Lately, I have been immersed in the throws of house/apartment hunting. It’s not easy, either. The first time that J.R. and I went apartment hunting, we were engaged, both working, and, as Gabriel did not exist yet, needing extra room for children was not an issue. Costs were a concern, but not like they are now. Currently, we are searching for a place with at least as much room as we have now, which means that our bare needs are this: three bedrooms, or two bedrooms and a den (the computers, printers, and office equipment are best placed in their own room so that they can be kept from Gabriel easily), a laundry room (a non-negotiable, I do not believe that I will be able to keep up with laundry if I have to leave the house to get it done), and utility costs that will not eat all of our budget. The hard part is that we are trying to get all of this for less than we are paying now.
Yesterday we looked at a house for rent nearer to the town where J.R. works (and our families live – hurray!). There were three bedrooms, two bathrooms, a large kitchen and dining room (With wood floors! How I yearn for non-carpeted flooring in the dining room), a family room in addition to a living room, and a basement (no more need for a storage unit for the assorted stuff that we rarely use but are not willing to part with) – all for considerably less than we are paying now. We would like to live in a place like that very much, but we need to do all of the math still on the other necessities to determine if we would be saving money with the move: we are probably looking at double the heating costs of where we live now during the winter, we would need some sort of trash service, and internet becomes an issue, as we probably need to give up our high-speed connection.
There are a couple other housing options that I have lined up to check out as well, but the same concerns remain for any place that we look at. Meanwhile, I am immersed in applying science to real life, with BTUs, heating degree days, and similar terms/equations dancing through my mind.
No matter what we decide now, the facts reamain: most likely we will be moving sometime in the next few months, and we need to find the best place possible to meet our needs.