Finding a new house is really getting me down :(

David and I have been anxiously awaiting the end of our lease here at our current house because... well, to say we've outgrown this place is an understatement but that's pretty much the gist.

We only have 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, the layout of the living room is just horrific, we can't even have people over, we have nowhere to park (don't get me started on how many times my car has been hit!), we have no backyard for Emily and we have no real storage space to speak of. Seriously, my list of all the things we hate about this place is two pages long, which has been helpful in our home search but is way too overwhelming to share with all of you. :)

Searching for a new rental house started out as something really exciting: we have a lot more disposable income this year (since we paid off all our debt and have some real liquid savings) and this is an excellent rental market, very competitive, the prices have come down substantially, opening up an even bigger world of possibilities for us. All that being said, it's almost as if we have too many choices so we are feeling overwhelmed.


In our efforts to really narrow things down, David & I sat down and began to discuss what mattered most to us and here's our list:

1. Staying in the immediate Bay Area (Alameda/Albany/Berkeley/Emeryville/Piedmont):
A. 5 mile commute for David to work which equals less stress for him, less wasted time in the car for him and a very small gasoline bill each month. Also, so Emily and I can come visit, share lunch and happy hour time with him anytime we want.
B. No Air Conditioning required so, very little to no electric bill each month and we are all so much happier when we aren't overheated, sweating, just walking from the front door to the car.
C. The excellent schools here in the Bay... enough said as Emily will be starting school just after she turns 3.
2. 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms
A. 3 bedrooms is our minimum because we want to have another baby in a few years, maybe sooner and, before that happens, we need a space for David to workout, play guitar, play video games, a place for me to scrap, sew, read... an extra space for all our hobbies, basically.
B. Emily and our guests have got to have their own bathroom, there's just not enough room for all of us in one bathroom.
3. Assigned parking/Driveway for 2 cars/Garage for 1 car plus driveway for 1 car/2-Car garage
A. We need a place to park both cars for peace of mind that they won't be hit by traffic.
B. It's wonderful to pull up to your house and into YOUR parking space.
C. David needs a place to work on his car, performance-wise and to be able to wash both cars and do regular maintenance.
4. A yard
A. No matter how small, we need a patio or yard where Emily can be outside and safe to play.
B. It would be great to have a place where David and I can BBQ, sit outside and enjoy some cocktails, have a few friends over
5. A large kitchen
A. I cook/bake everything from scratch about 90% of the time and I feel like I live in our kitchen, it's my favorite room in our house now and I just can't function, like I can't breathe, in a confined, outdated, poorly laid-out space.
6. Closets
A. I'll just admit it - we are spoiled, having come from Texas and it's really hard to deal with all the ridiculously tiny spaces here in the Bay Area, especially when talking about closets. It's as if they didn't exist when these homes were built, argh! We have got to have a decent-sized closet in both bedrooms, a linen closet in each bathroom and a hallway closet for coats and stuff like that.
7. Laundry hookups/Laundry room
A. Again, we're spoiled, we've never been anywhere without our full-sized washer & dryer and having them inside an actual laundry room. What a pain to find a place that just has hookups, much less a room for them.
8. A fireplace
A. It's too cold here, almost all year round not to have one and gas prices are absurd so, running the heater 70% of the year is out of the questions!
9. Cable and Internet wiring
A. I don't need to elaborate on this one I don't think :)
10. No neighbors above or below
A. Again, we're spoiled and not use to living apartment-style/unit-style as is so popular out here and just can't do it any longer. We'll need a townhome or a single family home were we'll only have neighbors to the sides of us (or not at all) to cut down on all the noise we've experienced here.

Okay so, there's our must-have list and here's the problem:

For something that meets all those criteria and isn't more than $3,000/month, we'd have to move to the far North, South or East where it is 30+ miles for David to drive to work and it's way too damn hot!

Depressing, much?!?!?

We have found some things here, in this area but they are snapped up as fast as they are listed and we're getting a bit frustrated. I know, I know... we've got to stay positive and remember that this is in God's hands and he will always provide for us, it's just hard to continue to search for things day after day and either not find anything at all or find something only to get a phone call the next day that it has been rented.

Keep those positive thoughts coming our way, we need them!


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