And the winner is...

...probably the smaller house. We *think*. How's that for non-committal?

We went and walked through the "Hot Tub House" and THERE'S NO HOT TUB!!! Seems it broke and it was removed with no plans to replace it. AND there was no corresponding drop in rent either. Not that the price wasn't already a good price but when you're using a hot tub to advertise a rental property, you might want to refigure the rent if said hot tub is no longer included.

Beyond that, the house really didn't have much "WOW" quality to it. Yes, the yard is nice. But the kitchen wasn't as good as the smaller house nor did it come with a fridge. The "Hot Tub House" had 2 living areas - a big front room/dining room and then a smaller family room toward the back - but the bedrooms were small, the layout was a little awkward, and the living areas (living rooms, dining room, kitchen) were a PEACH/white combination. Blech. Last time I did peach on walls I was 16 and it was 1988. I'm older and wiser now.

The smaller house has a few things going for it - things that, by taking them into consideration, make me realize I may actually be on my way to becoming an "adult". Shh...don't TELL anyone...

The smaller house is closer to (what I consider to be) a better school. So when Princess Trouble starts school, she will be going to the best school available to her. And secondly, the smaller house is less expensive. Granted, we're only talking $250 but over the course of 3-6 years (if McGyver extends...) we're talking anywhere from $9,000 to $18,000 in savings. That's a BIG consideration. That could mean the difference between having ALL of our bills paid off before we leave this rock or not. The difference between really making some headway on college funds for the kids or a down payment fund for a house. BIG consideration.

The other consideration is the property manager. We feel a bit of loyalty to the manager of the smaller house - he hadn't even advertised the house when he told us about it. From all accounts this is a man who will bend over backward to help and does his job WELL. He goes the extra mile if your spouse is deployed which makes ME feel better.

The manager of the "Hot Tub House"...well, he kind of reminds me of a stereotypical used car salesman. Not completely smarmy but on the verge of being so. Kind of makes me wonder how he would respond to a 2am phone call when my hot water heater explodes.

We have our application in on both. We are set to sign a lease on the smaller house on Friday. And we will, assuming nothing drastic changes between now and then.

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