The boyfriend and I managed to find a new rental - despite me being in another state.
It took a huge leap of faith on my part. Even though he took lots of pictures it is still hard to completely visualize the space completely. In the end, it came down to a pros and cons list - and the pros definitely outweighed the cons.
-Small (but we knew we would be downsizing to a 2 bedroom anyway)
-Ugly and small kitchen (but appliances are newer and all included)
-Only one bath and its ugly too (there's no real upside to this one - but we'll live)
-No laundry room - washer and dryer hookups are in the garage (we'll live with this as well)
-Literally across the street from a great elementary school - so we can walk my son to and from school in the fall
-A park, a track, tennis courts, and a pool within walking distance
-Great community and perfectly situated for easy access to the entire Austin area (the Anderson Mill area, in case anyone reading this is familiar with Austin)
-Lots of windows and natural light (something that's hard to find with duplexes)
-A huge dining area that will easily fit our table (one of the only furniture pieces we kept from the move that aren't just placeholders for better items)
-An attached garage (it's only one car, but we really need a garage space for storage and work space)
-A fenced backyard (and the lawn care is included in the rent - score!)
-Vaulted ceilings in the living area (our last place had 7 foot ceilings - no joke - so this is a welcome change even though I'm a little wary of how to decorate with those weird angles)
-Minutes from my stepdaughter's house, but still a decent commute for the boyfriend
So, are you ready for some pictures?
This is the living room if you're standing in the dining room. That's the front door and there's a coat closet behind it (we think - the boyfriend didn't notice until I pointed it out to him in the pictures). Hopefully there's room in the entry (across from the door) for a cute dresser and mirror combo. The tile is new and I like the brick pattern they used. It's not a gigantic space, but not tiny either. So it'll work.
This is the dining room. I love the sliding glass doors (not so much the vertical blinds) and that there's plenty of room for storage along that blank wall. We'll definitely be looking for a chandelier for some drama.
This is the pretty desolate looking side patio off the dining room. I'm hoping to turn this into a small "outdoor room."
The boyfriend didn't get the greatest pictures of the bedrooms. I can't really tell how large they are from the pictures. He assures me there's enough room for a king sized bed in the master - but we'll have to see.
This is the kitchen from the dining room. I'm going to have to be really creative with storage and with decorating. Don't you love how the top of the stove sticks up above the countertop? I'm already brainstorming ways to camouflage that and the backs of the upper cabinets. Despite its complete ugliness, it's actually a step up from our last kitchen which featured a haphazardly patched floor with three different colors of stick-on tiles. I'm super worried about workspace as there's little countertop, and even less once you stick a microwave somewhere.
And The Ugly:
The fact that this place only has one bathroom (!) and this is it almost made me cross the whole place off the list. It's tiny, it's ugly and it's outdated. And I think there's no other storage besides that vanity. But we'll (in my best Tim Gunn voice) "Make it work!"
Overall, nothing crazy exciting compared to some of the gorgeous houses you see other bloggers working with - but it's pretty exciting for us. I can't wait to get moved and started on projects!