My lease is up July 31. I've been panicking about what I should do, because it's a bit early to start looking for a new rental, but if I wait until closer to when the lease is up, there will be NO. HOUSES. AVAILABLE. That's when EVERYONE and their Aunt Patricia moves, so every house will be taken.
Before you ask, "Why don't you just stay in your current house?" The answer is, it's too big for two people and two dogs, I'm throwing away money in many ways by renting this house: heating/air conditioning such a large space (even with vents closed in the rooms we don't use), paying rent for 1600 sq. ft. of house when we'll do just fine with about half that, the unused rooms, the huge task of cleaning so much space... you get the idea. It's wasted money. Sure, it's great to have an extra bedroom and bed when you have company come, but - barring tragic family circumstances and the sorting out of boucoup crap due to said family tragedy - we typically don't need two extra bedrooms. We have a couch that folds out into a double bed, and we also now have an air mattress, so we should be able to keep company fairly comfy with less than four bedrooms.
Anyway, a house came up for rent down the street from Jamie's elementary school (which also happens to be really close to 95% of his friends). And the rent is $225 cheaper a month than I'm currently paying. But, there's all kinds of people with appointments to go look at the house on Saturday and Sunday. So, I scootched to the head of the line by asking to see it today, right after work. The lady brought the application with her, and after looking over the house top to bottom and making notes of many many things that need some TLC and attention... I filled out the application.
It is almost half the size of the house we currently rent - 3 BR, 1 BA, 1 car garage, 894 sq. feet. The rooms are tiny, the previous tenants scribbled all over the doors with Sharpies, punched holes in the doors, took doors off hinges, and for some unknown reason painted the living room chocolate brown. It looks like somebody poured old Hershey's syrup all over the walls and let it dry there. I love chocolate, but not chocolate-looking walls. The fence needs repairing in several sections, the carpet is trashed in part of the house, the closets have those awful metal bifolding doors with the funky slats on them, the yard has barely any grass, they left DEER ANTLERS in the back yard, for goodness sakes! This house was darn near pitiful.
But. BUT! It has potential. Yes, it's small. But that means that the insulated curtains will work better at keeping out the heat, and the a/c and heating will be less expensive. The rent is MUCH less expensive. A new coat of paint, steam cleaned carpeting, and some new tile in the kitchen will go a long way to make the house cute. Plus, the owner has agreed to consider a 2 year lease, which means she can't jack the rent up on me next year, and it's near 95% of Jamie's friends, still less than 5 minutes from my work, and is just down the street from a public park with basketball goals and a baseball diamond on one side, and his elementary school on the other. True, he won't be actually attending this elementary school next year, but he can still go up there and play on the playground and the soccer field. And the street dead-ends at the park, so there is very little traffic. And, it has some really large, nice shade trees in the front and back, where my current house does not have any shade in the front, and weirdly placed shade in the back.
One big drawback about moving now is that I'll be (temporarily) paying rent on TWO houses, because I can't break my lease. They are way more strict about it down here than they are in back home. But, my current rental company will waive the remaining two months on my lease if someone else rents the house before my rental term is up. If I've already paid that month's rent, they'll give me a prorated rebate. And, by moving during summer, it increases the chances that someone else WILL rent the house before my term is up at the end of July.
So, I went ahead and gave my current company notice that I am not renewing the lease and will be vacating the property before the term is up. I also told them that the house will be ready to show to prospective renters by June 15. This presents a bit of a problem, though, as the house is a. freaking. mess. This semester kicked my butt, so the house looks like crap. I need to do some major trash hauling, and some series going over what I have. See, if we're moving to a house half the size of this one, I have a lot of stuff to get rid of. I'm thinking garage sale, a LARGE garage sale!