My biggest concern as we prepared for the adventure of moving to a new place every 3 months was where were the first places going to be and getting locations nailed down with contracts signed so we’d actually have places we loved all lined up and ready by mid May.
Michael and I have always wanted to go see Key West and we thought this would be a great place to start. We’re both beach people and it wouldn’t be too far from JAX (Jacksonville) so we could swing back to the storage unit after our visit to make adjustments – was there stuff in storage that we should have brought with us? Was there stuff we brought that should go into storage?
I began searching for places on Homeaway.com and VRBO.com (Vacation Rental By Owner). We figured out how much we could spend by adding our monthly rental cost, water and electricity, cable and internet, lawn care and housecleaning costs together. The price of the house would have to average to the same monthly cost as renting. Our other criteria included – fully furnished and well equipped, at least 2, preferably 3, bedrooms (Michael is a photographer and needs 1 bedroom to use as storage and office space) and that they accept pets – a dog and cat.
I found a few places in Key West that seemed possible, nothing in our price range jumped out and started making inquiries. At the same time, Michael mentioned our plan to our Chiropractor, John Tender (GREAT doc), and John said a friend of his had a nice place there. We checked out Namaste with a totally Zen setting and it looked perfect – a little smaller than we had hoped (only 2 bedrooms) but everything else looked perfect. Check out a separate post for all the details.
Michael thought the Outer Banks would be a next great spot and I agreed so once again I started looking at Homeaway.com and VRBO.com. Searching was overwhelming at first but I started to get the hang of it and created an easy spreadsheet of the places that looked interesting so I could compare and take notes. Fields I was capturing were website, name of rental, # of bedrooms, price, location, a comment field for info specific to the rental and a check box if/when I contacted the owner. This made it easy to know where I was in the process and helped prioritize which properties were the best match. I chose Jessica’s Dune in Duck, North Carolina which is 1 house from the intercoastal, 12 houses from the ocean, has 3 bedrooms, a hot tub, oriental rug in the living room and Duck allows unleashed dogs on the beach. YES! More details on Jessica’s dune in a future post (coming mid August).