....is finding a place to rent. Sure, it sounds easy, but in our case it really isn't. There are a number of factors that conspire against us at any given time.
1. Rental property in the area we live is a bit more expensive these days as everyone is gearing up for an influx of military personnel over the next few years, which has pushed real estate prices higher. Many of the places we have looked at are out of our price range. Of course, location also works against us in this realm because we are looking for places that are close to the coast. If you can see a puddle of spit, its waterfront and the price goes up. We just can't afford $1500 a month for a house with a ditch in the backyard.
2. We have a dog. She's a small, well-trained dog, but rental property owners are more often than not reluctant to allow pets. I can understand this to some extent, but it makes things even more difficult.
3. My wife is picky. She's very particular about what kind of house she wants to live in. Sometimes I think these proclivities are superficial (and most people would agree with me). Then again, I lived in a trailer for a good portion of my life and most anything is better than that, so I may not be as picky as she'd like. Still, she rejects a lot of places out of hand, that I wouldn't have a problem with. So we keep looking.
You may be asking why we are moving. Well, right now I drive 46 miles to work and she drives 42 miles. Its an even split, but she doesn't like the driving as much as I don't mind it, and I'm willing to shoulder a bit more of it. We like where we live now, so if we don't find a new place it won't be the end of the world. But, my stepdaughter starts high school in the fall and wherever we end up come August is where we will be for the next four years because we don't want to bounce her from high school to high school. The district we are in now is good, but where we are looking is better. It would cut the wife's drive in half, and lengthen mine a little, but not too much. We would buy if we could, but our credit isn't the greatest, we don't have much of a down payment to put forth, and the price issue would come into play as much, if not more, than in the rental market. We want to buy something, but it may have to wait awhile. We looked at two houses today that were both DUMPS! And even I will admit that, so you know they were pretty bad. One of them even had the eviction notice for the previous tenants still taped to the door. Back to the drawing board.