Friday, November 19, 2010

moving on up!

We thought we had sidestepped the brunt of the economic crisis...The Foliage has kept and prospered at his job. We saved up and bought a house which has totally not been foreclosed upon. Even in the tightest of tight circumstances, we have gotten by.

But suddenly the economy has kicked our collective ass anyway.

Grandpa Tom's son has fallen upon hard financial times, and will be moving back to the DC area from Florida. Where in the area? GPT's house, of course! And, of course, into "our" room. And, honestly, it's fine. Our plan had been to stay - at a minimum - until Robyn graduated in January of 2011, or - at a maximum - until Brendan did in January of 2012. We figured we would play it by ear in-between the two dates. We'd be able to save up for a down payment on a place over the next year, and then start condo-hunting downtown after that.

So now we're just going to have to save while we rent a place. But where to rent? Here are the factors affecting our decision:

-Want to pay less than $1,200/month on rent. If utilities are included we're more flexible.
-Prefer to have room for Robyn and Brendan to stay with us whenever they need to
-And if they stay with us, they have to be reasonably able to get to school
-This requires a minimum of 1 bedroom, but preferably more...after graduation, if Robyn wants to live with us, just having a pull-out couch isn't good enough in the long term
-My job is in DuPont Circle (on the West side of the Red Line)...the husband-elect's job is in Rockville/North Bethesda (at the top of the West side of the Red Line). We want to be able to walk to a West Red Line station (but anywhere on the Red Line is workable).

My OTHER future sister-in-law, Tina (who I love and was my friend before I even met The Foliage), has also expressed interest in renting with us. Which would require another bedroom. But she tends to like living downtown, which isn't very conducive to the younger sibs getting to school. The upside is that splitting rent with her makes a lot more places affordable, although we want to make sure we're comfortable with the total rent in case she wants to leave at any point. I really, really, really don't want to have to move again until we buy a place. No property-jumping.

We toured one property today that's walking distance from The Foliage's office, is JUST in our price range (though no utilities are included), has 1 bedroom and a "den" and off-street parking, and is close to the Metro. But it was just so...I don't know. They're garden-style buildings (which neither of us like), and the available unit is on the ground floor (which makes me nervous security-wise...there are glass sliding doors to an open-air patio), and it faces East so it only gets light when we're not there. We've seen a lot better available online.

So do we rent based on price so we can save faster and buy a place that we love sooner? Or do we spend a little extra because we're going to be in this place for at least a couple of years and should love going home?

Someone should tell little kids that THESE sorts of decisions are what comprise 95% of adulthood. Maybe they'd stop rushing to grow up so fast. Psht, if a grown-up had told me that when I was little, I'd have started pricing out real estate values of jungle gyms. Because I am a WINNER. Sigh*

1 comment:

Jenn said...

Yay for moving out into own space...wrong financial decision, but it needed to happen for our mental health.

We recognized that it was going to be hard to save up for a down payment on a real home living in an apartment, so were renting for pretty low way out in the suburbs. Not even $1200 low though, and while it is nice, it is also tiny. Until we move out, we don't have space for anything we might get from the registry, which is also pretty annoying.

But it sounds like you adjust pretty well to changes in the living situation, and your goal of finding a place to live for a while seems more important to you than finding a stellar apartment for right now. Plus anything is going to feel luxurious when you remember how you were living. So I would say, try to save on rent, with the caveat that you not compromise your safety (I'm with you on ground floor apartments with big glass doors.)

Hope you guys find a place you like soon. :)