Housing wants/needs

I try to cut costs wherever and whenever I can and one of the biggest cost cutting undertakings has been with our utilities.

When we moved to this place last year, we had a very specific list of things we were looking for.

1. More space (duh)
2. Windows that were not in direct sunlight
3. Tile floors
4. Newer HVAC system
5. Newer appliances
Well we got more space but it was more expensive each month for the rent. No biggie since it only about $50 more a month then what we were paying, BUT water was included in the rent. Score! That completely offset the higher rent.

The way that our building is situated, none of our windows get direct light. This was a huge deciding factor in us getting this unit. Our old place had windows all along the front of the unit which faced west. The sun came through the windows for about 8 hours during the summer. The house never got cool. NEVER.

Tile floors was a must. I absolutely despise vacuuming. It's loud and I don't like the way it smells. I know... it's weird. Anyway, tile floors stay cool in the hot summer months and if our feet are cooler, then our bodies are cooler and we can leave the thermostat at a higher temperature.

The newer HVAC was also a must. Our old place had an ancient HVAC unit. It was so loud we had to turn it off just to be able to watch the TV. Talk about annoying. It was inefficient and expensive to run.

Newer appliances was a want, not a necessity, however I really REALLY wanted newer appliances. We lucked out with this place. This was the model condo for the community so the appliances had never been used. Newer appliances also equals lower utility costs so it was a win-win for us.

Nearly everything on our list was geared toward saving money in the long run. I can honestly say, it has paid off.

When we moved in we replaced all the bulbs with CFL bulbs and plugged all of our electronics into power strips/surge protectors. Every night I turn off the switches (if they have even been turn on). Lights stay off for the majority of the day. We are lucky enough to have 2 big sliding glass doors that let in a LOT of light. Our electricity bill has been slashed in half since moving here.

Also, when we renewed our leased for another year, the manager gave us the option to renew for 14 months. If we chose that option, we would get a discount of nearly $100 a month!! We absolutely jumped on that offer.

Now not everything here is rainbows and unicorns. There is the occasional ogre that pops it ugly head in here. There are definitely new items that we have added to the list that will be for our new place. Land being one of them. Being in a condo community has it's ups and downs. The biggest down for us has been dogs. People love their dogs here but don't like picking up their poo. And the dogs especially LOVE our back yard.

Doesn't like dog poo

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