July 2, 2013

Welcome to Paradise

Whew! June flew! We're just days away from the greatest holiday there is. How did that happen? Shouldn't it be Memorial Day? That's what it feels like. Even with the excessive heat the past week I still can't believe it is July. Speaking of the heat, I never saw more that 118 so I don't think we broke any records. It's been toasty, though. By Thursday, we'll have spent a week 113+ it's a bit unusual, but I don't mind it. We had a gorgeous June. The weather couldn't have been better. Sure it was triple digits, but I live in the desert. You come to expect 100's, plus I enjoy it until it reaches 110+ then it's hard to be outside during the day.

So back to June, it was a wild ride for us. A month ago was my first weekend at home in months. I took advantage and caught up on house work. It was exhausting. Not to mention, I looked around at everything that was aging, worn and in need of being replaced, but as a renter there is nothing I can do about it. Unless I want to pay out of pocket. So June 2nd, I casually mentioned to Frank that I wanted to move. Our lease was up in March and we'd been month-to-month since. Frank wasn't surprised, we went and looked at new homes that day.

We only found one we liked near Southern Highlands. American West is the builder, they built our house and their designs speak to us. The current market is inflated and the home builders are playing into it by only releasing a few homes at time to keep demand high. We have been burned by real estate so many times it wasn't a game we wanted to get back into, not now, anyway. I suspect another bubble burst is on the horizon. Until homeowners are people that actually live and work in Las Vegas our housing prices are false. Right now, it is investors that have drove up prices. Plus, there are still so many shortsales and foreclosures yet to file. I'd rather roll the dice and rent.

Coincidentally, two days later, we received a request from our landlord to sign a lease until March 2014. We explained we preferred to stay month-to-month, but they decided to raise the rent $400/mo to do so. No thanks. It was the push we needed to leave.

We looked at house rentals, but they were all too big. I wanted to downsize. We had no need for our 2,500sq ft home. We used six rooms in our house (kitchen, living room, two bedrooms and two bathrooms). It was a lot of wasted space and expense. Plus, we're not home often so the maintenance became such a burden. I considered townhomes and condos, but ultimately we decided on an apartment. No HOA, most have garages, and instant availability, plus there are great incentives. June 9th we found where we wanted to live. We had keys by June 14.

We decided to move across town to Paradise, near the South Point. We like the area because of the convenience to I-15 and 215. Traffic isn't too congested. It's not master planned and there is plenty of shopping and conveniences near by. We've been in Spring Valley for ten years so moving from the SW to the SE felt like unchartered territory. It felt like a whole new city. We were excited to discover new eats. I was thrilled my commute would be shorter despite being five miles further from work.

You might think we're crazy, we've heard it from friends and family. But we're looking at major savings and no fuss. I cannot tell you how excited I am that I will not have a $450 bill from NV Energy this summer. By simplifying our lives we'll have more time and money to do what we love. We'll miss skinnydipping and our Fourth of July parties, but other than that? I don't see us missing much. Our apartment complex has two pools and a gym with a sauna. Our place is 1,100sq ft with two bedrooms, two bathrooms and a one car garage. The complex was built as condos so there is no one above or beneath us. The garages are on the first floor and living space is on the second. Only downsides noted so far is the gated community and the speed bumps. We had both at our condos and it's such an annoyance. If that's the worst of it, we'll deal. The ice cream man even came thru the complex the other day. There will be no shortage of choco-tacos.

We moved from the house into the apartment one car load at a time. We sold as much as we could beforehand and had great luck with Craigslist and our moving sale. We thought we did good, but truthfully, there is more we should part with, I'm working on it as I unpack. Anything kept must bring us joy or must have been used in the past year. We made a good chunk of change on our stuff (enough to cover the new mattress set we bought) and I cashed in change I had collected around the house. The coins netted us $150 that I cashed in at Coin Star for an Amazon Giftcard. A new desk is on its way and I have money leftover for my next purchase.

Our first night in the apartment was June 22, which ironically, was our 10th anniversary of our arrival to Las Vegas. Ten years later, we found ourselves in Paradise. Appropriate, no? Anyhow, each day after was spent at the house moving and cleaning until June 27. That's when we turned over the keys. We had great times in our house. We owned it for three years, and then rented it for two more. We have no regrets letting it go. We look forward to the next chapter.


Anonymous said...

WOW - explains why you have been selling off some vehicles.
All the best in your new place. Take care - Canadian Guy EH :)

Jay said...

Congratulations! It sounds like you've figured out what your housing market is really all about - those investors. I think you're smart to postpone purchasing...

Your new place sounds pretty darn nice. I'm not sure it is even an apartment, but more so a condo.

Anyway, happy 4th!

Kellee said...

Thanks for the well wishes!