All in all, today was a pretty frustrating day. We found out that there is absolutely NOTHING that can be done about our $1500 deposit on this house. It's simply gone with the slimeball who rented us this house. We "don't have to pay rent" for October--gee, isn't that generous, seeing as how we have to be out of here ASAP?! So we're out $1500, but oh, joy, we can get $500 if we leave this house in 15 days. Great. That'll put a dent in the moving expenses.
OK, sorry for the sarcastic tone. Hopefully that's out of my system, and I'll move forward from here.
So, house #1 had a great floorplan--on the second level. Four bedrooms, split two and two with a beautiful loft area that would make a perfect school/play room. However, there is only one sitting area downstairs with a small kitchen. We've simply outgrown one sitting area! The backyard was also very tiny, which is typical around here, but we at least want to be able to put the trampoline up without tripping over it.
House #2 looked great when we peered in the windows (the agent wasn't available when we drove by the house, and we were looking on our own at this point). The backyard had lots of promise. Unfortunately, the paint was peeling, and the yard, which had quite a bit of grass, was yellow and brown and very unkempt. It just looked ugly. Lots of promise for someone who wants to put time and effort into landscaping, but that's not us. We decided not to bother seeing inside.
We came home and put Kenna to bed for a nap and were able to finally talk with the agent we will be working with, a friend from church who sold the B's house early in the summer. He's great! He sent us a bunch of possibilities, and Ted and I weeded through them, ranking the ones we wanted to see first. Meanwhile, one of our top three choices was snapped up.
We were, however, able to see two houses with Adam, and both are definitely promising. I could be happy with either one. The problem is, I'm dealing with a severe case of being put out, so it's hard for me to feel like I'm settling for something when I feel this whole situation is so unjust. I realize things happen, and no one could have foreseen that we'd be moving into our third house in Las Vegas in two years, but it just seems so unfair. And yes, I know God has a purpose for everything, and I truly look forward to giving Him glory for everything...but right now I'm having to pray He works in my heart so I can give Him glory NOW. I'm frustrated that we have very little control over what we have to do with our time and money in the next few weeks. It seems like such a waste, and my sense of justice will not be appeased. I just have to deal with it.
So House #3 has a beautiful layout with a gorgeous kitchen and nice formal dining area that would be our school/library room. The backyard is a decent size, and the kids love that a little park is literally right to the side of the house. It's not enclosed, and being on a fairly busy street, this might make for more stress than fun, but it's still a bonus, I guess. Upstairs there are FIVE bedrooms, one of which would be a perfect office. All this for only $1395 per month. The owner is an investor who has been renting to a family who wanted to purchase a home, but the owner doesn't want to sell for another 3 years at least. So that's a huge bonus--security and peace of mind, knowing that this would likely be the last Las Vegas house we'd have to move into.
House #4 is by far in my favorite location. It has a mountain view with NO over-the-fence neighbors! It's on a corner lot, so a HUGE backyard. No landscaping, but it's a more finished look than the large dusty rocks in our current back yard. It's a split level with a balcony off the kitchen that would fit our patio furniture nicely. It's starting to be perfect weather to eat outside, and this was very appealing to all of us. The master bedroom is on the top level with the kitchen and a good-sized sitting area. Downstairs are 3 bedrooms, the laundry room, and another large family room, which would likely be our school and play area. A drawback here is that we'd have to have the office in one of the bedrooms--there just isn't a good place anywhere else to put the computer, etc.--so the girls would share and the boys would continue sharing. This isn't a really big deal, as Charis has always wanted to share her room with Kenna, but it does seem a bit squished compared to the other house with 5 bedrooms. There is a little cubby hole of a room off the laundry room that the kids can stand up in with about 5 inches to spare, and they called it the "party room." This alone caused them to beg us to "buy this house!!" The rent here is $1550 per month, so $50 more than we're already paying, BUT there are ceiling fans and much lower ceilings, so our utility bills would be a lot lower. It's a farther distance to the park-and-ride where Ted catches the bus for the 30-mile commute to work, but it's also a much quieter neighborhood that has a nice, community feel to it, like neighbors would actually know each other.
Weighing pros and cons is so hard. We've done the house-hunting thing multiple times, and it's just so hard...one house's pros seem so hard to compare to another house's cons.
Well, it's time to sleep and pray on it (well, not literally at this moment, as I'm about to head off to take the kids to AWANA), and surely we'll be visiting some other houses tomorrow. Thanks to all for the prayers and encouragement. We sure need 'em!