room. There was no way that could have been true. The new house has a dining room that also looks over the living room.
We have one bathroom at the old house. We've always only had one bathroom and we've been fine... even when I had morning sickness and even when I was nine months pregnant and needing to pee every five seconds. The new house has two bathrooms. Now, my parents will actually stay with us when they visit because they won't have to worry about fighting for the bathroom (not that we ever made them fight for it). The master bath has a shower and a separate jacuzzi tub. There are two sinks and tons of storage. I have been dreaming about that jacuzzi tub since the first time I saw it and will need to take a bath before I unpack a single box.
The old house had closets the size of a bathroom stall. Tiny. No light. Musty smelling. The new house has a walk in closet in our bedroom that is nearly the size of Zoe's current bedroom. It is huge and has tons of shelving. It is just awesome. All our clothes will fit in it!
There are ceiling fans throughout the new house. Custom paint on all the walls (and some wallpaper I'm not fond of, but who cares). There is tons of storage and high ceilings. Beautiful roses in the front and back yards. Gorgeous flowers planted. Citrus trees. A hot tub. A swimming pool. Lots of grass to roll around in with Zoe and have picnics. A covered patio perfect for hosting BBQ's with friends. It is just awesome. I cannot contain my excitement about this place.
We are getting this place at a steal. We've looked at our budget and adjusted some of our spending to pay the extra money, but really we should be paying at least $600 more a month for what we are getting.
The old house is down the street from a 7/11 and a little market that got held up earlier this year. Gangsters hang out on the street and the bus stop is four doors down from us. People race down the road... literally. Drag races at midnight. This neighborhood seemed perfect for us (its down the street from atheatre we love and close to downtown), and now that we have Zoe I just want to be out of here.
We get to start moving in now. I just need to get us to start packing everything up. We have so much stuff!
The new house is ten minutes from Daniel's work. We will be living in a nice neighborhood just around the corner from a park and orchards. I pretty much want to live there forever. But not really. Someday I hope we can find a place similar in a city we enjoy more. But for now, it is perfect for our family. I feel blessed and can't wait to make memories there.