Well, we’re probably renting.

The other day, I wrote about two houses that I thought we could buy.  We liked both of them reasonably well and they both fit into the high end of our housing budget.  However, when we went back to visit each of them one last time, we found problems.  First off, the water heater or furnace in house #1 was leaking something and an entire wall in the garage was somewhat wetThat can’t be good.  On top of that, nothing looked quite as nice as it did the first time that we saw the home.

It was kind’ve like seeing a stripper in the daylight, if you’ve ever experienced such a thing.  Basically, without the black light, this home looked slightly dirty and unkempt.  Ahem. 

We really loved the extra space that we found in house #2.  But again, we found things that we weren’t so happy about.  For instance, we found a cherry tree spitting fruit all over the back yard and deck and we promised ourselves NO FRUIT TREES.  We also found that all the windows were painted shut (WTF?) and that the screened in back porch had holes all over the place.

But, those things could be fixed….for a price.  So, to see if the houses were priced realistically, I had my realtor pull of the comparable sold homes in the neighborhood.  What we found was that both houses were very overpriced, especially house #2.  Other houses that were approximately the same size and condition had sold for as low as $180,000 in the same neighborhood since March 1, 2013.  Since they had an asking price of $209,000, we thought that they had lost their damn minds.  Yikes.

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Of course, we could’ve tried to negotiate, but the house had only been on the market for six days at that point.  And, we really doubted that the sellers would be willing to come down 30K after only being on the market for a week.  So, we took it as a sign that we should not buy that home…and we left.

Some Good News…..Finally

Since we have to move by November 1st and we haven’t found a home to buy, we obviously need to rent for a while.  Fortunately, Greg is friends with someone who happens to have a vacant rental home about ten minutes away from Greg’s new job.  It’s a 1,200 s.f. 3 bedroom/1.5 bathroom home on 2 acres and it looks fairly nice from the outside.  And, he’s going to rent it to us for only $700 per month!  Why?  I don’t know…but I’m not going to ask!  It also has a full basement where we can store some of our oversized furniture.  And, what’s even more amazing is that we don’t have to sign a lease and we can rent month-to-month until we find a house to buy.  All things considered, this situation is truly a godsend for our situation.  However, there are a few things that I’m not thrilled about.

  • Problem #1: The rental home doesn’t currently have a refrigerator.  And since we sold our refrigerator with our current home, neither do we.  So, we either need to buy a refrigerator or rent one.  We would like to buy a used one.  However, we don’t have any way to move it.  So, in the next week or so, I’m going to look for temporary refrigeration options.  The worst case scenario is that we’ll buy the cheapeast new fridge that we can find and put it in the garage of our new home when we finally find a permanent place.
  • Problem #2: The home is too rural to get wifi through any of the local providers.  Obviously, this is a problem.  However, I learned that I can buy my own mobile wifi hotspot and bring it with me to the home.  According to someone who once lived in the home, Verizon does have coverage in the area.  Unfortunately, this option is somewhat expensive.  The mobile hotspot itself is $49 and the monthly service fee will be around $100 for all of the data that we use.  And, even worse than that, I have to sign a two-year contract for the deal.  Fortunately, I can cancel the contract at any time for a $175 cancellation fee.  It’s not ideal but I definitely won’t need a mobile hotspot for two years!  (I’m also looking into other wifi options….I’ll keep you posted!)

Regardless, even though there are a few added inconveniences, it will be worth it.  We’re only paying $700 per month for rent so we can afford to rent a fridge and pay a ridiculous amount of money for wifi.  And since apartments that size rent for at least $1,100 per month and we’d have to sign a lease, renting this home is a much better deal.  Plus, the rental home has a garage (unlike most apartments) and call me a diva but I DO NOT want to scrape ice off of my minivan all winter.

I also think that living in a smaller home might be fun.  I’ve always wondered if we could get by with much less space and this will give us the opportunity to “try before we buy.”  Maybe we’ll find that we enjoy living in a smaller space or maybe we’ll find that we hate it. Regardless, I’m sure that we’ll learn something from the experience.

I truly think that renting a home for the short-term is the right decision for our family.  And, although it will be a pain to move twice, renting keeps us from buying a house that we don’t really love.  And, in my opinion, that would be the worst mistake of all.

What do you think?  Would you rent temporarily if you were me?  Or, would you try to find a home that you could be happy with?

Oh, and make sure to check out today’s staff post at Frugal Travel Guy.  Sharing and commenting gets you super bonus points!

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