Wednesday, October 01, 2008

The Great Rental Debate of 2008

It was really hard for me to sell our home in Ohio when I didn't really want to leave and I didn't want to go back to renting, but you do what you have to do. Everyone kept telling us we should be looking to buy in Salt Lake, but Larry's fellowship is only two or three years long and who knows where the market will be then. And selling a house is such a pain, even when everything goes well and your house sells in two days.

We were settled on renting, but trying to find a rental from Ohio was hard especially when rent was so much higher in Salt Lake than Columbus. I was determined to find a decent place to live since Creed and I would be spending most of our time at home. After much searching and interviews from potential landlords, we were left with two great options. They both had the same monthly rent, but otherwise are very different.

The first, The Ivanhoe Condos in a historic building right downtown. The building was gutted and completely redone. The condos are each owned individually, but we found an owner who bought it as an investment and was looking to rent for a few years. It only has one parking spot, but it's about a block from Trax public transportation that would take Larry straight to the U of U Hospital and is a very short walk to the amazing downtown library. Everything is brand new and we would be the first tenants. These aren't photos of the exact unit, it has a slightly bigger kitchen and all dark hardwood floors. The kitchen is gorgeous with granite countertops and top of the line appliances. The bathrooms were beautiful too.
And the dining room was pretty big while the living room was huge.
The downsides, only two bedrooms so our bedroom would have to double as a craftroom/office, but it's a pretty big room. No yard for Creed to play in. Limited storage space (a 5' x 8' pen in the basement). And friends visiting would have to fight for street parking, but there is a lot of street parking.

Our second choice? A 1920's bungalow in Sugarhouse (I don't have a photo of the outside, but this one is really similar). Sugarhouse is a trendy area with lots of cool boutiques and parks. It's also pretty close to the University so Larry's commute wouldn't be bad. The house has been recently updated so it has all of the charm of an old home, but it's in great shape and the landlord's responsible for keeping it up.

The living room is very small by our standards.
The kitchen is also small and has outdated appliances including a smaller than average fridge.

The bathrooms have been updated and are in good condition. The bedrooms upstairs are small with tiny closets and one bedroom opens into the living room. There is a larger family room in the basement, but the ceilings are low and our entertainment center would not fit.
There's a new one car garage and a fenced in yard with a big deck. We would be in charge of maintaining the yard (and you all know how Larry HATES yardwork)
Another bonus is there is a large storage area in the basement and a third bedroom to use as an office/craft space/library.

I felt like we weren't just choosing a rental, we were choosing a lifestyle. So what would you have selected?


Christopher & Rebekah said...

the yard. I love that tree. I totally think you made the right decision.

I am Laura said...

I would opt for the house. You can't beat a yard and one more bedroom is always necessary.

Noelle said...

They both look great!!! I love the allure of the new appliances and updated kitchen in the condos, but in the end of the day I'm guessing you chose the house, and not just because there is a third room for a craft room... :) It's so cute and homey.

Krystal Trapnell said...

I think I would have gone for the condo with the bigger kitchen and living room. That's where I spend most of my time and you won't be going out in the yard too much in the winter. But I'm sure when the weather was nice I would be kicking myself for not having the yard. It sounds like that's what you went with.

emily kate said...

Wow! Typing this from my mini NY apartment I'd totally go for the gorgeous condo. But at the same time, there's something special about being in a cute, old house. And having a yard for Creed would be awesome! I'm assuming you went with the house? I love Sugarhouse, it's such a cute area.

Chelsea said...

Personally for me, I would have gone with the condo. But I hate old houses, and do not ever use my yard. things might be different with a toddler, although I am sure I could find some good parks around to subsidize the missing yard. It sounds like you picked the house though, which seems more your style anyway. Both great options.

WendyandGabe said...

This is our current and constant debate. We actually looked at those exact condos, but the parking situation is a mess, (that is why they're offering the scooters,) and I kept thinking how annoying it would be to take a stroller/groceries etc. up and down the stairs all day long with no elevator. Now that we have a child, a yard is a bonus, but having a great park close by is equally nice. I think the house was a wise choice.

Stephanie said...

I think I would chose the condo. Having a big yard now, it's nice but a lot of work and if there's a park nearby that's usually more of a draw than your own backyard. I also like that everything is new.

I can't wait to see what you've decided!

tania said...

definitely the house with a yard, especially with kids. small doesn't matter much to me, it just makes it more cozy. although, the condo is gorgeous.

Larry said...

Which one did you choose?!!?! It's killing me - I have to know!

TX Girl said...

Are you kidding? For me, there was no real choice, it would be the 1920's bungalow in the glorious Sugarhouse area.

You SOOOO made the right choice.

J.R., Meg, and Alyssa said...

You know me, I'm a Sugarhouse girl and grew up in that area so it was a no brainer for me. But that place downtown looks very nice and VERY tempting! I think you guys made a wise decision:).