Friday, January 30, 2009

Good Bye Rental House. Hello, Er... New Rental House

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!
Oh, the beautiful cherry cabinets, the sheen of stainless steel, the glow of beautiful granite. I want to lie naked on your cold, hard surface... Er, ahem. I seem to have gotten carried away. Kitchen, although you're still not as large as I'd like, I think I love you.

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...

To this...

Wouldn't you do it if you had the choice?

Until Next Time, Tiney

33 "Sister" Lovin' Friends Said:

  • Rhea

    Oh, I like the new digs a lot! I'm so glad you're getting a nicer, somewhat bigger space to live in! yay! And that screened in porch is awesome. I want one.

  • Jill

    OMG nice. A new space and it's better. I don't think you are crazy to move 200 feet.

    Yeah, screened in porch. Bugs stay out--woohoo.

    Good luck and start packing!


  • Jill

    I just can't believe your not going to take Rocky! :( he is going to be so lonely..... and he would love the new patio as do I! WHere's my room?

  • Jill

    Hey I just thought of something funny! Jimmy just spent a full day putting the pool table together and now he has to do it all over again.. OMG!

  • Chris

    Girl, that house looks beautiful. I'd move there in a hearbeat. The TV Center is awesome. Can't wait to see how you decorate this one. Are you near the ocean?


  • sue

    OMG I'm so friggin jealous of the screened porch, that is a dream of mine that will probably never come true, yeah I'm easy to please!! The new house is beautiful J, but the old house was not fugly either. Remember I live in a 1939 3 bedroom, 1 bath, no dishwasher house! Yes I love her cute country look, but I'd like some ammenities before I die! I see myself living on the bay in Florida with a lanai, ya know the Golden Girls house, thats what I want!! Dream on little girl, dream on! TTYL!! xo

  • nikkicrumpet

    Not that the old was is as fugly as you say...but the new one sure does look beautiful. And the great thing about moving is that you get a chance to organize and clean up all the clutter. And you won't even have to rent a big can just haul the stuff down the street lol. I do feel very sorry for Rocky however...he is going to miss all that free food!!!!

  • Jill

    See--an opportunity to pare down and unclutter! I am glad I am not the only one who sees that! LOL

    Leave a trail of Ritz cracker pieces leading to the new place.....Rocky is smart he will follow you (he loves you!).

  • tam

    Totally make sense to me girl-have fun with the new diggs! ~Smiles~Tam!

  • Nikki via The Scarlett Rose Garden

    Poor Rocky!! Oh well, he'll probably be better off, left to the wild...

    I don't blame you a bit. And it's much better to move 200 ft. than 200 miles! Who cares if it's just down the road, I think that's awesome!

    The old house WAS fugly... ew!

    I was dying laughing at your naked kitchen remark, and "comments biotches!" hehehe

  • ann

    It makes complete sense.You'll be soooo much happier.And being happy makes ALOT of sense...Ann

  • Rachael

    I do like the new's really pretty!

    Jacksonville is a great town...I miss going to the beach there in Ponte Vedra! I liked to sit there and imagine I was living in one of those big ass houses on the beach!

  • santamaker

    So happy for you Justine! Very nice upgrade for you and family.
    I know you will love the crap out of the screened porch, especially! I can see you in a chaise lounge with your laptop on your lap (duh), a big mug of steaming coffee on the rattan table next to you and Rocky at the screened door, holding his plate on one hand and a suitcase in the other. Yup, it's a picture of bliss!

  • xinex

    Oh Justine, how exciting! Love the house. You will have so much fun decorating it. I hope you either sell or rent out your Tampa home. I have a home in Port Richey too but I asked my daughter and family to live there, for free, just so they can watch it, and I still have a place to stay in when I go to FL, which I do a lot...Christine

  • Mama

    Happy moving Justine, the new house is beautiful, Kathy.

  • Tootsie

    what about Rocky? will he be able to find you? and the screened porch will make it hard for your frogs to hop on you!
    I am happy for you girl...maybe you will be inspired to decorate and show us all your home more often!!!! hint hint!

  • Bridget

    I'm glad you're getting a nicer, bigger kitchen! The screened porch is going to be great.

    Good luck with the packing, good thing you aren't moving in summer!

  • Ma'dame French

    I have been so out of sorts these days and I have missed so much sorry I missed the post and by far the house is FAB!! French;)

  • ~♥~ Monica S

    It looks like a catch to me :-)
    You'll get a full upstairs.. I'm sure that'll make a difference!

    ABout MY blog... I have no idea why you only get HTML in there!??!?

    I use windows live writer to set up my posts.. maybe it takes longer to load for some... Diane had the same problem.. but it got better as she scrolled down the page... she said....
    I hope that's it!!! will you give it a try??

    OR you can try to update my page while you're there... right click on top of the page where it says my blogs name.. and an update choice will appear...


  • Laurie Starr

    OK, now I can see it on Safari. I sure couldn't earlier. Good luck with the move--are you sure it's worth all the work just to move a few doors down AND pay more? In any event, I hope the Tampa house sells soon and then maybe you can just buy the new one you'll be renting.

  • Happy To Be

    GM Justine...I love the new diggs..but really girl I didn't see anything wrong with the old least you don't have far to move to..What about Rocky?? I bet he fines you again or drives the new people in your old house nuts knocking on the door wanting Ritz crackers...hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

  • artis1111

    Ok, so I am odd ,I like the old one. I don't like square rooms. I love angles,they are interesting. The new one is nice,and I think it is fun to move into a house. Kathy

  • mrsben

    Hey Justine, 'a girls gotta do, what a girls gotta do'. Not silly in the least. The new home is definitely a lot nicer.....BUT....."don't judge a book by its cover; beauty is only skin deep; looks can be deceiving;
    the grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence etc. etc. etc." (The list goes on...smiles.)

    You know I am only pulling your leg and I am VERY HAPPY for YOU. Wishing you contentment in your proposed new home.
    Many hugs -Brenda-

  • mrsben

    P.S: Oops forgot to ask are you taking Rockie with you?

  • Life on Bonnie Lane

    That new house is going to be totally awesome! The kitchen is about a 1000 times better than your triangular shaped itty bitty kitchen. Oh, I do really love that screened in porch! The fire pit and chairs are very, very similar to mine, but snow is all over my set right now.


  • Raxx - A day in the life

    Your present home is nice, but the new home is totally worth moving to! Enjoy your new space, think of how many blog posts you can get out of packing and moving! I cant wait!

  • Picket

    Hey girl...I love the new or no rent...I'd move in a heartbeat...but that's because I have some Gypsy blood in me I think! lol That screened in porch alone is worth the move!!!! Thanks so much for the birthday wishes girl...I had a fantastic day..Bill bought me a new hutch for the dining room(I know...I know...I just have a thing for don't work for me! lol) But we had to move three other things around and now I have pictures and dishes all over the study and dining room...makes you wonder why on earth I am on the computer instead of putting things in order don't it! I'm getting older...I can do that sort of thing if I want to now! lol lol Have a great day girl...start packing!

  • SchmeckyGirl

    You need to stop telling me all this and showing me pics before you blog it! It was deja vu the entire time. lol.

    Well I'm happy for you. I know that screened in porch means a lot to you!

    I'm so glad I don't live close to you, I'd feel like I need to come help you pack and move. lol.

  • SchmeckyGirl

    You need to stop telling me all this and showing me pics before you blog it! It was deja vu the entire time. lol.

    Well I'm happy for you. I know that screened in porch means a lot to you!

    I'm so glad I don't live close to you, I'd feel like I need to come help you pack and move. lol.

  • Tismee2

    1. I now know roughly where you live - ha ha, just watch out for dodgey Brits driving past at Easter.

    2. You could always give us the house in Tampa as a holiday home and that would save you the garden and maintenance fees.

    3. I'm sorry but those 'entertainment centres' are gross. What's wrong with a nice glass stand?

    4. What the hell is a Chandy??

    5. The second house is much nicer and that patio and GARDEN are lovely.

    So you'll have space for us then?

  • Diane

    Wow, the new house is gorgeous! I'd move too, but the one your in isn't to shabby either! ☺ Diane

  • Sara's Sweet Surprise

    Cherry wood, granite counters, stainless steel...all you need is whip cream to complete this dessert!

    I love a screened in porch!! We've always wanted one but our split level roof line makes it only affordable to a Bill Gates income. The fire pit we did get. It's the same one in your picture. We bought it at the beginning of summer so we were fortunate enough to pay $300 more than it was priced by the end of summer.
    Keep us posted on the move with more pics.

    Sweet Wishes,

  • Jason, as himself

    The first one was cute.

    The new one? Fabulous. Love it, love it, love it!