So after 3 days of of housing hunting with the three kids in rainy weather....I think we may just have found the perfect home for us!!
The main criteria we had were 3 bedrooms, a convertible internal access double garage (for Michael's daughter to have a pad, or family to visit) or an extra room, a yard for the kid to play in (and me to fantasise about having a vegetable garden) - and hopefully, tiles, wood or some other suitable flooring for Michael and I to practice dancing on.
The first day was really discouraging - all the houses were in tiny streets, with hardly any street parking, the houses were on top of each other, and the kids were driving me nuts! I only got to look in a few houses, with most of the day spent doing drive-bys, checking out the internet, and on the phone to different real estate agents planning the next couple of days of house viewings.
I noticed something interesting as the day progressed....its not just the house, or the street that has the potential to sway my opinion - its the agent! If they are abrupt and don't seem to care about what we want or the quality/state of the house we are looking to rent - its a major turn off....but if they are super friendly, nice to my children, notice the things that I notice, listen to my needs - I will rent anything off them!
Day two turned out to be full of house viewings, and very rainy - but despite that I was in good spirits. I think it had a lot do with how prepared I was (kinda getting in the rhythm of it all), and I reckon a lot do with the amount of prayers we were sending up to help us in our quest (kids included - I love seeing their faith grow!). The third house we saw that day seemed to me to be a turning point....Michael had convinced me to have a look at complex houses, they are nicer/newer for the price compared to the houses we had been viewing. I hate complexes, but since the streets we had been finding houses on were so narrow anyway and complexes these days sometimes have small yards, I conceded. It was a four bedroom house, at the top of our price range, not ideal but still affordable. It was VERY nice, but had cream carpet everywhere - mind you, it was decent hard wearing carpet....nice house no big deal...
THEN.....the guys says "I wasn't going to show you number 5 because the owners were putting it on the market, but they called me this morning to tell me they wanted to rent it out - the yard is better, it has no deck and is $10 cheaper."
We walked inside and I swooned just a little - the guy apologised for the paint scheme and the few (minuscule) gaps in the floor boards....apologise for what!?....it was amazing! The owners had been living in the house and although it was very similar to the other house - they had pulled up the carpet and put in floor boards everywhere, and every room was a different bright colour! Yellow, pastel green, peachy red, blue with transfers on the walls for the boys. The kitchen was to die for, the rooms were huge, there was loads of cupboard space, we could dance, we could have Michael's family over, his daughter could live with us - it was perfect *sigh*....
The yard was just a strip of grass all around the house, there wasn't a lot of parking space, nowhere for a garden.....'but there is a pool just across the road!' said the children. They were just as distracted as I was. Although it was in our price range we really needed to be saving as much money as we could so it really wasn't as perfect as it appeared....Oh, but it was so beautiful!
We filled out a bunch of applications together that night, and I sold Michael on how amazing the house was. Even when we read the complex's strict rules on noise and cleanliness it still seem great....I stewed on it all night, I didn't want to get the house and feel like we were living in a gilded prison....but I can't emphasise how tempting the appearance of it was.
Anyway...I called Michael at work the next morning and told him I wasn't going to lodge the application for the amazing house, it just didn't feel right. I would rather get a much cheaper house save our butts off so that 5-10 years down the line we can buy our own gorgeous house, and we can be free!.... For the kids to run wild if they choose, for me to be as clean or messy as I want and for me to play music as loud as legally permitted! :)
After that decision, the first house I looked at in the morning was possibly as perfect as we could get! It was $60 cheaper was on the main road (so no poky street), had a big fenced backyard (with an old hills hoist close line...yay!! I was so sick of looking at tiny ones attached to the house!), a verandah, a huged tiled room under the house with a toilet (perfect! for Michael's daughter to live with us, or as a chill/dance room, or anything!), three bedrooms, separate toilet, laundry downstairs in the double garage, bath/shower, a/c in the louge room, good size master bedroom and security screens.....One bedroom doesn't have a cupboard, no fans in the bedrooms, little kitchen, no built in pantry, living/dining area aren't very big....but I don't care!
So much potential to work with, I am queen of making do....admittedly thanks to my ex-husband! :) It has everything we need, and we can save money as well!!! And the real estate lady was really friendly....and when I dropped the application in to them, their business is run from a house, with only a couple of people and they were so nice to my kids....fingers crossed everything runs as smoothly as it has so far, and we continue to be blessed for our efforts and righteous desires.
I applied for two other houses as well that we would be happy to live in also. We will hopefully be moving in just over a week!!!
If we get this one.....house warming party!!!! :) :)