So it’s no real secret to my IRL friends or Facebook friends that we’re tired (already) of apartment living. Our photo © 2006 D. Sharon Pruitt (TAKING A BREAK FROM FLICKR) | more info (via: Wylio)
crazy-noisy-neighbor (who is the community manager) moved out – and took her 90lb dog with her. Brendan popped in to the kitchen the other day and said, “Miracles never cease, Mama! Miss K is moving out!” Sure enough, there was a PODS container out front and when I popped out to ask if they could use help, I got the scoop. So at least it’s quiet here. *phew*
And it’s not that I’m ungrateful for what God provided for us. We rented this place sight-unseen and 12 hours before the moving truck pulled out of Dexter. It was a huge relief, even if it was in the 59th minute of the 11th hour.
But this place is designed for people who work outside of the home all day and then come home to slap something moderately-edible in the microwave, watch some TV, and go to bed. It’s not designed for *living* as the actual *living spaces* here are small and the bedrooms are large. The apartment is also not at all energy-efficient – our summertime electric bill last year was about $270+ per month, and it’s only 1100sf. Friends with large homes (more than twice the size of this place) pay about the same for summertime electricty, which horrifies me. I am grateful to be on the bottom level, but wow – efficiency was not in the plans for this place when it was built.
And so we hunt. We have a real estate agent who is helping us look, which is great. I scour the MLS and Craigslist for properties that fit our criteria (budget, size, location, backyard, etc.) in what feels like a never-ending cycle. I know that one day I will cross paths with the house that is Meant to Be Ours, but until that time, I hunt.
It’s a faith-walk for me – it’s a time to remember that although God is never early, He’s also never late. And He knows our hearts and desires and if we were off in either of those, I believe we’d know it and have the chance to correct ourselves. The desire to rent is based on the instability of the market (still) and the knowledge that with the money we lost on our home in Michigan that we don’t have to put in to a down payment now, renting is the best option.
We toured an open-house on Sunday and the decision to rent was brought home to me. Just for grins, I asked the agent about property values in the neighborhood. He replied that everyone is suffering right now – that valuations are tough and continue to drop. Not really a surprise… until I recognized that his moment of honesty showed me that buying that house at asking price was ludicrous right now, because the neighborhood is besotted with foreclosures and distressed sales. Buying that house right now is like buying a top-of-the-line Mercedes and losing 30% of the value as you drive it off the lot. I do not want to get stuck in that trap again. Of course, if the buyer plans on being there for 20 years, it’s not a big deal, but we have no idea how long we’ll be in The Valley, so it’s folly for us to consider.
It’s my hope that by Easter, when we have to provide a 60 day-move-out-notice to the complex, we’ll have something nailed down. When we find something, I’ll shout, because I really can’t wait to be back in a neighborhood where my kid can ride his bike, play in the backyard, and we can have neighbors and build relationships.