After I asked for a lot of feedback on Twitter about which home we should choose and shared a little about the insanity of the process on my blog, oh, two weeks ago (stress has swallowed my ability to blog, *clug clug*) – I thought I’d share more! Because if there’s one thing I know I like, it’s reading about other people’s decisions.
We are moving to western Massachusetts for my husband’s job as a professor. We do not want to buy yet, so even though we knew we were moving 5 months ago, we had to wait until this month to see what rental properties were open. We hauled our two little kids to 18 viewings in 3 days. After we drove 10 hours there. Hooray for moving. (No, but seriously, hooray for a job.)
On the first day, we saw a place we LOVED (open floor plan, huge backyard, perfect size home, low rent), but it was off the market 3 hours after we saw it. *Weep.*
On the third day, we applied to another place (condos close to Mike’s work, low rent included all utilities, shared big yard), but they chose a single person instead of a family of four.
We left pretty discouraged. We were worried nowhere would work out, so we decided to apply to 4 places:
#1: Perfect but Far A home we adored that was 35 minutes from Mike’s work. It had lots of living space (1800 sq ft – 6oo more than we have now!), was bright and open, a fireplace and plenty of windows. Plus, everything was on one floor except the finished basement with a guest bedroom/office (I love one floor living). The backyard was huge and had a compost and garden. The house itself was perfect for us, but the location was not. It was far from his work and the neighborhood wasn’t walkable, though it did have some sidewalks. It was also the most expensive home we looked at, of course.
#2: Close Condo A condo that popped up in the same property close to Mike’s work, but had 3 instead of 2 bedrooms. The square footage is about the same we have now, but includes a washer and dryer in unit, a private patio, and a pool on the grounds. It was about the same cost as #1, but all utilities are included. It’s not an incredibly walkable area, but it’s near a JCC and the big park in the city. We never actually got to see this unit since it came on the market right after we left.
#3 Creepy Gingerbread A slightly creepy home that seemed to be the Goldilocks home – bigger than #2, but closer than #1. It was in a walkable area, BUT it was not accessible to the sidewalks. It was set back from the road and up on a hill, which meant it would involve walking down a long alley to get to the road. It was kinda creepy and isolated. Plus, the people were ending their lease early, which made me worry something was wrong with the house or landlord. It was super cheap*, though. (*Note: super cheap in MA is still almost double our rent here)
#4: Fallback Townhome Our safety rental. Far from Mike’s work, but a great little community of townhouses and tons of families. Near a bike path. Plenty of units available, so we knew if we needed a place should everything else fall through, we could live here.
Then we received word (after sending in deposits, bank statements, credit reports, and our first-born), that we got all four rentals! Hooray! Except…then we had to decide and decisions can be the worst. So much agony.
We hemmed and hawed and hemmed and hawed for days.
I even asked friends and Twitter to weigh in:
Our hearts said #1. But our heads said #2. #3 was off the table due to creepiness. And #4 was really only our last resort.
One minute, we’d think, “More indoor space in the winter for kids! #1!” The next, “What if I need the car and have to drop Mike off at work? 8 minutes beats 35 minutes. #2!”
The Envelope, Please:
Ultimately, the distance decided for us. In a city and state where we will know no one else, I worried about an emergency arising and having Mike 35 minutes away – or more in the winter. Plus, we want to stay a one car family as long as we can, so we decided to make the responsible choice and rent the #2 condo. We’re not sure what Mike’s schedule will practically be like as a professor, so we don’t want him to have to drive an hour roundtrip for an hour meeting. Until we get our bearings on the job and the region, this seemed like the best choice.
It’s not the thrilling or exciting choice (#1, we will always love you), but we’ll save more money and it will give us a good base to explore the region while we figure out where we’ll move in a year. Because, yes, I plan to move to a longer term home in a year. Hopefully somewhere with a yard and in a walkable area. And, hey, maybe that first home we fell in love with will come back on the market!
And we’re still fighting to get our (REFUNDABLE!) deposits back for #1 and #4. (They deposited our check for $1790 two days after we withdrew our application. Classy.)
On to the next decision to stress about…which moving container company to choose. Aiiii. (Related – have you used and loved or hated U-Pack or U-Box? Do share!)