We Found a Place! We Found a Place!

Opah! Party time! We’re finally getting outta here!! ;)

MAN I can’t tell you how excited we are… 5+ years in a row living in the same place is liable to give any A.D.D./Military folk a stomach ache. It’s time for brighter and greener pastures – woo! And we actually found a home that satisfies BOTH of our major wants, which is great. All the places we’ve been finding only had like 50% of them, or all of mine but  none of the Mrs’, etc. So we got really lucky in the end. Well, if you can call it that – we only looked at like 150 places all over creation ;)

Here was our short list of things that were a *must* in our next home:

  • 3 bedrooms (or 2 with an office)
  • Walking distance to a downtown area
  • Close to at least one family member, preferably a parent
  • An older home with lots of “character”!
  • Upgraded appliances/bathrooms/AC/kitchen.

So basically – an older house that looks new inside, smack dab near a city center :) For less than $1,700/mo – a tall glass of water for most cities on the East coast (where we wanted to stay, at least for now). Our plan is to live in this new place for just about a year until the wife finishes her dissertation, and then we’ll be moving wherever she gets her first job in her new career. So who knows what’s next on the list?

But for the next 12 months, we’ll be calling Virginia our new home. It was a close call between VA and North Carolina, but in the end the homes and price range (and family locations), favored VA more and the second we saw this place come on the market we grabbed it and locked everything in. We already signed the lease and everything – it’s going so fast!! But I love it…

I mentioned this before, but I haven’t felt this alive in a while – outside the birth of our baby boy, and possibly the day I got fired ;) The old me was GREAT about taking action on something I really wanted – usually within weeks – but it seems lately I let the 1,001 variables of whatever I want get in my way and slow me down… It’s been over TWO YEARS since we’ve wanted to move and we’re only now doing something about it! That’s terrible… I liked the old me much better in regards to that (but not on 99% of other things, haha…)

Here’s what the financials look like on our new place:

  • $1,700/mo rent
  • $1,700/deposit
  • $500 pet deposit

$3,900 in cash right off the start, ugh… But at least we should get back more than half of that come the end of the year – my cat’s antics pending. The funniest part about applying for this place though (outside the 30+ pages we had to fill out, what a joke!) was when they had to call my employer to verify I work there and my pay. I stated clearly that I owned my own business – and thus, work for myself – but I guess they didn’t see that or care and ended up calling myself to check up on, well, myself :) It was awesome. At first I pretended to be “my boss” to be funny, but I think she got more confused than anything, haha… so I gave in and gave her the dirt. Good times, good times…

So now the race is on! We have to pack up faster and faster, and then get our current home ready to be placed on the market to be rented itself. We’re too underwater to sell, and we’re kinda interested in experiencing the whole “renting out your house” deal anyways lately. So my mind is already considering our place an investment property – and I love it!! That means we’ll be able to make smarter decisions in how much we update (or not) our house for future renters and what not. So that research gets pushed to the top of the list too!

Lots to do in a short period of time now, but by this time next month we’ll be all moved in and done :) We were able to push out our move in date to the new home until mid-June, which gives us about a month to get out of here and have it all cleaned up and rented out.

My feeling is we may lose a half-month’s worth of rent, or even a full one, but we’ll be doing our best to knock ‘er all out and cross that finish line ASAP. There’s really no way around it unless we waited to have it rented out first and THEN looked for a home last minute – which was too risky for us. The point of moving is to find an AWESOME place within an awesome location, and we weren’t willing to risk not getting that. Especially when we found the perfect new home for us!

So wish us luck! Times are a changin’, my friends. Gotta pursue those dreams while we can!

PS: You know what this also means?? We still get to watch and cheer on our REDSKINS every weekend! Woohoo! I promise that wasn’t a factor though, we’re not THAT hardcore, haha…

{Photo by Hryck // I need to pick me up one of those shirts!}

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  1. Kylie Ofiu May 17, 2013 at 5:40 AM

    How exciting! I’m so happy for you. I’m sure it will all go great! My house was rented while I lived 3 hours away and because my ex and I split last year it has been a rental for a bit. Tax laws are different in Australia for rentals though and turning your house into a rental, but so glad we did it. I actually just sold my house and am in the process of buying a rental or a couple as well as moving interstate too (8weeks) so will be interested to see how you go.

    Good luck :)

    1. J. Money May 20, 2013 at 8:29 PM

      Cool! A hearty congrats to you too, then :)

  2. Taynia @ Skinny Seahorse May 17, 2013 at 5:54 AM

    Congrats on finding a new place! That cracks me up about your landlord calling you to verify your employment.

  3. M May 17, 2013 at 5:59 AM

    Congratulations. Don’t worry about slowing down on making and executing decisions. That’s what happens when you have a kid and a mortgage and things that are more complicated to orchestrate and change. Think you’ve moved really quickly! Hope you love your new place and so great that you feel so energized.

    1. J. Money May 20, 2013 at 8:31 PM

      I think you’re right… I’ve been going non-stop for weeks now working on all this stuff and I feel great! guess as long as that continues up we’ll know we’re on the right path :)

  4. Sense May 17, 2013 at 6:34 AM

    My home state! I love our slogan. :) I wear it on a t-shirt all the time in NZ. Congrats!! You will also need to know that our state flower is the dogwood and our state bird is the cardinal. Somehow I thought you were already in VA?? I pretty much count DC as an extension of Virginia, and vice versa. NOVA may as well be DC, anyway!

    p.s. If you happen to be moving to Richmond, it’s an AWESOME city with GREAT people. :)

    1. J. Money May 20, 2013 at 8:33 PM

      I’m totally rocking one of those shirts once I come across one :) Not moving to Richmond but I agree – it’s a hip place to be, especially while young.

      1. Sense May 22, 2013 at 11:47 PM

        Too bad it’s not Richmond–we’d be neighbours when I visited my parents at home! :)

        I bought my tshirt at the Richmond airport…not sure where else they are sold, but I’d bet there’s an online shop somewheres!!

        1. J. Money May 23, 2013 at 5:37 PM

          Well still tell me when you’re back visiting! Perhaps I can make a road trip out of it and meet you for a lunch :) At the airport so I can get my shirt!!! Haha….

  5. Akiyo @kitchenpenguin May 17, 2013 at 7:06 AM

    Congratulations! I’m going to have to buy you a drink…a few drinks…before you move away to thank you for being one of the people that gave me the proverbial kick in the butt to pursue my dream. Plus I owe you cookies and other assorted baked goods. Unless you’re just moving to NoVA then it isn’t too far away.

    1. J. Money May 20, 2013 at 8:34 PM

      awwww, and what dream was that? I don’t believe you’ve told me :) (if you have, I blame my all this packing up & moving stuff for erasing my memory :))

  6. William @ Bite the Bullet May 17, 2013 at 7:14 AM

    Awesome! Congratulations. Nothing for a bored mind like packing, is there? :)

  7. Lance @ Money Life and More May 17, 2013 at 7:15 AM

    I used to live in three cities in Virginia! I’d be interested to see what city you chose since the whole state is SOOOOO diverse depending on where you live! Shoot me an email when you get caught up!

  8. John S @ Frugal Rules May 17, 2013 at 8:05 AM

    Congrats! I grew up in Richmond myself and love Virginia. I’ve had the same thing happen where they’ll call to verify my employment. I like to mess with them too, which always makes my wife roll her eyes. I say if they can’t read that I work for myself then I can have a little fun. ;) Oh, the Cowboys fan in me will forget the Redskins comment. ;)

    1. J. Money May 20, 2013 at 8:35 PM



  9. maria@moneyprinciple May 17, 2013 at 8:41 AM

    Good luck! Thinking of you with all this packing, moving, decorating…oh my! As to the ‘wander lust’ of army brats – tell me about it. I get it out of my system by not spending much time at home (where did you think all this travelling I do comes from :)).

  10. Debt Blag May 17, 2013 at 8:41 AM

    That’s great news. Congratulations on the move working out. There are also tons to do in Virginia from an outdoorsy & historical standpoint so you’ll definitely have plenty of options for cheap and easy excursions.

  11. Jen May 17, 2013 at 8:56 AM

    WOOOHOOOO!!!! So excited for you guys! And VIRGINIA! Oh, I’m so stoked. I grew up in the Hampton Roads area. If you’re moving to that area, you will LOVE it…absolutely love it. We live near Raleigh, NC now, and we love it here, too, so you really nailed the best two states down, IMO. ;)

    This is probably a BAD time to tell you this IF you didn’t already know it (but you probably do know this), that NC lets you deduct all your self-employment income off your NC State taxes? Yup…that was new this year, and I’m hoping it stays. I’m not sure all the ins and outs of it (I’m FAR from an accountant), but I have self-employment income in addition to regular W-2 income, and we typically pay out the wazoo for state taxes, but this year, we didn’t because we were able to deduct all that self-employment profit! I think they’re trying to encourage small business in the state. Anyways, that made me think of you . Just an FYI that you’ve probably already taken into account, but I thought I’d mention it just in case. ;)

    Congrats and best of luck for the move! We did a PA-NC move two years ago with three kids (one was 2 weeks old)…OMG…panic. I hope yours goes SUUUUPER smooth. Best of luck!!

    1. J. Money May 20, 2013 at 8:38 PM

      WHAT???? Are you serious??? There’s gotta be some catch there, that’s crazy!! I’d totally change my mind if that’s the case! Haha… or move there next :) We’re only hitting up VA for a year until we go somewhere new afterwards…

      Dang.. now you got me thinking!! Gonna have to go research that as soon as I send this comment – did not hear about that!

      1. J. Money May 20, 2013 at 8:40 PM

        Here’s the deal — “The first $50,000 of net income earned by a self-employed person is tax-exempt,” DEFINITELY GOOD! Not *as* good as everything, but $hit… that’s a savings of like $15,000-$20,000 for us! Insane… dang… GO NC!

        1. J. Money May 20, 2013 at 10:13 PM

          (also – STATE only…. but again, still good!)

          1. Jen May 21, 2013 at 9:22 AM

            There ya go! You’re on it! :) Yeah, I’m sure you’re higher than the 50K/yr…I’m closer to the 20K, so it works out GREAT for us…especially since we’re a one-income family of five. ;) And, yes, it is STATE only…but those savings help us survive the federal hit we always take.

            Best of luck in the move!! It’s gonna be a whirlwind but you’ll be glad you went through it all in the end. ;)

            1. J. Money May 21, 2013 at 2:58 PM

              Wowwww one income and a family of five! Way to rock it!! And here I thought I was smooth doing it with only three of us :) Guess you gotta get there before you hit five, eh?

  12. Lynn May 17, 2013 at 9:03 AM

    I hope you will love Virginia (whatever part you have decided to live in). I am a native and actually have never lived in another state. I even attended college here.

    1. J. Money May 20, 2013 at 10:04 PM

      Oh wow. Do you think you’ll ever venture out one day, or you totally happy there?

  13. Shafi May 17, 2013 at 9:34 AM

    Congratulations to you two and all others. Finding a place of your choice is hard to come by. Good job. We’re all happy for you.

  14. Tina@My Shiny Pennies May 17, 2013 at 10:01 AM

    Congrats! It really is a great feeling when the stars align for you. :)

  15. Ginger @ Girls Just Wanna Have Funds May 17, 2013 at 10:07 AM

    Congrats and welcome to NOVA! – Well I hope it’s NOVA! I’ve been here basically since I moved here for grad school and I LOVE EEET! You cannot pay me to move any where else! In fact, I just decided to move farther out from the city to save money on expenses while enjoying a really nice part of NOVA. I love when taking action works out in the end! Blogging about it soon! So happy for you guys – congrats again!

    1. J. Money May 20, 2013 at 10:02 PM

      You too, friend!! We’re living life, baby!

  16. Financial Black Sheep May 17, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    Congratulations! I might be moving right along with you, well not with you haha. It won’t be for a few though, because I just picked up a second part time job. Plus I need to set everything up and get it all scheduled and of course packed. Yuck! I wish I could have an estate sale and just sell most of my stuff. Good luck!

    1. J. Money May 20, 2013 at 10:04 PM

      Awesome! If I lived closer I’d help you with that estate sale and add in some of my own stuff ;)

  17. Jacob Erickson May 17, 2013 at 10:28 AM

    Awesome news, good luck with everything and let us know how it goes! My wife and I are contemplating a big move here soon too, so hearing about your experiences will be great.

  18. Melissa May 17, 2013 at 10:34 AM

    Congrats J! I’m guessing your 150 number on the amount of houses you looked at was sarcasm? We’re searching to buy a house right now and we’ve walked through at least 50 and analyzed over 130. It feels so tiring! Well good luck on the move! Aren’t you residing on the West coast currently? VA would be quite the change. :)

    1. J. Money May 20, 2013 at 10:06 PM

      Woah! Yeah, we’ve looked at over 150 homes but 99% of them online only :) Walking through 50 would take forever – but good for you! Best way to figure out what you like and don’t like for sure.

  19. Andrea May 17, 2013 at 10:51 AM

    Woohoo so glad you guys found a place! Depending on which part of the state you’ll be in, I might have to make the drive to come see you! :)

    1. J. Money May 20, 2013 at 10:06 PM

      You tell me where you want me to be and I’ll say there :) Free beer on me!

  20. Brian @ Stocks and Cents May 17, 2013 at 11:03 AM

    Congrats J$!!! That’s a great deal on that house and I think you’ll be happy in VA. It’s a great area, I know I’ve always loved it!

  21. Michelle May 17, 2013 at 11:06 AM

    Very exciting! Congrats :)

  22. Yana May 17, 2013 at 11:44 AM

    Good luck! Sounds like a great step!

  23. Kyle @ Debt Free Diaries May 17, 2013 at 12:53 PM

    Haha, I love how the landlord called you to talk about..well, you! Cracked me up! Congrats on finding a new place.

  24. Rick May 17, 2013 at 1:09 PM

    Congrats & welcome to Virginia! I’m your neighbor here in Chesapeake.

    1. J. Money May 20, 2013 at 10:07 PM

      Sweet. I’ll have to come visit your Chesapeake this Summer – have a friend in Va Beach :)

  25. Jennifer May 17, 2013 at 1:32 PM

    Congrats! My husband and I are interested in doing something similar…so question, how do you house search around a region and not just one city like most people do?

    1. J. Money May 20, 2013 at 10:20 PM

      Answer: it’s hard and drives you crazy, but it’s also fun and full of adventure :) we pretty much started with like 5 cities all across the country and then visited some and cut others out based on actual odds of it happening near term. Which really helped out and got it down to only 2 states. For example, we REALLY want to move to California, but too many variables for it to work out on *this* move if we wanted to do it this summer. So we crossed it out and moved it to “future moves” to look into – which isn’t as depressing.

      I’d start by taking road trips and hanging with family/friends that live there and then see what happens :) some places are WAY different (good or bad) in person than online for sure. Good luck!

  26. Canadian Budget Binder May 17, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    Congratulations on finally finding a new place, especially one that meets both your needs. I know when we were looking for a place we had to compromise and it worked out great!

  27. Grayson @ Debt Roundup May 17, 2013 at 2:43 PM

    Nice! Sorry you couldn’t join me in North Carolina, but Virginia is a great place as well. I hope everything goes well for you and enjoy the whirlwind of moving.

  28. Lisa E. @ Lisa Vs. The Loans May 17, 2013 at 3:35 PM

    Yay congrats! Moving is such a pain, but fun at the same time. Good luck on moving in one month!

  29. CashRebel May 17, 2013 at 6:59 PM

    That’s so funny that they called you to check you out. That’s funny stuff! Good luck with the new place, it sounds great!

  30. Mike@WeOnlyDoThisOnce May 18, 2013 at 1:06 PM

    Congratulations! Can’t wait to hear about how you make it very much your own.

  31. TeacHer May 19, 2013 at 9:41 PM

    Welcome, friend! I doubt you’re in NOVA based on the price of your place (awesome for you!) but I’m happy you’re a fellow VA resident :)

    1. J. Money May 20, 2013 at 10:21 PM

      Haha…. you don’t think we could get a downtown place in Alexandria for that? Come on ;)

  32. katherine May 19, 2013 at 10:53 PM

    Welcome to VA. I just moved back to the Richmond area after being in San Fran for the last 6 years. Still deciding if it’s permanent but it will be the base for awhile. Most of my family is here so nice to rebuild those connections.

    1. J. Money May 20, 2013 at 10:22 PM

      There you go! Those are the best sometimes, eh? Going with the flow and seeing where it takes you :) I don’t personally do so well with “permanent” – especially in housing.

  33. Courtney May 22, 2013 at 4:54 PM

    Oh man, I hear you on the urge to move once you’ve lived the military lifestyle. My whole (Army brat) childhood I thought I’d just want to stay put once I had the choice, but I’ve owned this house for three years and I want SO badly to go somewhere new without this dang house tying me down! If the rental market weren’t so dismal here I’d totally copy you.

    1. J. Money May 23, 2013 at 5:39 PM

      YES!! That’s what home ownership does to you – it ties you down and sucks the military life right out of you! Haha… One of the biggest cons no one likes to mention when you’re thinking of buying a home ;) It’s def. not for everyone!

      Maybe you can rent it out and go move somewhere else like we’re doing? It’s not as optimal as selling and cutting ties once and for all, but it’ll get you out the door finally. And maybe it’ll turn into a nice little investment over time too :)