My wife’s job is moving. She will be working about 30 minutes farther away from the house than she is now. She wants to move closer to her new work location. I have been working on changing hospitals. If I want to do that, it would be easier if we move. If we move about 30 minutes south of where we are now, it would put us closer to my wife’s work and would make it easier for me to find a new hospital.
So we have been looking at houses. We had a few must haves, and some wants.
- We want a one story house.
- We need at least three bedrooms and three baths. This is so we have room to care for an aging parent if it comes to that, plus room for a guest.
- I would like natural gas service
- We would like a pool.
- We need more storage space. Either a bonus room, a large garage, or room to build a storage structure on the property.
So we began looking.
The first community we looked at wanted $400k for a 2000 square foot house. Hidden costs included a $45,000 bond. A bond is an invention here in Florida that requires each owner of a residential property to pay for roads, fire stations, and other infrastructure costs that are not part of the property. In other words, it is a cost of building a neighborhood that is passed on from the builder to the buyers of the homes. This raised the cost of the house to $455k, or about $225 a square foot.
The second and third builders did not have houses and floor plans that we liked. We went to a late lunch out in the country. While we were there, I happened to see a nearby community that looked interesting, so we headed out there. They had 2950 square foot home plan that they think we can get built with custom options for $525k, and no bond. That brings the cost to $178 a square foot. Admittedly, it’s at the upper limit of what we wanted to spend, but it’s a really nice house with a large kitchen. The best part is that it is within a 30 minute drive of 5 different hospitals, which gives me a lot of flexibility in changing hospitals. It’s one of those small Florida towns that only have a population of about 2,000 people, but still have stuff nearby.
The only real catch is the current lead time for construction is 12 months, meaning that we will be in late 2023 or early 2024 before we can move. We are looking at all of the numbers and facts, but we will likely be paying earnest money within a week or two. That means when the school year starts next fall, my wife will have to commute a bit. It also means that I can start looking for new work, expecting to start somewhere in July or August. There is a hospital that is only 15 minutes from the house we are looking at that is a good place to work and is offering a $10,000 bonus to work there. By all reports, the pay is good and I hear lots of good things about them. There are other hospitals that offer larger bonuses, but there is a reason for that.
So change is coming. It will be easier working where I am, knowing that my days there are numbered.