As many of you know from my constant bitching and whining, the house we’re currently living in is a rental, and far from my ideal home. Not that it’s horrible or anything; the layout is just complete crap. It’s 2,400 square feet, has three bedrooms plus an enormous bonus room upstairs with a full bathroom. As for the kitchen, the architect was surely drunk when he designed it. Sure, it’s got your working triangle, but I don’t think he/she was meant to take the word triangle and interpret it into a kitchen that’s actually that shape.
Why have we been renting for the past two years? Because when Jimmy accepted a great job offer here in Jacksonville, we put our house in Tampa on the market and nothing happened. It’s been on and off the market more times than I can count, each time with a lowered price, but still, it doesn’t sell. There’s just too much inventory and too many new construction homes going up that are priced competitively with our 11- year- old sub-standard, bare-bones-basic home.
Carrying the mortgage there, plus the rent here, for two years, has been a struggle. Not to mention having to pay electric and lawn maintenance on a house we no longer live in.
And then a few weeks ago our neighbor approached us about renting his house, which is only 4 doors down and across the street, right in the heart of the cul-de-sac. I knew the layout of their house from being in John and Tracey’s, which is the same, and also knew it had some nice upgrades that we certainly don’t have here. My mind whirled with thoughts of more space, a bigger kitchen, a screened-in patio!!! Still not the house of my dreams, but that will have to wait for a time when we actually have some money in our pockets. Right now I’m willing to settle for “better”.
My house lust was shot down within days. Our friend was asking $300 more than we’re paying in rent now, and the house is only 200 square feet larger. It just wasn’t doable.
Then a few days ago our friend contacted Jimmy again, and was willing to come down in price to a figure we can manage. Still a little more than we’re paying now, but to me, totally worth it! Jimmy has plans of finally putting the Tampa house up for rent, and once that happens the financial strain will let up quite a bit.
If you had asked me ten years ago if I would have pictured myself renting a house instead of owning at this point in my life, I would have scoffed. But you know what? We’re one of the lucky ones. Jimmy still has a job that pays really well, and we have a roof over our heads. We live in a beautiful part of Florida, and our neighborhood is absolutely gorgeous, with a golf course and many other amenities. Not to mention we’ve got terrific neighbors. And guess what? When we move (about 200 feet down the block… LOL) we’ll be only two houses away from Chuck and Larry! I can accost him on his way to work and demand driveway haircuts! Okay, I doubt that’s going to happen, but I’ll find some other way to nag the shit out of him.
It makes absolutely no financial sense to move from here to there…. none whatsoever, but we’re doing it anyway! Within the next few weeks we’ll start moving our stuff into the new house and will officially move in March 1st. We’re going from a really ugly house (both inside and out) to a much nicer looking one. Yippeee!
Now tell me this is not the most fugly house design you've ever seen!
Wanna see some pictures of our new digs? When I walked over there weeks ago to look over the house, I took my camera with me. Huge surprise, eh? None of these shots were well thought-out because my battery was dying, so I just pointed and snapped, but you’ll get the general idea.
My new kitchen!
When you walk in the front door, these two rooms are directly to your right. They have used the dining area as their play room, and the living room area as, well, their living room. But, they moved the chandy from the play area over to the living area. Confused yet?
The family room, adjacent to the kitchen. Unfortunately, our furniture isn't half as nice as theirs. Hmmmm... wonder if they'd like to leave that entertainment center behind? Hey, a girl can dream!
I didn't take any pictures of the bedrooms (there are 4), because it would have seemed to like an invasion of private space. But, they're quite a bit larger than what we have in this house, and each one has a walk-in closet. The master closet actually has two separate sections. Way cool!
This is the view from the upstairs landing.
Looking down on the entryway.
This is probably my favorite part of the house. No more skeeter bites while sitting outside blogging! No more Rocky either :o ( Jill thinks I should trap him and release him in the woods behind the new house. Uh, no!
See the pretty pavers they've put down? Gee, wonder if they'd like to leave that cool fire-pit table behind? Nope, don't think so. Hey, I'm still dreamin'!
Let us recap, shall we?
We're going from this...
Wouldn't you do it if you had the choice?