Wednesday, February 16, 2011

House Hunters pt. 1

I love HGTV. Property Virgins, Income Property, Sarah's House, Property Ladder -- I love them all. But the show that started my obsession would have to be House Hunters. Oh, the drama! The excitement! The choices! Big Papa and I will stay up for 30 minutes more each night just to see which house they choose. It's also fun because it allows us to talk about what we would like in our future home. We won't be buying our first house for quite a while (three years of law school, and then few more years after that to pay off our student loans and save for a nice down payment), but we like to dream, just the same.

Currently, our House Hunters skills have come in handy as we search for our own home for the next year. Come August, we will be relocating to a new city, but we need to find a place now because, like in most college towns, the nice apartments fill up by May. After lots of google searches we came up with our top three choices, which we will share in House Hunters style. Which one will Big Papa, Cheesecake Mama, and their little Goob choose to make their first law school home?

Option 1: 

Rent: $645

Size: 801 sq. ft.
Utilities paid by tenant: Gas and Electric
Amenities: Air conditioning, dishwasher, coin operated laundry, playground, pool, one block away from a park, close to bus stop.

Nice and roomy living room. 
I like the tiles!
Ooh! There's enough space for a table in the kitchen!

Overall impression: Great price, but expensive utilities. Like the location for the parks, pool, and playground, but it's a 30 minute walk for Big Papa to campus.

Option 2:  

Rent: $480

Size: 630 sq. ft.
Utilities paid by tenant: Gas and Electric
AmenitiesWasher/Dryer hookups, cable and internet included in rent, close to bus stop

Unfortunately, pictures were not available to download for Option 2, but I will describe it for you:

Living room: Very small, window blocked by the AC unit (which is optional). Vinyl floor.

Kitchen: Basic size, mini scale oven, hookups for the washer. Vinyl floor.

Bathroom: Small. Vinyl floor.

Bedrooms: Basic stuff, hookups for dryer in master. More vinyl floor.

Overall impression:  Love the price and having W/D hookups. But, it's the smallest of the three options, is much older and warn down, no AC, and the washer and dryer are in different rooms -- just a little weird. The entire apartment is covered in vinyl flooring as well so we'd need to find area rugs. It's also the farthest away from campus for Big Papa.

Option 3:

Rent: $720
Size: 900 sq. ft.
Utilities paid by tenant: Electric
Amenities: Air conditioning, dishwasher, coin operated laundry, extra storage, pool, heating and cooling paid by the complex

Nice size bedrooms.
Newly renovated bathroom!

Nice sized living space.
FABULOUS kitchen.
Overall impression: Most expensive option, but the utilities we pay would be super cheap since the complex pays for the heating and cooling. It's also the biggest with a large kitchen. This is the closest option to campus -- only a 15 minute walk for Big Papa. 

So, which option will these apartment hunters choose? Option 1 with the park and playground? The cheaper, but smaller, and quirkier option 2? Or option 3, the most expensive rent, but greatest amenities? We'll reveal their decision after the break! 


  1. #3 seems to have the most storage space so that's the one we would choose. It's funny to see the floor plans that your college town has compared the ones we are looking at for Atlanta. I may have to do a similar post :)

  2. I like House Hunters, but not a big fan of House Hunters International. I just hate watching people say that their budget for their vacation home is more than I can dream of right now. :)

    Good luck, and I'm going to go make lunch while I wait for the break to finish! :D

  3. Lisa, I hate House Hunters International too. That show drives me nuts. Marie, we should get together soon before we all move away! I want to hear about your apartment hunting too!
    We'll be posting our choice soon! :-)

  4. I like some of the H.H.I. shows. There was one about a cute young couple (from Utah!) who had the opportunity to follow a dream job opportunity to Great Britain. She loved Jane Austen and wanted to live in a cottage. I was so intrigued by the episode that I googled it and actually found her blog. it was interesting to read a bit of the backstory and see how they recreated certain parts of the story because they actually know the ending before they begin. SO not real life.

    Now on to the subject at hand ... Which apartment will this cute young couple choose. I can see you being totally practical and going for #2 because it is so inexpensive. I can also see the validity of choosing #3 because Location Location Location. James is going to be gone such long hours that it would be wonderful to have him as close as possible. I also see #1 in the running because you'll have a toddler that will want to run off a lot of energy and a neighborhood park would be ideal for that. Hmmmm. I'm excited to see which one you end up with.

  5. I'd pick #3.
    I just about died looking at the prices compared to what we pay here in San Jose. Your most expensive apartment will cost half as much as we pay...

  6. Yay! I'm glad you picked option #3. Look at all that cupboard space! Wahoo! Also, I think you're going to be REALLY glad you have AC in the midwest...but ya'll already know that. Congratulations friends! We need to do the same...we move in two months and currently have 0 apartment options but it's just so painful to look at the prices in Calgary (we're likely going to be paying around $1000 a month...ouch!)