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For Your Marriage

Meet Sara and Justin. They married in June 2011, they welcomed their first child in August 2012.

Compromise 101

Sara: By far, the most frustrating portion of the whole engagement process has been choosing where to live.

We both agreed we’d like to rent for at least the first year or so of our marriage so we can save some money. However, location, location, location seems to be the grand question. We both decided we’d really like a “new” place so it’s not Justin moving into Sara’s place, or Sara moving into Justin’s place. We really want an “our” place.

Since my lease is up soon, Justin and I went place-shopping. As we looked at both houses and apartments to rent, I realized how blessed I am to live in the place I have lived for the past three years. It’s clean, decently priced, and fairly large with additional locked basement storage. My only complaint is the lack of washer and dryer hookups in my apartment.

When we first began looking, we had a list of wants a mile long. Dishwasher, covered parking, washer and dryer hookups, no yard work or snow removal and lots of storage space topped the list.

As Justin and I saw the available houses and apartments, we were brought down to reality. I realized I probably wasn’t going to find an apartment as spacious as my current one, and he realized we may not be able to have covered parking for both of our cars.

Justin: Just as with any decision, Sara makes up her mind right away and gets very excited.

Sara: Of course!

Justin: I am the opposite which is good because it always provides balance. She always spurs me into action and I always provide perspective. This week, Sara located a little 1 bedroom duplex which seemed just “perfect” and best of all it would save us a lot of money. In fact we had to see it right away and by “we” I mean Sara (I think she was already arranging the furniture in her mind). Now I knew the basic location and the condition of most of the rental properties in that area, but Sara could not wait to see it.

When we did finally see the duplex, it only took Sara about 1 minute to realize that this was not the place she had dreamed of as our first “home.” What finally sealed the deal for her was when the landlord said the stairwell was too short and that a queen size bed would not fit into the bedroom. He did make one suggestion for us. He said, “All you have to do to make it work is cut your box spring in half. Then you can move it up in two pieces. The mattress should go if you just bend it a little.”

Sara: Thankfully, after our initial afternoon of hunting, we both agree that an apartment makes the most financial sense for our situation. I decided “clean” was a higher priority on the list than what I had initially given it credit. And we both agreed to rule out a few places. After factoring in the increased utility costs for a house, we also agreed to look at apartments at least for the first year.

So, Justin and I have a few more apartment complexes to look at, but we have changed our priorities a bit. Hopefully, we’ll find “our” new place soon.