Home Uncategorized Our New Place – Hopefully Home

Our New Place – Hopefully Home

by Jessica

Grant’s Thoughts:

Sooo.. the apartment search has ended. So Jess and I have been looking for apartments lately. You ask why?!?!? Well it is because we have been blessed enough to have had a couple in the young marrieds group to let us house sit for them while they went out of the country for 6 months.  Well they are coming back into town near the end of the month of February, and we needed to find a place.

Well Tanya and Wilson (my brother and sister-in-law) mentioned when they came to austin they rented at a apartment complex called Camden Laurel Ridge. They seem to have had the same intentions as us.. Live frugally and live joyfully with an apartment that one doesn’t have to buy things to fill up. Jessica and I do not need a lot of space, but hey if we could find a lot of space for cheap, well then we wouldn’t back down from that. So we dicided to check out that apartment along with some other ones.

Well, I have been working at the same place as Jessica as contract work, programming their CNC Machine.  So we decided to make an apointment during our lunches, and then after work to get two done.  Then try the same thing the next day. Well talk about not coming home until late! So late, that you just want to go straight to bed and sleep. So we were getting burnt out.. well at least I was. I kinda didn’t really feel like any apartment was working out to what we wanted. Now don’t get me wrong, we understand we aren’t going to get what we really want if we wanna keep it cheap. And as long as I can call a place home, that is good enough for me. We do not need granite counter tops and brand new appliances. We just need a box with a roof on it. But at least a box that Jessica can decorate on the inside.  Sooooo… We really didn’t like some of the apartment complexes because they had their monthly rent, then they had mandatory fees of: valet trash, tv access, etc. what in the world!!>!??!

So first the valet trash is a joke. You pay over 10$ just to be able to put your trash outside your door, and someone comes every night and takes your trash to the dumpster that is literally no more than 20 yards away. If you are that lazy, and have the money then I guess that is cool. I myself am not willing to pay for someone to take my trash 20 yards away to the dumpster. I can do that myself and keep my 18$ a month. Then we saw some apartments that had like a mandatory 45$ fee for cable tv. We do not own a TV, let alone watch it. We do not want to be paying for things we don’t want or use. So this has been stressing us out lately. This is a very shortened story of the truth but yeah you’re lucky.

So this past Saturday, we were kinda on the fence of just choosing one of the apartments we already looked at and just going and signing a lease. Well we decided to at least look at one more if not more. Sounds kinda dumb to not look more.. but what you don’t realize is that we are looking at getting an apartment that is roughly 40-50 minutes away from where we currently are. So we weren’t jumping for joy to go and look at more apartments. While we were looking online at apartments, we saw one that caught our eye.

Well the name of the place is called “Chardonnay at Wells Branch.” I was kind of laughing at it because I was thinking that it was trying to sound really high class with the wine name and then it would be real ghetto. Well we saw the prices and then looked at the square footage we got for the prices and were impressed. So we thought heck we could call and find out some more info. Well we called and found out the true prices so we decided to take the drive up there and check it out. So we go there and are talking with a really cool honest girl that works there and she is telling us about the stuff about the apartment blah blah blah.. And to shorten it up we asked every question in the book and even some she has never been asked before. I’m not sure if that would good or bad but the way she responded was genuine. I really liked that. We were very impressed with what we heard about the apartment. She mentioned they have a look-n-lease, which means if we look at the inside and then sign a lease in less than 24 hours we could get a discount. Well we decided to sleep on it and the next day after church we went there to sign. The deal was that we would get $300 off of the first month. So the other thing we were worried about was our credit scored just because we had no clue what they were. So long story short there was nothing to be worried about. Jessica’s credit score was 718 and mine was 711, which I think is good. I really have no clue. What I do know is that we were approved instantly.

So the sweet details:

The apartment we are renting is a 712 sq ft apartment. One bedroom and one bath. The price of the rent is $530 a month. But then prorate the 300 we get off the first month over the 7 month lease and that is only roughly $487, then we will end up getting $100 rebate from rent.com and we are going to prorate/budget that across our 7 month lease and that will take out monthly rent cost to roughly $473. You can’t beat that!.. well maybe you can but we couldn’t with any other place we found. And the place comes with a washer and dryer in it at not additional charge! We were going to have to craigslist that stuff. So $473 for 712 sq ft of space is Totally God. I feel really blessed to have found this apartment. I mean we haven’t moved in yet so it could possibly suck.. but at least we can still call it home, even if it does end up sucking.. which of course it won’t. The place also allows the choice of at&t dsl or cable! Most other cheap apartments we were looking into only had cable to choose from. I kinda lean toward DSL because you actually get what you pay for unlike cable where mostly you do but not always. Today, actually, during my lunch break I called time warner and AT&T to see what their prices were along with listening to them both try to up-sell me right after I told them I do not want any bundles or anything beside just internet. Well I called back to AT&T to get some i-net going and got a better lady on the phone and got some straight answers without her trying to sell me crap I didn’t need. Awesome.

So, Got an apartment, and have internet setup to be installed when we move in.. everything is accounted for .. haha just joking. Well only kinda. As soon as we found out we were approved for the apartment, and we signed the lease agreement. I booked a flight to go to Searcy, Arkansas because we still have a storage unit with all of our stuff in it. We are so excited to actually have our own things again. Then I already reserved a penske truck to get the stuff and come back to Austin, TX. So friday I leave and my close friend Simon (Zeemon) is thankfully able to pick me up from the little rock airport. Then I will get the truck and hopefully be able to load everything in it by the end of the night. Then I will leave Saturday to come back to austin. So Yeah I will have another post with our personal address and things like that.

Jessica’s Thoughts:

Grant pretty much covered everything above, but as I see the pictures below I will try to add anything that I think is needed in this post.

The sign for our Apartment Complex

Here you can see the Chardonnay sign. We were impressed with this apartment complex, and I hope it lives up to our expectations. Grant and I are pretty easy going just as long as there isn’t much crime, loud people at night, or ghetto-ness we are cool.

The Central Area of the Apartment.

One of the nice things that we heard it that the managers to this property have been there for more than 15 years which is very promising. I like following rules, and I like it when Managment does as well. The two leasing agent that we spoke with on the property both lived on site, and one even had her kids there.  She even said that if this place wasn’t safe enough she would have moved away a while ago,but I feel that makes this property a little bit better because they seem to care about it a little bit more than some people.

Some of the other Buildings.

Here is the typical front of the apartment buildings. We were able to tour our apartment the day we came to the property. We also had an option to take a different one with updated appliance,but the ones in ours work fine, and there wasn’t a huge difference between them. Also, if you know anything about Grant, you know that he likes his privacy, so we got the MOST secluded apartment buliding possible.

The 3 foot pool & the 5 foot pool.

I know that there are a lot of pools here,but I LOVE to swim especially during the Austin summers when it is sooo hot.  So this is always a nice thing to have. I mean I know we can always go to Tanya and Wilson’s and swim,but it’s nice to have everything this accessable.

A different View.

One of the best things of this location has to be all of the stores that it is by! We are VERY close to every store I can think of from Walmart, Target, Walgreens, CVS, to Whole Foods, and closer to a Fiesta now…. I feel so blessed! I had a lot lower expectations, and it is just soo nice to have them met and exceeded.

I am literally one mile away from work. It would be really nice to ride my bike to work,but I know there are not side walks in one spot,but we will see. When it is raining or really cold I wont,but it is nice to think that if we did have car troubles, I would still be able to walk or ride a bike to work.

The 8 foot pool.

There is also an 8 foot pool which is very nice because most newer apartment complex aren’t allowed to make them this depth anymore because people who can’t swim have a higher chance of drowning…. go figure. So no matter what I am HAPPY about a real pool!

It is amazing how many people in our Youngmarried’s group have offered to help us move into our apartments it is great. We actually don’t have that much stuff, but am so happy to have so many people willing to share their time and energy on their precious weekends.

The Workout Room.

Grant and I have really neglected working out for a long time, so having this facility is an amazing way to help us out with that. I really hope that we utitlize it because I know that the both of us just want to be healthy.

Another view.

I know that the excuse of not having enough time is very common for working out,but lately, we have barely had an hour of time at home because of crazy work schedules, looking for apartments, and doing church activites to ourselves to do anything at all. So, living closer to everything hopefully will make a difference in most aspects of our lives.

Living Room of the Model Apartment.

And the inside pictures BEGIN!!!!! here you can see the pictures of the not so well decorated model home. But at least you get a decent idea of the space is here.

There you can see a fire place!

Why YES, our place does have a wood burning fireplace. This was definitely not on the top list of priorities, but it is nice to have just encase. Since our furniture is very dorm roomish and we are not planning on buying any more until we actually need some or our loans are paid off, it is nice to have a better focal point than my Ikea couch.

The Kitchen view.

The open floor plan was one of the biggest selling features! Amazingly, this was very hard to find. I understand in houses areas closed off are nice,but in an apartment you need all of the space you can get without a lot of  walls!

The dining Nook

Our dining table is smaller than this,but I am glad we actually have somewhere to put it. WOOT!

A Kitchen view.

Here is the kitchen, nothing to fancy,but it will get the job done! You can also see the washer and dryer in the unit which was an added bonus for sure.

Part one of the Galley Kitchen.

There is no pantry here, so we will have to come up with something,but we will make it work. We were very excited to find out that most of these drawers work. Why you might ask? Well, a lot of the model apartments had weird layouts, false drawer fronts with people who weren’t sure if they were real in the official units.

Part Two of the Galley Kitchen.

We know that the appliances aren’t way up to date,but we can afford this place, and as long as they work we are happy and grateful!

The Bathroom.

I have to say that this bathroom is bigger than the one that we are using at the Rivas (the house we are in right now), or any bathroom that we have had together since we were married, SO, that is pretty cool.

Bedroom One – The worst possible bed spread and picture,but oh well.

This bedroom seems a lot nicer and bigger in person, and I think this is the worst POSSIBLE picture above the head board and bedding,but with that aside I am still excited to have our own room, and since our unit is a corner unit we have 2 windows, so beat that werid manly looking room! It is nice because we are a corner unit, extra windows, a more secluded patio, and we are the last building of the property, so not only do we have more privacy,but we have a lot of parking spots in front of our unit, so if people come and visit, then they won’t have issues finding a spot.

The other View.

We were definitley surprised with how big the closet was here which is good because I have a lot of shoes!

This floorplan, but it is missing the fireplace & shelving to the right of the fireplace.

Here is the floorplan that they gave us, it is missing the fireplace and the shelves next to the walls which we will have to show later sometime.

This floor plan is what happens when two nerds are toooo excited about their new place, and draft all of their furniture into the floor plan before they have even signed off on the lease or been approved. So, I’m just glad that we got the place otherwise, I think we would have been back to square one on finding an apartment because we had seen exactly what we wanted and couldn’t have.

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5 comments

Irene (Kallus) Reinhardt February 11, 2010 - 7:57 am

Jessica and Grant,
I am so happy for you!
May God bless you in this new area!
Love,
Irene

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Ashley February 11, 2010 - 8:25 am

YEAAAAAAA!!!!!!! What a great deal you guys got on that place! That bedroom was pretty funny, I can’t believe you didn’t love the art work 😉

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Mom February 11, 2010 - 8:34 am

I am so excited for you! Yep, it was a God thing to be able to find this gem of a place. Can’t wait to see it next time I am in Austin (April)! Love you both bunches!

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Grandma February 11, 2010 - 1:46 pm

It looks like a great place to live with plenty of conveniences. I hope you are going to get to be at Jacob’s wedding since we missed out on seeing everyone at Christmas. See you then, we hope. God bless. Love, Grandma

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Nicole Boehrig February 14, 2010 - 8:35 am

Holy cow! Sean & I can’t even believe it! Incredible. We live in a place with small sq-ft (I think) for $650. And we don’t have a swimming pool, or washer/dryer. Hah and we thought our place was awesome. However I can walk to work! 🙂 Slightly jealous, but that’s awesome guys! Persistence is the key. Also, looooove that you pro-rated the rent. That is something Sean would do.

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