April 18, 2010

moving dilemma

Renting blows. Since where we live is astronimically high in the cost of living department, I have a feeling we'll be renting for a while and we've come to terms with it. In some ways, it's nice knowing we aren't tied down somewhere. Silver lining anyone?

David and I have two options for a new place to move to next month (basically in the same area). Each is less expensive than the place we're currently living (hooray!) and both are significantly bigger (double hooray!) Would you all be dears and read my pro/con list for each place and then vote on my poll to the left which one you think we should choose? Consider the price of each place the same (with utilities, it averages out to be equal).

Orchard Place
1. Brand new apartment (clean, clean, clean).
2. Easy move (within our current community - down the hall).
3. Large kitchen.
4. We know the area (since we currently live in this community).
5. David's commute will stay the same (which is awesome since we're roughly 10 minutes to downtown . . . and just about everywhere else).
6. Some utilities are included (savings of approximately $40/month).
7. Upgraded appliances, new washer/dryer, granite countertops, crown mouldings (it's very pretty).
8. We love our friends here (see below - just down the hall from us along with another couple who were taking the picture at Bronx Pizza).
1. Nowhere to walk (this is my #1 thing about our community. It's very urban.)
2. 2 bedrooms (totally liveable but a 3rd bedroom would be a dreamy luxury.)
3. Underground parking (which is way better than street parking but the other has a garage which I prefer so it becomes a con).
4. Very little natural light.
5. Less storage for large items (deep freezer).

Stonecrest House
1. 2 Car Garage.
2. I LOVE the community (tree lined streets, parks galore, nature paths, 3 pools, tennis courts. It's a dream come true.)
3. 3 bedrooms (again, a luxury).
4. Tons of storage (can bring everything we own out of storage).
5. Detached house (no noisy neighbors).
6. New carpet and paint (albeit, white paint).
7. I love my friends here too!

1. House is about 11 years old (and needs some updating but it's not that bad).
2. Smaller kitchen.
3. The living space is smaller.
4. Adds 10 minutes to David's commute (without traffic).
5. Farther inland from the beach.
6. Cost of move (U-Haul, gas, etc.)
7. Increased utilities.
8. Washer/Dryer are on their last leg and aren't included with the house (left there by previous tenant) so we may have to buy one.

So, vote! And help me! I'm so stressed!


  1. Stonecrest! Stonecrest! Stonecrest! I promise you'll love it here! I will never go back to renting from a big apartment complex again! Plus it dose not take 20 min to get downtown….Take the 15 south to the 94 west which dead ends downtown. Takes us 11 to 15 min max! (I'm serious! Dan’s internship is downtown) same with the beach, just 8 all the way you there in like 10 promise! Were really not that far away from your place your at now. Tons of freeway access. I really love it here! Feels like a neighborhood instead of a concert jungle. Plus plus! :) Good luck deciding.

  2. aw i'm sorry you're stressed. i would have to vote for stonecrest, as nice as it would be to have a newer place nothing beats having three bedrooms and lots of storage! my hubby and i bought a house a few years ago and our main decision in getting it was the brand new hardwood floors, remodeled kitchen with granite counter tops, etc. but it only has 2 bedrooms and virtually no storage, i regret it every day. its impossible to have visitors stay over and i feel like the house is constantly a mess because i have no where to store everything. a nice community is a big deal to me and it sounds like it is to you as well :) also sounds like stonecrest is in a great area, that would be a deciding factor for me since we spend a lot of time outside. :) hope that helps! good luck with the decision!

  3. The biggest plus is having quiet, private outdoor space for the baby. As he gets older he will love having a garden where he can play on the swing, the sandbox, go for walks, play outside with friends. Your first house together....what wonderful memories you will make! Good luck with your decision!

  4. I would chose a house every time just for the ability to go outside and play in the dirt--boys will love that too (daddy and son). Initial investment might be steep, but worth it in the end.

  5. I vote for the house. And for the moving expense, two words; elder's quorum! =)

  6. Depending on how long you think you'll be there.... by about age 3 boys tend to get a bewitching amount of physical energy, that results in a need to be outside and/or be terribly loud. Having this occur while sharing walls or ceiling/floors with neighbors is hard (depending on how well constructed the apartment is). Right now with 4 and 1 year-old boys I would just about kill for a little bit of yard, especially if it were fenced in.

  7. 100%, the house. The tree-lined streets, STORAGE and three bedrooms is perfect.

  8. Stonecrest...the house. You mentioned no noisy neighbors, which is a huge plus, but also remember that before long YOU will be the noisy neighbors! :) We shared walls with neighbors when my oldest was a toddler and I always stressed about making too much noise. We have a house now...small, and old, but the walls are all ours and I don't stress about bothering anyone with the commotion (we have 2 kids now, both VERY LOUD!). Well worth the extra commute.

  9. My vote is the house, too - I think everyone here has already captured my reasons for this vote!

  10. You didn't say anything about a yard... if there is any maintenance/upkeep as far as landscaping goes, you need to consider that. If you/David like yard work, great, if not, then reconsider that choice.

    Some things to consider about the apartment: New usually trumps old because it's more comfortable and things don't break down (everything started breaking when our house hit 10-years-old), not that you will have to fix it... the landlord will... but it's still a huge hassle. And, as William grows you will be glad to have more living space.... you can't play outside ALL the time. Personally, I think living space and kitchen space are more important than bedroom space... you actually "live" in your kitchen/living space, and do little more than sleep in the bedroom.

    Bottom line: either choice sounds really good, but I think the choice should be made based on your personal lifestyle... how you use your home, i.e. I know you cook and entertain, making kitchen/living important. But only you have seen both places and know how much different they are from each other... maybe "smaller kitchen" is still relatively big. :)

    So, basically, I didn't vote. :)

  11. Rent for the rest of your life. Yes, rent. We lived in Rancho Cucamonga in a new town home in a new community. It was nice to have the extra space and live in a brand new place. And the yard work was taken care of by the HOA. But it wasn't worth the money. We paid so much freaking money in taxes and HOA. SO MUCH. And add that with the mortgage and it was more than my parents pay for their 5,500 square foot home and our house was 1,300 square feet.

    For us, we later realized we were over reaching. Everyone around us was doing "the right thing". You know, have a baby and buy a home. But there is no right way. We wish we would have just rented a house for half of the price. Yes, you throw away money with rent, but these days, you throw it away with owning as well. Owning a home isn't an asset anymore. It will be someday, but it's not right now. We wish we would have been settled in a rental longer and not been trying to reach for the bigger and better. We could have saved so much money and then eventually bought what we really wanted.

    Extra space also means extra cleaning. The windows you have, the more finger prints. The more floor space you have, the more vacuuming you do.

    Also, warning about buying in a newer community- HARD TO SELL. Our town home took 9 months to sell. And it was beautiful and well taken care of. It should have gone fast. But it still took a long time to sell.

  12. That's Jaimey Beck! I vote you live by her.

  13. I think I am the only one voting for the Orchard house. New kitchen, new apartment--I have done both and new is so nice. I love the clean feeling of a new apartment. Large kitchen and cheap moving expenses!!!

    The good thing about an urban area is the amount of food and shopping that you can walk too. I live in a very urban neighborhood and we still feel like we can walk places. However, I don't feel safe walking alone but I doubt I would anywhere.

    I feel ya on renting. We are moving in with Sean's parents because rent is so outrageous we don't want to pay it after the bar when we don't know if we are staying in Los Angeles. SoCal rent is crazy but it is worth it.

  14. I vote for the house too! Nothing is better than a detached house! We lived in condos while I was pregnant and got so tired of the noise. We moved to a single family house a week before my due date! My husbands commute is a bit longer, but it is SO WORTH IT! We live in a residential neighborhood with awesome neighbors. We can walk to our local park that has ducks too, and a local old fashioned ice cream shop. It is wonderful. The condo was on a busy street and was not stroller/kid friendly. I would say to stay at your condo if it was just you and your hubby, but I think the house will be the best move for your family. I doubt you will regret it!

    Can't wait to hear your decision :-)

  15. I recognized my childhood friend Jamie Beck there, too! (Jamie is awesome, plus her mom made the most amazing pancakes for breakfast after sleepovers! Ha!) I can see why you're having such a tough decision to leave your awesome friends! But analyzing your pros and cons. . .it sounds like deep down inside you may be wanting to relish in the outdoor spaces? Nature paths, pools, dream come true!

    Decisions, decisions! You will likely be happy in either location. And now I am apologizing for my overuse of exclamation points. It's official, I use too many and you don't even know me. (yet) (!)

  16. STONECREST!!!!!!!! Seriously NOTHING, NOTHING, NOTHING beats having a SEPARATE house with your very own GARAGE!! I've rented tiny apartments, a large NEW townhome (with a two car garage), regular apartments, and we've owned two different houses and NOTHING is better than having your very own house! Seriously, the joy of having NOBODY waking up your baby because their apartment is attached to yours is a dream come true! Being able to push a button and drive your car right into your garage and carry your groceries inside while your baby continues to sleep in his car safe and sound is the BEST feeling EVER! Plus Stonecrest is AMAZING! It's like living in Leave It To Beaver neighborhood because it's so cute and tucked away. Also, just gather up everyone in the ward who has a truck (DAN does and I know would be more than happy to help...he helped us move) and you probably wouldn't even need to rent a uhaul! That ward is really good about helping! :)

  17. Stonecrest sounds good to me, provided that the kitchen and living space are workable. You will get terribly annoyed if the indoor spaces you spend lots of time in are not big enough.

    That said, I think the access to awesome outdoor spaces is an incredibly important factor. Possibly the best thing about living in SoCal is that there is rarely a day when it's not nice enough to go outside (and I even go walking on the 7 days it rains just because that's novel here). Paths and parks and pools will be great for your family. Just think of the walks and picnics you can have - all year round!

    Good luck with the decision. I totally empathize with how tough it is to choose, and how annoying it is to move!

    PS: Should the washer/dryer give out, ask around your friends and neighbors. Lots of people seem to upgrade those appliances before their old ones stop working and they'd be glad to see them have a new home.

  18. oh my gosh. i know exactly how you feel!!!!!! UGh. This is what I did. I made a "priorities list" for me, bigger kitchen (since I spend a lot of time there), a two car garage, and three bedrooms was at the top of my list. The one that had the most "priorities" was my top choice. I guess maybe you could do that...and obviously there are more cons to the second one?!?!? Maybe that's a sign.

  19. oh my gosh. i know exactly how you feel!!!!!! UGh. This is what I did. I made a "priorities list" for me, bigger kitchen (since I spend a lot of time there), a two car garage, and three bedrooms was at the top of my list. The one that had the most "priorities" was my top choice. I guess maybe you could do that...and obviously there are more cons to the second one?!?!? Maybe that's a sign.

  20. The 2 car garage sold stonecrest house for me. Good luck with your move.

  21. I'm going against the grain here and saying Orchard Place. Not only does it have new stuff and a big kitchen, which you like, but it's so much more practical. You don't have to spend more money than is necessary (ie: moving, utilities, new washer and dryer).
    Stonecrest is nice because it's tucked away, but I also see that as a con. It's farther from everything and it gets nasty congested by that Walmart. That's one thing I don't like about the area.
    But the final decision is yours. I'm just glad it's still in our ward :)

  22. I think you should go with the Stonecrest house! It sounds way more family friendly and hello--its right by the yummy dessert place to took us to (I can't remember what it's called.) I think it will be worth it to move closer to your friends and where there are more parks and places to walk and enjoy the San Diego weather!! Good luck choosing.... but I would definitely go with the house. :)

  23. Stonecrest! Live life, just don't sit somewhere pretty. Besides, you won't be as stressed out when your little one makes messes, splashes water out of the tub and creates you a masterpiece on the walls with crayons or markers. Good luck and enjoy!

  24. Stonecrest. Why? Because you use the word "love" (in CAPS) on line #2.
    You use "love" on line #8 for Orchard Place, and that's for people. Not the house.
    Good luck!

  25. Orchard Place has MORE PPROs and LESS CONs than Stonecrest House. Hence, ORCHARD PLACE! :)

  26. PRAY!!!!! my hubby and I have moved 11 times all awesome and worth it. I always pray and God ALWAYS brings me to where we need to be....now that being said if I had a vote (HOUSE)!!!!!

  27. I have to vote for Stonecrest! I think you will be SO, SO grateful to have a detached home and area to run around outside when William get's around more! Keeping a little boy confined to small spaces is VERY hard! Whatever choice you and David make it will be the right choice for you and your growing family :)

    It was nice seeing you and your adorable William and your husband at the reunion!!

  28. Stonecrest! Apartments will always raise the rent when your lease is up...so in the long run you will be saving $ if you go with the house! Plus think about safety...you couldn't leave a sleeping baby in the car for a few minutes while you unload groceries if you have a parking garage but you could do that in a house! Living in a house is much safer than an apartment any day!

  29. you don't even know me but i am voting for Stonecrest. Have you already signed the lease? Get to it!


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