New apartment

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We have moved into a new apartment! Everything about it is bigger and better, which was sorely needed.

We live in the same neighborhood, but in a better, quieter spot. Previously, we were right off of the highway, but now we are on a side street. We are still walking distance to the stadium, just on the opposite side now, which is great. I foresee a lot more rodeo country concerts in my future! We are also now walking distance to the metro rail, which will be great for downtown events. Prior, we had to go to the park and ride and pay $3 in addition to our metro ticket.

Judging by some of our neighbors wearing scrubs, this complex seems to be a popular living spot for medical students and or doctors working at the Texas Medical Center, which is just a few stops away on the metro.

Our first apartment in Houston was a one bed and one bath which was a tight squeeze, especially since we were used to a three bedroom, two bath house in Pennsylvania. There was room for everything, but there was no denying that we were cramped.

The main goal was to get a second bedroom that we could turn into an office for Derek to do his school work in, and for me to do my scrapbooking! Previously, Derek’s desk was the first thing you saw when you walked through the front door, which meant you also saw his messes! I am much happier now that his mess is contained to a room that is NOT the living room. This will also help the both of us because now Derek can keep the light on at night if he needs to stay up late, and I won’t hear the click-clack of his keyboard either, so hopefully I will sleep better!

In the end we got much more than just that extra bedroom. Now we have two walk-in closets, two bathrooms, a new washer and dryer ( that we just purchased last week) and a private balcony! Something that we definitely did not need, but what made me fall in love instantly with the place was the big brick fireplace! It’s funny that it takes moving to Texas to get a fireplace.

When walking through the door, you can just FEEL that it is bigger, even with all of the boxes still laying everywhere. I can only imagine how it will feel when everything is done and put away. When we were in the process of moving in, Derek would call my name from somewhere within the apartment and I had to call back, “Where are you?” That is a good problem to have.

We thought it would be tough to find a place that we liked and we would have to see 10 different apartments and have a hard time making a decision. However, we only looked at two apartments and knew right away that the first one was the one for us.

I was initially worried because this apartment was at the top of our budget, but sometimes good things happen at just the right time: I got a raise at work! Now we are more comfortable and don’t have to worry about being stretched too thin.

Even moving a one bedroom, one bathroom apartment is tough work, and we had over a week to do it too! I hope that we stay in this new apartment for quite a few years, until, hopefully, we are ready to buy a home.

Stay tuned for pictures of the apartment, which will come once we are more settled in.

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Differences between house and apartment complex

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Derek and I have been taking note of the differences between living in an apartment complex and living in a house.

The good: When we first moved in, we had some minor issues like a leaky dishwasher, and needing new insulation by the front door. It is so nice to let maintenance know and to have them come and fix it for you, no charge for us.

Our complex has a pool and a small exercise room. I have used the pool a few times already. Will probably go on a treadmill or bike machine soon. It is nice to have these amenities for our use.

The bad: We’re not used to having to go to the row of mail boxes by the front office to get our mail. Sometimes it’s two, three days before we remember to get the mail. Also, packages and things that need to be signed for don’t get delivered directly to our door, so if it is a heavy package, we have to carry it back, or we have to go to the post office since the item couldn’t be signed for.

We are learning to tread lightly. We aren’t sure what can and can’t be heard. When we accidentally drop something on the floor, the downstairs neighbor probably hears it. Whoops. The other night, Derek started hammering something for an art project at 10 at night. I said, “what are you doing????” It seems he had temporarily forgotten about our situation, so he got a book out to place on top of the table and muffle the sound of the hammering.  Things like the volume of the TV and our music matter now.

The ugly: Continuing what I listed in “The bad,” the walls aren’t exactly thick around here. Our next door neighbor plays music often (at least it’s not in the middle of the night so far) and you can hear the front doors slamming shut all the time. Yes, I said slamming. I’m not sure what our neighbor’s door did to her to deserve such treatment! The front doors are only a few feet away from each other, so every time someone knocks on her door, we think it is someone at our door.  However, this being the worst thing about living here isn’t too bad considering that when we owned the house, our next door neighbors then worked on demolition derby cars each summer. The clanking around in the garage and driveway was AWFUL.

We have a year lease here. When the year is almost up, we will reevaluate. We could stay here, or find some place else that may be more accommodating.

What are your experiences with apartment living? Good or bad?

Our apartment

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In Wellsboro we had a three bedroom, two bathroom house. Just for sake of affordability, we knew that we would have to downsize to a one bedroom, one bathroom apartment, at least for the first year that we are here.

So, officially, we downsized from 1,836 square feet to 602 square feet. It’s really not that bad when you think about it, because our house had a large dining room that was empty, and the kitchen and the living room were over sized. Plus there was that extra bedroom that was never used except for when someone spent the night.

Our apartment makes efficient use of what little space it has. The rooms that don’t really matter, like the dining nook, the kitchen, and the bathroom, are tiny, so the livable spaces like the living room and bedroom are larger.

I can handle only having one bathroom, but in the future I definitely want to have two bedrooms, just for the sake of having an extra closet and a place to shove all your extra stuff!

It is tough having so much stuff and not very many places to put it. Sure, our walk-in closet is huge, but when you put your clothes in, that fills up most of the space. So we’ve gotten clever, and we’ve hidden things behind doors and behind and underneath the bed. So that second bedroom would be helpful.

If there is one thing I could change right now about the apartment, it would be the cabinet space in the kitchen. There wasn’t a drawer wide enough to put our silverware in, so we had to buy a holder to put on the counter top. All of the dishes are stacked up on top of one another, so just one more cabinet or drawer would help.

But we’ll survive. We got everything we wanted to reasonably fit inside, and nothing important was left behind in Pennsylvania.

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