I just want the housing situation settled!!!
We had finally wrapped our head around the idea of an apartment. After discussion, we had picked a 3rd floor unit, so we would only have "neighbors" below us, and not above (no first floor units with 3 bedrooms). We figured out the stupid pricing system (think airfare or hotel....the rate you see now may not be the rate you get!). OK, let's just do this and be done.
A townhouse came available. On line, it was advertised as single family, but then revised that it was a townhouse. At almost 1,000 sq feet larger than the apartment, it would give us plenty of space and negate the need for a storage unit. It was in the same area as the apartment, had a pool and clubhouse in the complex (which came with the unit). It had a 1 car garage, plus driveway and street parking.
So G-man responded to the ad and got a "robo" response asking for more information to help the owner streamline the process of applicants. Mostly innocuous questions, but the income question got under G-man's skin. He was convinced this was a scammer. I didn't think so....I thought it was a guy who wanted to make sure an applicant had sufficient income to pay the rent (which would come out in the application process anyway). We responded that G-man is in a professional position with the federal gov't and has been employed with them for 23 years, and we would be happy to discuss income further in person or on the phone, but not via an anonymous e-mail. That made G-man feel better.
One we got past that initial e-mail, the owner seemed to respond well. He said he wouldn't require an income verification, and that G-man's tenure with the gov't spoke for itself. Okey dokey. The current tenant is moving out this weekend. And we found out that now the owner wants a 2 year lease.
TWO years of renting???
My initial reaction was NO. But then I thought about it. Renting for one year with the idea of buying would mean about 7-8 months after we move, we would start house hunting. We are going to have to financially recover from the hit we are taking on the house. Are we going to be ready in 7 months?? I don't know. If we aren't, then we would be renewing a lease for another year anyway, so there is your 2 years.
If we just accept 2 years, that gives us more time to pay stuff down, save up more, really investigate what we want. Two years will feel like home, even if it isn't "ours." So maybe 2 years isn't so bad. We will have to deal with the tax implication of losing the house write off, but as long as we put money aside each paycheck (just as we do for many things), we should balance that out.
G-man rode by the townhouse last night and said it was a really nice neighborhood. The town house is 3 levels, and has 2 master suites, with a total of 4 bedrooms, and 3.5 bath. It is on the backside of the neighborhood, so probably quieter than near the pool.
We are hoping to get inside as soon as possible. If this seems to be fine, I want to just through the application process and know what we are doing and then can work on enrolling the kids in school.
In the meantime, we are watching the apartment situation. The rent has dropped $20 a month since we started all of this. (Apartment is currently $1285, and then it would be about $55 for a storage unit, for a total of $1340. The townhouse is $1400, but we don't need a storage unit and offers 1,000 more sq ft.). There are still 3 apartments available for rental in the time frame we need, but if this number changes, we will need to really make a final decision quickly. We can apply for an apartment and know we have someplace...but that would mean losing the application fee if we change our mind.
And as an aside....good grief on the fees!! Pet deposit, security deposit, application fees. I can really see how getting into a new place can be an issue for people!