Well, things have moved quickly on the house-hunting front! After seeing the 5-bedroom house, Ted decided it sounded a LOT better than it looked. However, the nice, 3300-square-foot house plus finished basement looked GREAT! And finding out that the owner is retired military was a plus, too. Pretty stable situation there, which alleviated my fears about it possibly being "too good to be true."
The scoop is that we decided that for the same price per month, we'd rather rent a 3300-square-foot house in a nice neighborhood with a smaller back yard than rent a 1900-square-foot house away from people with a huge lot. The farmhouse was 20 miles away from base, so that added to the cons--a long commute for Ted, plus farther away from church and other activities.
So Ted signed a contract with the agent there (they didn't even make him go through the rental application process!), but there is a caveat...the owners are supposed to be having an open house, as they were listing this to either sell or rent, whatever happened first. The agent said he will talk with them tonight to find out if they are willing to go ahead with us as the renters and forego the open house, or if they prefer to wait and see if they can actually sell the house. Personally, I feel it would be best for them to wait a few years to sell so they could make more money! However, this is our "fleece." If the owners agree, then this is "our" house! If they want to try to sell it, well, then obviously we're not meant to live in it, as we have no intentions of purchasing it.