So, the latest installment of the housing hunt is at least promising in terms of progress. We have found two options that we really like and are completely stuck when it comes to choosing which one we want. I am not actually expecting you guys to choose where we’re going to live next, but I’m hoping that input from people who aren’t my husband and I might help us see some other perspectives.
Before I get into things, a little background. We cannot afford to live right near my husband’s new work because we’re not wealthy (and you have to be seriously wealthy to live around there). We limited our searches to a budget of X and required a minimum of 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. We looked in several neighborhoods and finally settled on this one. It is a pretty significant drive to my husband’s work, but there are several toll road/options that will get him there quicker (though for a cost) and there is a train that will get him there much more quickly that he can also get a monthly discount for through his job. It’s closer to my job and I’ll get into specifics with distances in a second.
So, the apartment is 1000 square feet, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms. It is a first floor unit (of a 2 story building) and the rent is X+20 dollars a month, which is because of the 30 dollar a month pet rent, and is not ideal cost-wise.
It has a HUGE kitchen (I mean HUGE. I could lay down on the counter and not touch anything.), separate dining and living rooms and a spacious patio (with a sliding glass door from the living room and another door from the master bedroom) that we are allowed to keep a BBQ on, not that we own one, but fun fact. There’s also a small storage closet on the patio.
The bedrooms are good sized, the master has a big closet with sliding doors, the kids room has a walk in closet. And the bedrooms are separated by the living room between them.
The bathrooms each have a tub/shower and a single sink, though the counter space is meh.
There are full size, side-by-side washer driers in the unit with a shelf above to store detergent stuff on.
There is plenty of grass and a nice sidewalk path for bike riding outside the unit and it is in a relatively quiet and secluded area of the complex, but also near enough to some nice BBQs and picnic benches.
It comes with one covered parking spot, the other car will have to park in first come, first serve guest parking.
It is 22 miles from my husband’s work, 3 miles from the train station and 7 miles from my work.
There is a huuuuuuuge park 3 blocks away (3 uphill blocks, but still) that Eli will love.
My favorite parts of this unit are the size- it feels big, the kitchen is ENORMOUS and it has new full sized washer and driers.
My least favorite parts are the cost and the fact that I’m tired of living in apartment complexes where people move in and out and don’t take care of stuff and the fact that it’s 20 dollars over our budget.
So, the condo is 915 square feet, 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms. It is a first floor unit (of a 3 story building) and the rent is X-50 dollars a month.
It has a small kitchen with a super fancy enormous refrigerator, separate dining and living rooms and a small patio that overlooks great outdoor space and some gorgeous mountains. There’s also a decent sized storage closet on the patio.
The bedrooms are good sized, the master has a walk in closet, the kids room has small sliding door closet. The bedrooms share a wall and the kids room is against the living room. The hallway is pretty narrow.
The bathrooms each have a tub/shower and a single sink with awesome counter space. The master has a separate dressing area/sink and toilet/shower room, which is nice.
There are stacked washer and driers, which they say are full sized, but I’m not completely sure.
There is a nice grass area and a big sand volleyball court that Eli can play in and it was very quiet while we were there. There are a few tables with benches nearby and the view is unreal.
It comes with one covered parking spot and one uncovered parking spot.
It is 20 miles from my husband’s work and close to the ideal freeway onramp that will spare him some traffic, and is 3 miles to the train station and 9 miles from my work.
There is a nice park about half a mile away, which Eli will love.
My favorite parts of the condo are the stability of the complex- people own and live here and so the turnover rate is small and people care for the space. There is an HOA we don’t have to pay for. The fridge is also pretty amazing and the price is within our budget.
My least favorite part is really the size. It feels small inside. The kitchen is more cramped than the one we already have and the patio is small, though the grassy spaces outside help make up for that.
So. There you have it. Two very comparable units with pros and cons that basically completely equal each other. If it was you, knowing only what’s above, what would you do?
There is a secret third option, because my husband got a job offer that will include a monthly stipend all year next year in the amount of exactly X, which would allow us to move closer to my husband’s work, however, it means more money on the place we live and significantly more money for daycare/preschool because it’s just a more costly area in general. Plus, it forces my husband to work at his current hospital for 3 years, which isn’t inherently bad, he’s just not sure he wants to commit to that yet.