As we’ve mentioned before, we will soon be selling my house to help pay off my student loans. Our goal is find a place soon so that I can move in and start setting up our home this spring. Eventually we will want a beautiful permanent home that we are very happy with. But that will take time while we build our savings. Until then, we will need to find a temporary place to live. And with a little over 4 months til the wedding, the clock is ticking!
There are many considerations that go into searching for our house, like our work commutes and proximity to our families. But the most important to me is the joy we feel in the space. Granted, our first home will be a rental, so we have a bit more flexibility than if we were looking for a forever home. But I still want Maria and I to enjoy our time there.
The first thing we had to decide was whether we wanted to actually move. My mortgage payment on my house is very low, so we considered staying in my current house for a while so we could pay off my debt as fast as possible. I can tell you, though, Maria really did not want to move into my place. My house is on the complete opposite side of the metro Detroit area from where she works and where her parents live. It would have been at least a 45 minute commute each way along a really busy freeway. Not ideal for anyone.
Late last summer, we crunched the numbers and realized that we could sell my house and use Maria’s savings to pay off my debt in one fell swoop. So that put the idea of living in my house completely to rest.
The next part, which we will be working on in the next couple months, will be finding a place that is pretty much halfway in between our places of work that satisfies as many of our needs and wants as possible. Since it will be a rental, our home need not be the most beautiful, but we both want something presentable. We’ll go for a house or condominium; neither of us want to live in apartments again. Maria has lived in apartments for many years and is ready to be done with them. I haven’t lived in an apartment in seven years myself and I do not want to go back to one.
My conditions are pretty easy. As long as it is a presentable house and has a sound structure with heating and air conditioning, I’m pretty happy. I really would like a shady spot in the backyard, but that’s a luxury for me.
Maria’s conditions, on the other hand, are rather specific. First, she wants the house to have as much natural lighting as possible, preferably with lots of south facing windows. Maria is also pretty insistent that our first home have lots of white walls, as well as an extra bedroom with plenty of closet space.
When Maria first told me that she wanted those things in particular, I thought it was weirdly specific. Once I started working on this blog with her, though, it all made sense. More light = better pictures. Lots of south-facing windows lets in a lot more sunlight and white walls reflect that light all around the room. And we take a lot of photos for Crazy Together and Kinder Craze. Then of course there is the obvious need for an office. Maria currently keeps most of her business resources in her bedroom and it is gradually becoming filled with a file cabinet, printer and a rotating collection of boxes.
The search will be an interesting one, but the stakes are not as high for us since it is a temporary rental. The real job will be searching for our first home that we purchase. Then the outside appearance starts to matter a lot more. Maria wants our home to have character and we both want to be satisfied with the most expensive purchase we will ever make. Luckily, there is no rush as we search for a home to build our family.
In the meantime, I’ve even started working on repairs to make my current house gorgeous when showing it off.
Just in case you were wondering how many attempts it took to capture a photo of the two of us with a tripod and a timer – the answer is 38! Here are a few images that didn’t quite make the cut.