Tuesday, April 17, 2012

the house

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{Bienvenida}

I can't believe it has taken me this long to tell you how we found our current house.  Because it is a very cool story.  First, a little background on the house.  It had been sitting vacant for a year because the owner's husband died and, understandably, she couldn't get it ready to rent out.  She and her children (who are older and helping her out) wanted to rent the house out, but just hadn't gotten around to cleaning the house out and fixing the things that needed fixing.

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So, how did we find out about this house?  Well, the short answer: this little old blog.  A gal named Olivia, who was bringing her daughters to Peru this past summer to visit her parents, googled something about kids and Peru and landed on our blog.  She emailed me, telling me about herself and inviting us to come to her parents' beach house in Asia (beach city outside of Lima, not the country).  School was still in and life was crazy for us, so we hadn't made it to Asia yet when I ran into Olivia at a mall.  In a city of 9 million people.  On one of only a few days that she spent in the city.  I still can't believe it.

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Finally during the summer we got ourselves to Asia and spent the day with Olivia and her family.  She has a daughter Riley's age, so they had an absolute blast together.  And it was so nice to be with a friend who understands both life in the States and life in Peru.  (Boo that Olivia has gone back to the States now.)  I can't believe that I didn't take any pictures of our day, but I was just enjoying myself too much to bother with that.  

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During our visit we mentioned that we had been looking for a cheaper place to live.  Olivia told us about her aunt's house that had been sitting vacant and offered to show us the place.  Honestly, my first reaction was that there was no way the house was close enough to the kids' school, so it wasn't worth getting my hopes up.  When Olivia told us the location and we saw that it was only a few miles from the school, I thought, "Well, I'm sure they won't actually rent it to us."    

Only a few weeks later we had checked out the house and loved it and the owners had agreed to rent it to us.  And then a few weeks after that we were moving!

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Here's the really cool part of the story (to me, at least).  Blake and I had been convicted that we needed to save money on our housing.  We were thankful for the house we had our first year; that it was close to the school and that we found it so quickly upon arriving in Peru.  But, because so many unexpected costs had come up our first year, we knew that we really needed to cut costs somewhere and housing seemed the most obvious area.  Plus we didn't want to be maxed out every month financially.  We wanted extra money to do fun things together as a family and travel a little.  We spent a few months searching for a new house/apartment but couldn't find anything that was significantly cheaper to rent (canceling out the cost of moving and gas on driving to school).  We had given up and were literally days away from signing another contract on our old house.  We were also frustrated and discouraged that we weren't going to be able to save money like we had hoped.

And then, through no means of our own, we got this house where we are saving $500 a month on rent.  We are still blown away by God on this one.  

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{One of my favorite parts of this house: a master bath! All 6 of us were essentially sharing a bathroom in the old house, so this is heaven for me.}

We agreed to rent the house "as is" which means we took care of all of the things that needed fixing.  One of those things were the kitchen counters were we found these creatures living.

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Also, with traffic, it takes 15 to 30 minutes to get to the school which has been hard for me because I make a couple trips (at least) a day.  And I know that 15 minutes doesn't sound like much, but trust me, even 15 minutes in Lima traffic is completely exhausting.  So, I'm really working on not letting the drive (really, the drivers) get to me.

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{The house has these "double" rooms.  You walk through the green playroom to get to the boys room.}

The new house also isn't in as "nice" a neighborhood as our old house and doesn't have as much security, but it also isn't in a "bad" neighborhood by any means.  My mom's assessment was that our new neighborhood has more "character" than our last one and that you can really see life happening here. 

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{My other favorite part of this house: Riley has her own room (after walking through Tyler's room to get to it).  Riley had a great attitude about sharing a room with a three year old, but I can tell how nice it is for her to have her own space now.}

This is such a great home for us.  The savings alone make it worth it, but it is also a beautiful home (as you can see).  We have more space than our last house and, of course, it has the pool!  We also love and trust the owners which means a lot in Peru.  We are so thankful that Olivia found us and that, through her, God provided us with this house.  

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