Thursday, June 13, 2013

Making decisions

Image: http://www.csmonitor.com/var/archive/storage/images/media/images/0601-homerental/10273484-1-eng-US/0601-homerental_full_600.jpg

The way things worked out last Summer, I was left scrambling to find a rental that I could afford in this town. Long story short, while the kids are in school, it would be easiest to remain in this town. I took the only one left in my price range, late in Summer. We've been here since Aug 15th and while there are some things that we love about this house: location, grounds, Summer breeze that keeps the house cool, tons of storage, 1 1/2 baths, covered garage,shorter driveway, there are things that we don't like.

-to access the boys' room, one passes thru the Master
-poor insulation makes the home very uncomfortable in Winter
-high heating bills, even with some conservation measures, use of wood stove
-delayed maintenance on the part of the LL, although to her credit, much was addressed at my request, prior to moving in, some during our lease
-very small utility room down cellar-room for the boiler, a washer and dryer only, it's the size of a bathroom

I have continued to monitor the rental market here for months now. We are currently in the peak for rentals to open up, as many wait for school to end and move during the Summer months. While the rental market is sparce, and many of the homes are over my budget (to the tune of my entire monthly salary if not more) or they are only teeny, 1 bedroom 600 foot cottages, there are a few rentals that appear which are within my budget or size requirements.

My needs:
-3 bedroom
-2 bath
-basement for storage
-covered garage for at least 1 vehicle
-washer/dryer hookups (I have my own appliances)
-dishwasher
-fireplace for supplemental heating in Winter and esp. during power outages
-wood floors

DD is taking a hiatus from college and will be living with me and 2 of her brothers. Our current home doesn't fit.

I've found a new listing on line for a split level, 4 br, 2 1/2 bath home in town. Attached 2 car garage, wood floors, central location again, fireplace, partial basement, paved drive (usually gravel here so this is great), fairly close to road so cheaper to plow, 1963 date, vinyl sided. I assume better insulation than I currently have so lower energy costs. Home is available now. I just paid my rent thru July 15th. Ideally, I'd be able to push this off for Aug (option 1), or July 15th (option 2 which would cause me to lose 1 month's rent if the landlord won't let me break the lease) if not July 1. This home is significantly higher than what I am currently paying. Factoring in my ubber high oil bills, the out of pocket monthly costs may be a wash.

I called the realty office, got the name of the agent handling this rental-turns out, it's the same one who got me this place. She asked why I was looking and I told her that we found it very expensive to heat, and the bedroom configuration is weird. She understood. So, I have an appointment to view the split level tomorrow. She also told me of another listing that will be posted later today, for a "chalet" type home, also with 3 br, but off a long drive. All electric heat supplemented with a wood stove. She has all of the electric bills for the current tenant and they have been around $200-very cheap for CT. I am currently paying $100 now, with my water heated by oil boiler system. This home is cheaper than the split level and will be available Aug 1-my preferred date, as my lease is up Aug 15th, which would give me 2 weeks to move, clean this place before turning over the keys.  Has anyone ever lived in an all electric house? Was it cost prohibative? I am anxious to see the realty posting to glean more info about the home, square footage, garage, etc.

Realtor told me that she'd give me first crack at either home after viewing them tomorrow. I figured that the fact that I worked with her before would be a bonus for me. She had already pulled my credit for this rental, can easily confirm my continued employment status. No big deal. She can simply call my current LL and confirm that I have paid every month. Only issue was the first month's check literally got lost in the mail, LL was very understanding about it. I ultimately received it back here, and mailed the envelope back to her, so she could see the post mark and that I did indeed mail it out, when I said I did. My lease stipulates that the postmark date is considered the paid date. I've always mailed it out by the 10th, even tho it's not due until the 15th, as it has to travel to several states away from here to get to the LL for the due date.

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