2014’s Broken Resolutions

Dreams, Family, Goals, House Hunting, Life, Moving, Planning, Savings, Uncategorized


Now that we are in 2015 I feel that I should probably explain all the cryptic tweets I kept making last year about our New Years resolution. I should begin by saying that the Hubby and I are planners and for the most part every big decision we have made has been carefully thought out. (Well most of them except this one.)

Last year before the ball dropped in NYC the Hubby and I began to reminisce about the year. We talked about all that we did and all that we wanted to do this year. One thing that came up was that we both felt it was the right time to start thinking about purchasing a house. We began to day dream about what kind of place we might get and what we were going to do to attain it. While all our family and friends were out partying the night away we sat on our couch watching our little Buttercup playing as we thought about what the new year would bring. We decided that our New Years Resolutions would be to buy a house. At that point we did not know exactly what we were going to do about it we just sat there day dreaming and enjoying the moment.  Fast to a few weeks later when we devised a plan that I like to refer to as my crazy idea.  The Hubby came home from work one day and suggested that we have my parents move into our apartment to help us save more money for a downpayment. I thought that he went nuts when he suggested that. I mean I moved out when I was 18 years old I was used to being on my own. Why on earthy would I want my parent living with us in a two bedroom apartment. I called his bluff and suggested an even crazier idea. Whenever I try to explain it to people I get a weird look from them so here goes nothing. Try to keep up and don’t get lost. I’ll try to simplify it as much as possible.

My idea involved asking for help from both sets of parents which we would normally not do. We don’t like asking for help and usually we don’t share information with anyone until the plan is complete. The first part of my idea was to get my in-laws to agree to let us borrow their house for a year. You see my in-laws had purchased a house last year and nobody was using it. They bought it as a retirement house the house was just sitting there empty. Part 2 was to get my in-laws to agree to let my husband stay with them at their one bedroom apartment during the week. Part 3 involved my parents. I had to get them to agree to move in with me and our little Buttercup for a year.  They had to leave the comfort of their small town in order to help us out. I have never asked my parents for help and have always done things on my own so I felt odd even asking. With both parents aligned and the details worked out we set a date to move.  We decided that it would be best to move when our lease was up from our apartment.

Although we’ve been here for almost 10 months now it doesn’t get easier saying bye to my husband every Sunday night. Nothing about this whole process has been easy and we’ve all made sacrifices. In early October we had an appointment to get pre-approved but for some reason we couldn’t make it that day. A week later the Hubby was notified that he was being laid-off from the job that he LOVED. About 300 employees were affected in all. We were crushed by the news! All the sacrifices we had done meant nothing. Everything went numb for us and I know that it might not seem like a big deal but it was to us. We went through all the stages of grief and decided that 2014 couldn’t be over soon enough.

…To be continued…

Life: On apartment living…

Apartment, Life, Moving, Quick TIps, Southern California

For the past few days I’ve been pondering if I should write this post but since this is a new month I’ve decided why not.  Let me start off by saying I like where we live but I have never really loved it.  We moved into our apartment about 3 and a half years ago.  At that time we decided on this place because it made the most sense for us.  The apartment itself is on the first floor of a nine unit complex, the rent is reasonable for Southern California, and the location is fairly nice.  I spent half of my childhood living an in apartment and the other half in a house.  Can you guess which one I prefer?  That’s right there is nothing like living in a house and having more space.  We don’t have any intentions of purchasing our own house anytime soon since I haven’t found a full time job yet but maybe in the future.  However, we have decided that we need more space and we are were looking for a two bedroom unit.  We need an extra bedroom because the hubby is telecommuting more often and he needs an office.  (Sh! Don’t tell him I need a need a craft room too and it will be used as that when he’s at work.) We are also looking for a place closer to his job because being stuck in traffic isn’t very fun.  (Double yeah for me since the closer we’re to his job the closer I’ll be to my family.)

Fast forward a couple of months since I actually began writing this post right before we moved out.  We have been living in our new apartment for about a month in a half and I’m loving every minute of it.  I miss our old city but I’m really excited about discovering new places.  The things I won’t miss about our old place are living next to an alley, having someone living above us, street sweeping tickets ( I was lucky enough to get one a couple of days before we moved out),  and above all NO more circling around trying to find a parking space.  What I will miss in our old neighborhood are our nightly jogs to the beach, living close to cute shops, and knowing all 9 tents in our building.  The things I love about our new place are all the space we have,  we’re on the top floor, all the amenities, parking, and that I’m closer to my family.

One thing we considered before moving was the price tag that came along with it.  We hired mover which we had never done before but was seriously the BEST decision we’ve made. I loved that in one swoop all our belongings went from one place to another, we didn’t have have to bother our family and friends to help us out and we didn’t have to lug everything up to the second floor ourselves. Overall we’re paying more for our current apartment but the benefits far outweigh the cost.  It’s all about the value for the money folks.  When we were looking for a new place we saw about 15 different units and neighborhoods before we actually decided on where we are living at now.  We never thought we would ever live in a complex that has so many apartments but as of right now we love it.  We never thought we wanted to live somewhere where we had to sign a year lease but right not we love that we are locked in on one single price. If you’re looking for a new place keep your options open and you’ll eventually find something you love.

Apartment living right now is pretty good and if it continues to be this good I won’t mind staying here for a while.  In the mean time if we ever decide to purchase a house I’ll share my thought with you on that subject.

Quick tips for looking for a new apartment:

  1. Make a list of things you’re are looking for in order of importance to you
  2. Keep in mind that rental prices are high right now and tend to go up higher during the summer
  3. Be flexible
  4. Don’t be blinded by the complex itself take time to look around the neighborhood you’ll be living in
  5. Google the complexes you are considering but take the information with a grain of salt
  6. Be openminded 
  7. Don’t rush unless you have a deadline to move out
  8. Think about things you’re willing to give up (For example, we gave up the beach in return for a gym in our complex.)
  9. Don’t be afraid to ask questions
  10. Try to visit the complex more than once and at different times 
  11. Live within your means. If you fall in love with a place please make sure you can afford it. 
  12. Keep in mind that moving is extremely expensive and stressful
  13. Be patient with yourself 
  14. Make sure you moving for the right reasons
  15. Please keep in mind no place is going to be perfect but make sure it feels like home
  16. Make sure you read the lease you are signing
  17. Make sure you’re credit score is up to date and everything on it is correct
  18. Don’t let them give you the hard sale meaning that its there job to get a place rented out and they will do anything to get that done. They will call you several times but don’t feel pressured to take a place unless it feels like home to you.
  19. Take a camera and a notebook with you.  Trust me you’ll forget the details after seeing several apartments.  
  20. Above all have fun looking for a new place.  

Quick tips for moving:

  1. Hire movers. Time is money.  We used Yelp to find ours but you should as your friends if they have hired some.
  2. Be organized and pack early.
  3. Label, label, and keep labeling. This will help you out so much when you’re surrounded by boxes and don’t have an idea where to begin unpacking.
  4. When you’re getting ready to pack have 3 different piles.  One for donations, one to toss and the last one to pack.  This is the time to purge things you don’t want to take with you.
  5. Have fun looking and be excited about your upcoming adventure
Good luck if you’re currently moving in or out!