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Sunday, December 12, 2010


I LOVE LOVE LOVE our new house!

When I first started house hunting via the internet I became discouraged.  I originally had visions of an older home with lots of personality and original features, however once I started looking all I could find in our budget, in safe neighborhoods, were town homes from the 1980s and 1970s.  I felt if we were going to live in a town home, something I did not want to do again, we might as well forgo the commute from Virginia Beach and head to housing.  All seemed to go very smoothly at first, but then after a few conversations with the staff in the housing office it became clear we were going to be squirreled away in a two bedroom 900 sq ft town home.  I *suppose* I could have made this work, but what kept coming back to me was the unfairness of the money situation.  Yes, I know life is not fair, but in my opinion this is a situation where concessions could have been made.

In the military on top of the *base pay* Cayce receives he is also given a Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH).  This rate is determined by 1. Location 2. Rank and 3.  Military member having dependents or not.  This amount is given to us, and we can either choose to live on the economy spending however much we want on the housing or choose to live in government housing and pay the ENTIRE amount back to government.  It's hit and miss at times.  Some housing is fabulous and a steal for the amount of BAH received, sometimes it evens out, and sometimes, such as this time it's flat out robbery. 

When the decision is made to take housing the selection of what home you are given is based on rank and number of dependents, but the number of dependents weighs more than rank.  I feel, pretty much, Cayce and I were being punished for only having one child.  The home that was being assigned to us as an E6 family, with 10 years in, and one child was decent, but the hitch was we would be paying $1750 for the exact same house an E1, fresh out of boot camp with his wife would only be paying $1350 each month.  If we had one more child we would have been given a larger home with another bedroom, but because it took us 6 years to have a baby we were getting screwed financially by the Navy.  So I took my indignation and went on a super house hunt.

I found some very promising choices after searching to the ends of the internet.  We took our happy selves up to Norfolk (known here on out as Hampton Roads) for a whirlwind tour.  By the time we left Beaufort we only had two homes scheduled, and I had calls and emails into three other possibilities.  We spent the first day driving all over with my addresses and doing drive-bys of homes to decide if we wanted to see the inside. The three promising homes I found in the actual city of Norfolk were a bust.  Unfortunately, the first one accepted a signed lease that day, we could never connect the agent on the second home (a nice game of phone tag), and the third one was a disaster on the inside.  So much for no commute for Cayce.  My anxiety was quickly ratcheting to a scary level. 

We looked at a couple homes in Virginia Beach, but the commute was just ridiculous.  Thankfully we had showings scheduled for two homes in Portsmouth.  The first home was a cute renovated craftsman bungalow, but the location was eh...  The driveway in particular was an accident waiting to happen.  It pulled directly onto a busy road, and the traffic noise for what would be Lily's room was too loud.  We drove by our other Portsmouth option, and instantly fell in love.  The neighborhood is full of old beautiful brick colonials and cape cods all very well taken care of.  The neighborhood and curb appeal alone had me sold.  I was just praying the inside would show as well, and more importantly we weren't too late.

I could not sleep that night.  I was too excited to see, what I hoped would be our new home, in the morning.  I awoke with the birds bright and early.  I tiptoed around as not to wake up the kids, but I could not stay asleep.  We finally made it out to our appointment and arrived early.  Lucky for us, so did the agent. 

1939 Cape Cod with curb appeal to spare!    

After nearly 7 years of living in the land of two seasons, hot and miserable, I'm finally moving back to a temperate climate.  Nothing will help me enjoy my much missed fall than the huge Maple tree in the front yard!  See those two shrubs flanking the steps.  Won't they be perfect with a sprinkling of white lights for Christmas??

Sitting room
I'm so excited about the original hard wood floors through out the lower level.  I finally have a mantel to hang the stockings with care.  The radiators are obsolete, and the home as been modernized with forced air.  That doorway next to the fireplace leads down to Cayce's office! 

Formal Dining Room!  Never had one of my own!
When you step into the sitting room the view straight back goes through the dining room to the sun room!  I was sold as soon as I saw the view!

More dining room
Of course this awesome built-in in the dining room didn't hurt the appeal.  Grandma's Frankhoma will look great in there!


I want everyone to stop and appreciate the awesomeness of this!  Look at the light, look at the window seat, the built-ins, and the fantastic book shelves!  I cannot wait to put my books in there! 

The home as two bedrooms and a full bathroom (with the original tile!) on the first floor, and the second floor is a converted attic into the master bedroom and bathroom. The kitchen is small, but I've never had a large one, so par for the course for me.  The backyard is fenced and landscaped.  We have an attached garage and lots of storage space.  Not that I anticipate needing it now that we have all this room.  This is the largest, by far, of any home we've ever lived in!  I can't wait to move in.  This will possibly be the longest month ever for me!

I'll post pictures once we get all settled.  But for now I've got to get off of this and get busy getting ready for the movers.  They'll be here at 8:00 tomorrow morning, and we are no where near ready for them.  Now I'll be taking down our tree.  :-(  I'll be sad to see it go.  Though small it's been a good tree first tree for Lily. 

Two days and we're outta here!