We've found a rental house! (And decided to wait until really getting to know the area before we jump into buying anything.) So let me just tell you how God has provided a house with ALMOST EVERYTHING ON MY WISH LIST...
(1) On this side of town. This wasn't a deal breaker but it sure was near the top of the list. Especially this first year while I'm taking Spanish lessons with Marcela. Riding around downtown the last few days made us truly happy for this answer to prayer -- it would not be fun to have to drive across town every day.
(2) In a great neighborhood and only two blocks from the lake! There will be more traffic on one of the side roads during the summer, but there's no beach by us so we won't be inundated with tourists close by.
(3) THREE bedrooms. AND each of the bedrooms has a built-in closet (believe it or not, that's an unusual feature here). AND there's additional storage above the closets. Woohoo! Those extra spaces will be great for storing Christmas decorations, winter clothes in the summer, etc. As any woman knows, you can't have enough storage space!
(4) Large kitchen. Considering that most of the kitchens I've seen here are wee bitty, this kitchen is downright palatial. There's enough room for a center island and plenty of space along one wall for the fridge, a hutch and even a small table and chairs. Storage is at a minimum in the kitchen -- better than some I've seen, but definitely not sufficient. At least there's room to add more.
(5) Big living room AND separate dining room. There's actually enough room in the dining room for a large table and chairs plus the perfect space for an L-shaped desk in one corner where we can set up our "office". And the living room...oh, the living room is my favorite room in the house! With two big walls of windows, the sun just streams in and creates a very happy place. (I have enough fabric coming in the container that it won't be a problem making either Roman blinds or simple curtain panels to keep the sun at bay when it's really hot.)
(6) Covered parrilla and patio area. Argentines take their grilling seriously and you won't be finding big American style gas grills. Heaven forbid! No, each house has a large brick parrilla with a grill you can raise and lower. This house goes one better and has a built in counter and storage area around the parrilla. And notice that door the hubby's trying to unlock? That's a small shed which will be perfect for storing tools and yard implements. Both the parrilla and the patio right outside the back door of the house are covered, making year-round grilling not only possible but practical. (7) Decent-sized yard with some landscaping [a number of rose bushes along one side of the house!] but also space to plant tomatoes, peppers, lettuce and so on. Remember, we're going into spring here and we'll be moving just at the right time to get some things planted. Yeah!
(8) The price is below market rate because the owner wants to rent "as is" without cleaning or painting. This is actually a plus for us -- not only do we get to save money in exchange for some elbow grease up front, but WE get to choose the paint! This makes me VERY happy. Especially considering some colors I've seen in houses. There are just some that shouldn't be put on the walls of a home, know what I'm saying?
Now, for the one disappointment. And it's such a piddly thing I hate to even bring it up, but...there's only one bathroom (I know, I know, my humor is so junior high, but I couldn't help myself). I was hoping for at least a bath and a half. And there's no bathtub -- although there is a separate, distinct shower area which is a big step up from our current abode.
So a long wish list and just about every item checked off. Thank you Jesus!
We'll have three weeks or so to clean and paint before our things arrive and the hubby heads to the port in Buenos Aires to get our things through customs. How's that for timing?! God works everything out, right down to the last detail.