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Thursday, July 31, 2014

One Year

It's been just over a year since I officially moved from Minnesota into my new home in Georgia. Last July, I was stressed to the max as I closed on one house (my beautiful MN home), and then seven days later, closed on a second (my new GA home). I thought I'd share a few thoughts.

My new house is on top of a very steep hill. I like this when it rains because I don't have to worry about flooding. Everything is going away from my home. I do not like it, though, when I have to roll the garbage can out for pick up. I keep it in a death grip, worried that if I lose my hold on it, it's going to roll wildly down my driveway and into the pond across the street.

The new kitchen has a lot of counter space and cabinet space, which I really like, but because I no longer have a basement, I've had to store my good dishes in the island. This means I actually have less space.

I also miss having pullouts in the lower cabinets (I loved those!) and I miss my two bread boards that were built in to the cabinets. I did install some after market pullouts in one cabinet. There's some wasted space since they're not custom, but I'm going to put them in two more cabinets because I practically have to crawl in to reach the things in back.

Still in the kitchen, I'm not wildly in love with the granite used on my counters. I can't see crumbs really well because of the color. I've also been unable to find the tan twisty wire things that come on bread because of how close the color is. The dark inclusions also look too much like bugs. That said, because of the huge amount of counter space I have, replacing them with something I like better is too expensive.

The pantry is also a little small, although it is much bigger than the one I had in Minnesota. So it's a gain, but I wish it was a walk in with really nice shelving.

Also strongly in the do not like category is the scorpions. I've found seven in my house since I moved in. There are no words for how much I loathe any bug, but those are extra prehistorically creepy.

I have a formal living room that I have no use for. I'm sorry, but if I'm inviting someone to my house, they're going to have to hang out in the family room. Because I needed the space, I have boxes of my books up there plus my scrapbooking supplies. The ultimate goal is to get some screens up to block it off because the dining room is right there as is the front door.

This house is on a smaller lot than I had in Minnesota--much smaller--but it has as much (if not more) privacy. I credit my hill with that. When the house was built, they basically cut into the top of the hill. I still have a rise in land on three sides of my house, and with the trees fully leafed, I don't even know I have neighbors. The house is also blissfully quiet. I don't usually hear my neighbors either. Total win.

I also credit my hill with the lack of casual doorbell ringers. :-) You have to really want to see me to make the climb.

Great outdoor space! I have fabulous outdoor space in my new home. A nice, large covered back patio that I plan to have screened in and a good sized front porch. I had a large front porch in MN, too, but that one was square, making it difficult to consider a true outdoor space. I have a rectangle here and could actually fit chairs and a table out there if I wanted. But I've had some wasps out there, so, yeah, no.

I still hate the commute down here. I'm like twice as far away from my job as I was in Minneapolis and I hate that. I get two hours later than I used to--partly because I start an hour later, but the commute is the reason for the other hour. At least I have my van pool which saves me money, wear and tear on my car, and makes the trip faster with people to talk to.

Sticker shock. The general belief up in Minnesota is that it's cheaper to live in the South. The other truism is that Minnesota has high state income tax. Neither is true. It's much more expensive for me to live in Georgia.

*Sales tax is just about the same
*State income tax is just about the same. ($5.00 higher in MN)
*Property tax is higher and there's no property tax refund down here
*Electric is much more expensive
*Gas is at least double what I paid in MN
*Water, OMG, the cost of water down here is unbelievable. 3 times higher. What I pay for one month in GA, is what I paid in three months for MN.
*Housing is not cheaper either because I couldn't afford a house with a basement down here.
*Don't ask me about the ridiculous amount I had to pay to get license plates for my car down here. It was criminal!

So, bottom line, just like living anywhere, there are pluses and minuses. Some things are better, some worse, so I guess it all comes out about even.