i just got a call from Linda at the Celebration Apartments - she was letting us know that there was an opening the first week of February. it was for a larger floorplan than we had been interested in, and that was just a little to early for us (we've been planning on "march or later"), so i told her that we would wait for another apartment when it becomes available.
i was just thrilled to get a call from her - she told us that since we were the first people on the list that she would contact us anytime a one bedroom would be available. she will probably know of march openings next month, so i can't wait! i'm anxious to know my exact address, etc. the apartment that she was telling me about sounded really nice though - it was a top floor corner apartment - but it was $830/month which was just a little more than we wanted to spend. if that was the only size available i'm sure we could cough that much up, but when there are less expensive units i would tend to go with those. the floorplan we want ranges from $705 - $790 (geez, that's less than our last apartment was - and the florida ones are soooo much nicer!). we're hoping to buy a house after we live there for a little while, and i don't (assuming we like the area and everything!).
matt and i rented Spiderman last night - that was really good!
we also looked at houses together online in celebration - there are some gorgeous homes! since the town was only founded 8 years ago, all of the houses are new - but they are built in old-fashioned styles - mostly Victorian, Mediterranean, Greek Revival - most of them have HUGE porches, which is what i'm looking forward to. the yards in florida don't tend to be as big (i'm spoiled by all of the space here in the great plains of the midwest), and of course none of the houses have basements (basements aren't a good idea when you are at or even below sea level), but you can have banana trees in your yard! lol, i think that is worth it. it will be exciting to live in a tropical climate - if only for the gardening =)
there are some houses that start in the $160,000 -$170,000 range (those are the cheapest ones in celebration - ouch!). they are the "terrace houses" which are either like condos or townhomes (townhomes have yards - so i'd probably want one of them over the second story condos) and measure around 1,200 -1,700 square feet, or the "bungalow homes" which are smaller free standing homes with yards (though usually very small yards, really like courtyards) which are generally 1 or 1.5 story houses (similar to kachina's house i would imagine) that are around 1,200 - 1,600 sqaure feet. i think of the cheaper homes i like the bungalow homes since they have yards and porches, and aren't attached to other houses. the next tier of homes are the "garden homes" which are the ones i'd really like to aim for. they are all 2 story homes - with larger yards (often with in-ground swimming pools!). i would be much more likely to buy a house with a pool if i lived in florida since you could actually use it all year round. i wouldn't want one if it monopolized all of the yard space though. the "garden homes" run between $200,00 - $250,00. the best ones (of course) are the ones in the $240,000s. they are often around 2,000 square feet which is pretty damned big. some of them have "mother in law" apartments (about the size of our current place, with kitchens and everything) over their detached garages which can be rented out for income or can be used as guest houses. i was playing with a mortgage calculator online and determined that (depending on how hefty of a down payment i wanted to put down and how good the interest rates are) the monthly payments on a $240,000 home would be around $1000-$1200 a month. that's really not nearly as bad as i expected. that's about what we would pay for an apartment half as big, and at least we'd be getting equity rather than just losing $1000/month in rent. geez, for the rent we'll be paying for just a one bedroom apartment we could be paying the monthly payments on one of the $170,000 bungalow homes! lol, after we get settled we should probably start looking at houses. it would be nice to save up a huge down payment so we wouldn't have to get a very big loan at all. i'd like to own some property in celebration as soon as i can. i've kept tabs on Seaside, Florida (a similar "new urbanism" planned city, it's where "The Truman Show" was filmed), which recently had their 20 year anniversary. you cannot buy even a 1 bedroom cottage there for less than one million dollars now (well, actually there was one condo i saw that was *only* $990,000!). the houses are lovely there though - http://www.seasidefl.com/property/realtypage.html
so, since celebration is basically the same concept and even utilized some of the same urban planners the real estate might even appreciate similarly. who could know? celebration only has about 5,000 residents currently, the town will continue growing until it has reached about 15,000 - 20,000 residents when all of the growth phases are complete. it is surrounded by a thick green-belt of government protected wetlands (ie swamps) so it won't expand beyond its intended boundaries, nor will any of the other cities around it ever encroach upon it, which is nice to know it will always be a "small town" sort of thing. it's not a gated community, but there is only one long windy road that leads into town and there are a lot of neighborhood patrol type cars around, so it's a very safe city as well. they boast a "zero percent" crime rate which sounds very reassuring. i'm tired of getting my house/cars broken into, even in the relatively nice part of kansas city i live in now. i also like the fact that the city is designed for pedestrians, so unless i want to leave the city limits i can pretty much walk (or bike, since i plan to get one) wherever i want. i'm mostly excited about being able to walk less than a block to the post office, for obvious reasons. i won't have to follow my "I ship Mondays and Thursdays" policy any more - i can ship things whenever i want =)
oh my, this is a long tedious journal entry. i need to PAINT!