New House Wish List

For those of you who don't know our story, Jason and I met in college at Texas State, fell madly in love and decided to move in together just after graduation.  Yep, we graduated on the same day, which was absolutely amazing!  The day you graduate from college is a grand day in and of itself, but to have the person you love the most, right there with you the entire time, going through the same feelings of accomplishment, relief and happiness is just beyond words.  The fact that our families were there to share the special day with us and meet for the first time was the frosting on the cupcake.  I could seriously dedicate an entire post to that day, but that's not what I wanted to write about today.

Back to the point of this post -->  So, after graduation, I made the 3 mile move, with all of my belongings, to Jason's tiny two-room 450 sq. ft apartment where we remained from December of 2010 through the end of May 2011 before making the executive decision to move 28 miles north to the spectacular city of Austin.  After deliberating between apartment complexes and a few pro/con lists, we chose our current complex in Southwest Austin.  We originally moved into a 2 bedroom, 2 bath unit around 1,000 sq. ft, but at the end of our 15-month lease in August 2012, we received horrible news that if we wanted to stay in our current unit, our monthly rent would be increasing by about $200/month.  Not something we were giddy about, to say the least.  We weighed our options and decided that it would be smarter to stay in the same complex and just switch to a smaller, more affordable unit that way our hefty deposits would transfer and we wouldn't have to pay them all over again somewhere else.  So we moved to a 1 bedroom, 1 bath with a similar floor plan as the 2/2, just minus the extra bed and bath.  We've been fairly happy with this complex, aside from a few hiccups here and there, but we have come to the conclusion that we're both just sick and tired of apartments.  Between next-door neighbors constantly slamming their doors and the unorganized, impervious management team, we're just ready for the next step which, for us, is a rental home.

We've already been casually looking online at rental homes in the area to get a feel for our options come the end of September when we'll start actively looking for a place with a realtor.  We would really like to stay on the South side of the city because we've been really happy with the area, and it's only a 10-15 minute commute to work for both of us.

Thanks to House Hunters, and basically everything else on HGTV, I have been keeping a mental list of things I am hoping for in our rental home.  I know it's not permanent, because we will be looking to purchase and actually own a house in the not-so-distant future.  (We are choosing to just rent for now because our current occupations and financial situations will most likely be changing within the next couple of years).  I realize I am not going to be absolutely in love with every aspect of the house, and I will not be able to make any major changes, but here are a few things I am wishing for:

1.  Hard floors.  This is very important to me.  Every apartment Jason and I have lived in together has had primarily carpet floors, and when you have three pets, two of which vomit frequently, you get disgusted after scrubbing mess after mess out of the carpet and then having to look at reddish-orange stains all over the floor for the foreseeable future.  I CANNOT deal with carpet again - at least in the main living areas of the house.  It's fine in the bedroom; although, I would prefer hard floors throughout.  My first choice is obviously authentic, hard wood flooring, but even fake, laminate wood would be fine with me in a rental.  My second choice is stained concrete, and my third is tile.

2.  Laundry room.  An actual, WALK-IN laundry ROOM, not a closet.  We have so much crap piled up in our small laundry closet, and our stackable washer/dryer doesn't even completely fit.  We can't close the doors!  It doesn't necessarily look bad, but it would be nice to have a actual little room for all of that junk, out of sight and away from the main living area.

3.  A backyard.  This is something I don't Jason or myself will waiver on.  Our poor dog Fozzie hasn't had a real backyard in the longest time.  She is eleven years old and starting to show her age.  She absolutely adores being outside.  When we lived in San Marcos, we would let her out onto the balcony, and she would just sit and stare, mesmerized by everything going on out there for hours.  I really want her to be able to enjoy that outside time again.

4.  A fairly large kitchen with lots of counter space.  Jason and I both love to cook, and we like to be able to spread out our ingredients and cookware and feel comfortable in the cooking process.  We also have some large appliances and other items that we like to keep on the countertops - the Keurig, the regular coffee maker, the K-cup carousel, a couple of fruit/veggie bowls, the Crockpot and the toaster.

5.  Two or three bedrooms with at least two bathrooms.  I don't even care if there is only one full bath and a half bath, I just miss having two separate bathrooms and two separate spaces to get ready in. It takes twice the amount of time to get ready to go out somewhere when we both have to shower and get pretty!  Yes, people, I know it's shocking, but it takes a little time to look this good!

6.  Garage.  This definitely isn't at the top of my list, but I know Jason wants one, and it will be good for some extra storage.  It'll also be nice during these hot Texas summers when I'm climbing into my black-interior car in the middle of the afternoon.

These are the main draws for me in finding a suitable rental home when it comes time to move in early November.  I would be happy to hear your thoughts on the process because this is all fairly new to me. Is there anything else I should be picky about when house hunting?  Do you think I'm being too picky and should be more open?



  1. I'm so excited for you and Jason to get a house! I really don't want to live in an apartment again if I can avoid it, they definitely get old.

    Just some thoughts on renting a house from Heather's and my experience looking and hearing about friends' rental situations...Keep an open mind. Pick 2-3 things that are the most important for you and don't waiver on those, but be flexible in other areas. Depending on the age of the house, you might be able to score the hardwood but will have to forego the laundry room. Also, research the property owners! Diana had a horrible landlord at the duplex she rented, they were really slow about fixing issues and difficult to work with. You definitely don't want to deal with that! If you find something you both like, go ahead and put down the application because homes usually go pretty quick.

  2. I don't have any awesome tips, but I am realllllly excited for you guys! I hope you get everything on your wishlist AND an awesome landlord. Like Emily said, the landlord can make it or break it :(



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