Well, after the craziness of Out Processing, packing, and moving, comes the craziness of In Processing, house hunting, and unpacking. Its an endless cycle for military families, but we've gotten pretty good at this routine.
First you must decide if you're going to live on-post or off. We decided to look off post this go around, but if you think you'll want on-post housing, you can call your new duty station's housing office for the application as soon as your soldier receives his orders. The sooner you get your application in, the sooner you'll be on the wait list for a house.
With our decision to live off-post at Fort Lewis, the Army gives you ten days to find a rental home or to put an offer on house. We had talked to friends, searched Craigslist, AHRN, and tons of other rental sites researching the area around Ft. Lewis. We wanted to be ready to start looking as soon as we arrived. It was quite a blessing to find the perfect rental in two days! That's right - it only took us two days, and we were able to move in on the morning of day eleven here.
We had heard that DuPont was a nice, safe town close to Ft. Lewis. The traffic can get pretty bad here, and Seth didn't want a long commute to PT and work every morning. The homes are fairly new with front porches in DuPont. There are lots of walking trails, parks, and coffee shops. We really liked the town, but the newer homes were still just big boxes on small lots. We weren't falling in love with any of them. Then we ventured over to the historical section of town.
We loved it! Most homes over here were built in the 1910's. Then peppered between these 100 year old beauties are one story ranch-style homes from the 60's. We felt at home. We were able to get more house and more yard for less rent, and we were able to rent directly from the owners instead of from a property company.
Here are the After delivery of household goods but Before unpacking pictures of our 1960's Rancher:
WARNING: the house is a Disaster, y'all!
From the front door looking straight, we have a bonus room off the left side of the kitchen.
Here is the bonus area from the other direction.
Take a left at the front door and we have our living room with wood burning fireplace.
We can't wait to try out the fireplace this fall!
Behind the living room is our dining area. You can see the doorway into the kitchen on the right.
Looking back at the living room from the dining.
Our kitchen - a little dated, but I love my new fridge.
(wow - sorry I didn't even make my bed for y'all)
Master bathroom. Small, but its ours. We're no stranger to homes with a single bathroom, and to us this is luxury.
Lil' H's bathroom. Yes, complete with the yellow 1960's tub and matching tile.
Oh, more yellow over here by the sink too!
Roses growing up the side of our home.
Backyard that backs up to a forest and is so quaintly lined with blackberry bushes. Which are ripe for the picking right now!
Lil' H was sleeping, so I didn't get a picture of his room, but it looks a lot like the guest room. Somehow I also neglected to snap one of the front of our home. I'll update soon. I guess we've been just a tad overwhelmed with all the moving boxes.
If you're keeping count, that's four bedrooms! I'm excited to have a little space of my own for painting and sewing. Seth is loving his new two car garage for woodworking. We also like the idea of not having to move when the time comes to expand our family. John and Linda, our landlords, have given me the thumbs up on painting the walls and hanging my own curtains, and they mentioned their next project might be a kegerator (which is what Seth just finished). We like them already!
John and Linda are a middle aged couple that live in the 1910's mansion next door. They grew up right here in DuPont, and Linda's family still owns their home and the one we're renting. They woodwork and garden and have a huge two year old German shepherd. It is such a blessing to have them as neighbors and landlords. I think we're going to like it just fine here in DuPont, WA.
Anyone else moved lately? Do you prefer living on-post or off? Ever been stationed at Ft. Lewis - what is something great we need to get out and see?