4badcats - what a beautiful home!
Well - most of the homes were on pretty small properties and there was just no way to have the RV there with us. If we found "the perfect place" without the property, we'd consider putting her in storage.
One of the homes on the lake the owner decided they didn't want the cats, so we didn't even see it. The other home on the lake was surrounded by other houses, and didn't even have any place near it to part the car.
The first picture - the large white house with garage - was a lovely home. But it was painted pea soup green with red carpets with that green and a mustard yellow pattern - and the upstairs was painted mustard yellow. We just can't live with that - but the owners don't want to paint or recarpet. Also, they really want to sell the home, not keep it as a rental property, so that's just jumping from the frying pan into the fire.
The last picture - the shady one - is GORGEOUS inside. It's all wood, with that "swiss chalet" beam thing going on, and just gorgeous details everywhere. It's open and huge, with fireplaces on two floors - the bottom floor opens out onto a gorgeous patio. The upstairs opens out to a huge screened porch - so the kitties could get out to lots of fresh air.
The property is on a hill, and has steps down to a huge and gorgeous deck. But there's no place for the RV, and it has neighbors on top of it and like 10 feet away. There's just no privacy. I don't know how people do it. I just don't feel like having my windows open if my next door neighbor can look straight in! We were so torn. But it has almost NO closets. So we decided to nix it.
We saw a bunch more places - most of them just depressing.
We saw one place about a mile from our home. It's up the backroads from here, not the main roads, so it's in the middle of gorgeous farm country. It's a ranch home, so we'd lose the stairs (which the kitties love). And when we drove up to it - I thought UGH. I can't live there. It's some old, yellow brick ranch thing.
The property is large - 6 acres. But right at the front of the driveway is a HUGE shed. It is rented to people with a landscaping service, and they keep their equipment in there. Right across from that is some crappy old barn that belongs to the neighbors, who are right on the road beyond that.
However - the driveway does keep going back another 100 yards or so until you get to the house. There's no garage - which is SUCH a luxury (in Northern NJ with the cold and the ice and the snow.....). BUT if we parked the RV lengthwise in the first part of the circle driveway, it would completely block our view of the equipment shed. And if we talked to our current landlord about taking all the tall privacy bushey things we planted here - we could plant them along the fence, and totally block out the view of the neighbor's ugly home and part of the crappy barn.
We can have someone use that high pressure spray to clean the outside of the house. It'd still be yellow brick - but it wouldn't be dirty.
AND - it's horrible inside. I mean from the standpoint of carpet and OLD ratty kitchen - which is teeney. NOT an eat in kitchen.
BUT - out the back? Is nothing but woods interspersed with fields - and the view is amazing. It's not the kind of home (like this one) that you drive up to and your heart just jumps because it's so wonderful. But once you walk in the front door, your heart jumps - because it's floor to ceiling windows with just no one and no homes out back there.
The real estate agent has worked with this landlord for years, and the guy owns it for an investment (rental) property. He no longer owes a mortgage on it, so he can be kind of flexible in terms of investing in the house.
So the real estate agent thinks the guy might be willing to put in new cabinets and flooring in the kitchen. (It is small - sorry - I didn't take pics). AND he thinks he may be willing to recarpet the place. He did put in new heating and central air just two years ago, because he was having trouble renting it back then.
The real estate agent is going to set up a meeting between us and the potential new landlord next week. We're going to have him over here. This way he can see the gorgeous floors (wood), the HUGE, beautiful kitchen - and, as the real estate agent put it, get a dose of reality about what renters expect. Right now the property has been empty since October, so RE dude thinks he may really be willing to do this.
Plus, if he comes over here, we can show him all the stuff we did here to improve the place - even though we were renting. And "smelling" our house will reassure him about the cats - which he's marginally OK with.
So.... we'll see. I like the idea of living in the same neighborhood. I was pretty much completely depressed last night. Especially when we drove up to the house after being out looking all day. But it was just the first day of looking. We'll just have to be willing to expand the search of where we're willing to live.
Thanks for all the good thoughts. I'm trying to stay positive. "Everything happens for a reason, even if we don't understand it at the time..."