Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Baby It's Cold Inside

Our new apartment has been a blessing in many ways-- it is so much more spacious than our last place, it is in a beautiful location where we overlook a nature center, but also have a Sam's Club, Bachman's Wal-Mart within walking distance (if it wasn't 2 degrees and I wasn't pregnant) and a mall, Target, restaurants and several grocery stores within a 5 minute drive. There is even a Little Caesar's nearby, which is a rarity up here. There is a pool and workout room one building over, and it is only 5 minutes more drive than our last place to Jim's work.

One further way it has been a blessing has been for our utilities. We were afraid that with the increased space, and a few more utilities we were responsible for, that it would be a lot more expensive for us. However, our location in the building (almost on top of the boiler room-- kind of kitty- corner) and next to the 2nd floor laundry room, we have access to a great deal of free heat. If you feel our wall that we share with the laundry and someone has the dryer's going, you can feel ambient heat coming through, and for some reason our hall closet floor is always warm-- we think because of duct work or hot water pipes. we'll take whatever we can get.

However, just recently with the wind chill in the -30s and lower lately, especially at night, things have gotten colder and we are finally feeling the need to use at least some our heat, some of the time. I also recently noticed a phenomenon from our last place that I was hoping we could avoid-- the snow and ice are following us indoors. Pictured is Honey trying to close the second door of our apartment last year in February (Don't you love the outfit), which had been left ajar and let in some of the bitterly cold air. eventually we resorted to using the hair dryer to thaw out the doors enough to close them, but it was still like a fridge over on that side of the apartment.

This year it hasn't been as bad so far, probably because of the way our doors close in this home, and because we haven't hit the really cold portion of the winter yet, but we have had some ice build up, even on the side of our French doors that don't open, which is really strange. Our windows have had some of this as well. We're debating getting some of those clear plastic protectors (never thought I'd use those) and insulate the windows that way, but we don't want to cause damage that will impact our deposit. However, we also don't want the window frames to suffer damage from the water seeping in and expanding and contracting as things melt.

What we really want is to be in a house of our own where we are free to insulate and repair and do whatever we want, but that is still a ways away. House prices here are going down, a house in Kalamazoo that would go for $50,000 now only costs about $120,000 here! The good thing is that it is a great time to be thinking of buying and looking and saving because the market is so poor and the Fed. just lowered rates. Also, Honey got word that he is getting a raise next year, which is such a welcome blessing.


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