As I mentioned before, it was more stressful than I imagined it would be. We really wanted to have something picked out before we left so that we could schedule our furniture delivery but we also didn't want to go into something blindly. Luckily, after tons of research and talking to several friends that have lived there recently, we were able to find a townhouse that is pretty much exactly what we were looking for! It's a little over 1500 square feet which is not huge, but definitely bigger than some of the places I had looked at before. It's also well within our budget, which is another huge plus!
Here's how it stacks up to our wish list:
-garage- 2 car garage. Yay!! (I doubt we'll be parking two cars in it though. We have tons of furniture that I don't see fitting in the house so we will either be storing it in one side of the garage, renting a storage unit or selling it) But at least we will be able to park one car inside! :)
-storage space- built in storage in the garage and walk-in closet in master
-3 bedrooms/2 baths- check!
-playroom/office area- Nope! For now we will use the tiny third bedroom as playroom/office.
-somewhat updated kitchen and bathrooms- check! I'm not talking granite countertops or anything, but at least they don't look like they're straight out of the 70's
-safe area- According to my research it is!
-yard or close access to parks for E- we don't have a yard but there are 5 playgrounds in our development and one is just right around the corner from our house. (The one problem is that they have sand but hopefully E will get over her sand phobia soon!) ;)
-washer/dryer hookups- yep! And a closed off laundry room. This may not sound like much but our house in Abu Dhabi had the washer and dryer in the kitchen and it was annoying!
-porch or patio for barbecuing and sitting outside- a small one but it's better than nothing
-close to Jesse's work (the closer the better)- not as close as we had originally hoped
-single family home or condo without upstairs/downstairs neighbors- not a single family home but it is a townhouse with neighbors on either side. I wish we could have gotten an end unit but I'm super happy that we won't have anyone living above or below us
-neighborhood that doesn't feel too crowded- I'm not sure about this yet. Our driveway is tiny and it doesn't look like their is a ton of parking but I know we will make it work.
-walking trails/sidewalks easily accessible- yes! There are also hiking trails and a lake within a few miles! I am so, so excited about this!
-close vicinity to shopping/grocery stores/etc- Another plus! We'll have Target, Wal-Mart and Costco (among many others) within 10 miles.
So, as you can see, we got really lucky finding this place! I think the only thing we don't have is a pool but I'm sure we'll find one to visit soon.
Even though we have only seen a few pictures and we haven't seen the place in person, I feel really confident in our choice. We'll be picking up our keys later this week and I am so excited! We're also expecting the delivery of our furniture and household goods that we left in storage three years ago. I can't wait to get it all unpacked and set up. I honestly don't remember half of what we stored so it will be fun going through all of it.
Most of all, I'm looking forward to getting settled and starting our new life in California. I feel like it's been a long process with lots of planning involved, but I know in the end it will all be worth it!
As soon as we are settled and have internet, I'll be sharing pictures of our new place! I hope we love it as much as we think we will! :)