We are currently renting a very nice, 1 year old "luxury" apartment. It is a 2/2. Our rent is $855/mo
The apartment is nice - great appliances, salt water pool, BIG bathrooms. But, we have no outdoor space to call our own.
We went and looked at a 4/2 yesterday. The guy was asking $875/mo but came down to $800/mo.
It is on 5 acres that are mostly wooded, and it has a very large fenced in yard with lots of space to garden and play and have a clothes line - all things I would love to be able to do.
The house is clean and well maintained, but it is older. It has mostly hardwoods, but the master bedroom and the bedroom that would be my son's have tile, which is weird for a bedroom, to me. The bathrooms are clean, but tiny.
Its a lot more space than we have now, obviously, but it isn't as aesthetically pleasing as the apartment we are in. It does have a lot of nice features, including a glassed in sun room and a balcony off the master bedroom.
I am posting this here because the financial aspect is what I am most stumped on.
To break our lease here we forfeit our $250 deposit and have to pay $855 to break the lease.
Its an $800 deposit to move into the house, which he is willing to split over 2-3 months.
To move into the house, we have to buy a washer and dryer (the apartment furnished those here).
We also have to pay someone to cut the grass, because I am too big and pregnant (over 100 degrees here every day) and my husband does not do yard work. Nor do we own a mower. After this summer is over, I can do the grass myself, but we need to plan to have it cut for the rest of this season. I have no idea how much this costs or how to find someone to do it.
The house seems very energy efficient, with a working attic fan and a gas fire place in addition to central heat and air. We will be going from coop power in the apartment, which is very expensive, to a cheaper state power option.
I don't foresee any additional costs from living there verses living here, its just the initial out poor.
We rented this apartment because my husband's job transferred him and after 3 months of looking we couldn't find a house for rent in a safe area for under $1200 a month. We live in a military town, and its very hard to find affordable, decent rentals.
Another consideration is this - when our lease at the apartment is up in April of 2012, if we don't immediately sign another 1 year lease our rent goes up to $1055/mo. So, we would have to find something in the month of April to avoid that, and if next year is like this year, that may be hard.
We are not ready to commit to buying in this area anytime soon, because we are hoping to go back home in a couple of years.
We have no debt, no credit cards and two paid for (older) cars. We have the funds to make this move if we choose to, but it would essentially wipe out our emergency fund.
The answer is just not obvious to me in this situation, and I feel like it should be. Anyone care to hit me over the head and say DUH - this is what you should do?
EDIT: We decided not to do it. We would love to have a yard, and more space, but it just felt like throwing away a large chunk of money, and we ultimately couldn't allow ourselves to do that. Instead, we are going to continue to save like crazy and hopefully be able to find that perfect place come April when our lease is up. Thank you all for discussing this with me - a lot of points were brought up that helped me to make my decision, and I was given a lot of food for thought. MUCH appreciated!
Edited by L J - 7/2/11 at 10:22pm