Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by DDD, Sep 30, 2011.
Seems like this is "the" week that you are transitioning. Thought I'd ask for an update. DDD
I've been out of town for work this week- am just getting ready to pack up computer, load car and return "home". It's the end of fiscal year and the gov has everything on hold so I had no choice but to stay with this job right now and move local to where I've been. I'm supposed to look at 2 story condos/townhomes this weekend and make a final decision on one. I found one online last night that sounds perfect but he can't show me until Monday unless he somehow figures out how to squeeze it in- that's nerve-racking because I have 3 already lined up to see tomorrow moirning and I had told them I'd make a decision and turn app in- I don't want to lose my chance with any of these 4 until seeing inside all- so far I've only seen inside 1 of these 4.
Thanks for thinking of me! I'll touch base later today in tomorrow.
Good luck. DDD
Well, the one guy still can't squeeze me in until Monday- but goodness, then I found another online that has a loft area big enough to use as a den/office area in addition to 2 BRs, a "great room" and kitchen like the others all have. If difficult child ever makes it back to live with me, we desparately need a little of our own space away from each other sometimes so I have a call in to see that one, too, now.
Either way, if I choose one of these 5, the question about school district is pretty much solved because these five are only in 2 different jurisdictions and both those high schools have a diverse range of population, are considered mediocre as far as education, and "in the middle of the road" for anything else. That will just have to do I guess, given the other priorities and constraints, such as affordability and distance from work. Both use the same sort of block schedule so difficult child won't lose any credit he earns from school this semester, whether he has to go to alternative school or not, and he can pick up with new classes (even year long classes) next semester. The block schedule, lower gang/drug rate, and considering alternative school as a requirement on a case-by-case basis were my priorities for school district. Neither are considered high-gang populations or high crime as compared to many others around here. I'm one who grew up in a small town where every kid in town went to the same school so I happen to think the diversity is an asset not a hindrance- maybe even an asset that I should have made sure difficult child had in our last jurisdiction. However, 2 are in one school district and jurisdiction that leaves difficult child/me with the same PO he has now, and the other three would require changing parole jurisdiction. Boy, that's a big gamble!
Good luck, klmno. Hoping you will find the right place.
Choosing between the "known" and the "unknown" is a **** shoot. Most of the time I personally opt for the "known" since there is absolutely no way of knowing what the "unknown" can bring. Furthermore, there is a high turnover rate. The most caring and supportive PO's we had quit the system after a short while because "they thought they would be helping people" and found the career was not what they aimed for. I have my fingers crossed. by the way, lol, would the dogs prefer one location over another due to yard space etc.?? DDD
I'm definitely considering the dogs with this, DDD! They all have some enclosed space but 3 have enclosed "patios", meaning it's 99% paved patio. I'm not sure about the other two yet. Of course, there is space to take them for a walk but having a space to pee-pee is a priotity on my list as well as there's.
Other than that and at least a 2-BR place feasible to access from work, my "wish list" included a fireplace and at least 1 1/2 baths; difficult child's wishlist included a swimming pool. 4 of these 5 have a pool- they all have a fireplace.
My last letter to difficult child climbed his frame pretty good and I haven't heard from him since- no letter and no call. That could mean he's ticked at me, he doesn't know what to say or is trying to make me feel like the lucky one, or it could mean he's in trouble. This kind of koi can't help but weigh in on my decisions.
difficult child always gets a new PO no matter what- the last one was the best (in our last jurisdiction) although he still was cluless- but by the time he figured out how difficult child worked, difficult child was committed again and a new PO assigned. The line that "oh, if this doesn't work, we'll try something else" is BS- they only try a different PO with the same tactics, at least in this state.
Yeah for doggie space. DDD
Good luck k - sounds like you know exactly what you want (and you definitely know what you don't want based on this least lease experience!!!!!). Here's hoping their hop on the applications and you don't have to wait too long to find out.....
Thanks, LDM and DDD! Now someone help me decide what to do! LOL!
OK, I have it narrowed down to 2; 3 technically since 2 are in the same complex. Out of the two mediocre schools, which are in two different school district's altogether and two different parole jurisdictions, the schools in general are similar but one school district is considered far better (I'll call it school district "A") The other one is in the jurisdiction I currently live in, meaning no change in PO or parole plan (I'll call it school district "B").
Here are the pros and cons:
In school district B, there is a townhouse- 2BR, 1 1/2 bath, small fenced yard, easy to get to work, laundry area upstairs with BRs, $300 less per mo than the others; churches in the neighborhood (not that I go regularly but difficult child claims to have found Jesus since PO told him it was me that didn't want him to come home right away), a library and YMCA within walking distance. That's about all there is around there so it means going further to get to grocery, etc, and the grounds are mowed but not very well-kept. It is a little more isolated and I can't decide if that's good or bad. Lord knows, I need to save as much money as I can but difficult child can cost me 3 times as much as I can save if things don't go well. In a way this place is cozy, in another way it could be depressing.
In the complex in school district A, there are two different condos available. Both have 2 BR, ea with it's own private bath, and a 1/2 bath downstairs. The complex has a pool and there are fast food restaurants, gas station, shopping center, within walking distance. They're both 300 more per mo than the one in school district B. It will take me about 40-45 mins to get thru rush hour traffic to get to and from work. The complex is very well kept. Each unit has a small enclosed patio with a patch of ground for dogs to pee on but there's ample area outside of that to walk them. Oh- the second br is great as far as size, closet, bath, wall space, etc, but is painted a bold green shade that has to go. They won't paint it but said I could. No big deal, I guess.
One of these units is nicer but almost too nice for the dogs, and the second bedroom is irregular shaped, leaving less wall space. However, it's located away from the entry to the complex and will be quieter.
The other unit has Berber carpet (better with dogs than wood laminate, I think), bedrooms have view of pool, but it's right next to main entry road. It's a quiet neighborhood, but still.... The second bedroom is almost as big as the first with ample room for furniture. The appliances are not as nice as the first in this complex. I should point out, the first in this complex was intended to be sold but there was no buyer so now it's going rental- that reminds me too much of this situation I'm currently in. So, let's say I elminate that one.
It's so hard for me to make this decision without knowing what to expect from difficult child and a possible new PO this time. If he's going to do well and just needs activity in order to maintain, the nicer one is the answer. If it's just me, I don't mind about a second full bath and really nice 2nd BR and I want convenience to work and to save money. on the other hand, I don't want to feel like I'm driving into a "hole of depression".
The dogs will be happier with the one with a piece of enclosed yard, obviously. So in a way, I'm still leaning toward that because I figure if difficult child is trying to do well, I can get him a membership to the Y for recreation. If he's not, I'm not spending the money toward rent. That place just seems so lonely though. Although, per JJJ's recommendation, I did notice that this place has a fire station near the townhouse; the other complex is next to a medical center. LOL!
They are both expecting a final answer from me tomorrow. I haven't heard the first word from difficult child- no letter, no call, nothing. I keep trying to ask myself which one I'd like better but I swear, I keep going back to 'it depends on if difficult child is living with me'. Then, I'm trying to weigh if it's worth sticking with current PO, who's as green as green can be, but I did find a helpful attny in this jurisdiction; or do I risk changing to a new jurisdiction and starting all over with a different PO?
OK, lol, I know and you know the decision is yours! One thing you didn't mention is whether there is a difference in deposits and terms of lease. If one has a shorter lease term that might influence me.
I "think" I would vote for the larger unit in the well maintained complex. Not only would you, the dogs and difficult child have space between you but I think nicer surroundings (presumedly with nicer fellow tenants) would be better for you. I gather you have been very isolated (of course, we all isolate ourselves because of difficult child stress!) and in a nicer location you might actually find some companions or friend. The "isolated" unit does not sound like it would help your mental health, lol, and might heighten your anxiety. Besides having a pool available for you might encourage some new exercise which will reduce your stress...whether you are alone or with difficult child.
The PO situation can change at either office. You make get a real loser to replace the "green guy" or at either place you might luck out. Sadly that's based on the roll of the dice and can't be predetermined. It's possible that having a fresh start with new people may translate into difficult child seeing his future with a brighter note. At either location difficult child can find trouble if he looks for it but in a "nicer" less isolated location he probably will have teens nearby so there'd be less chance of him taking off looking for companions.
Are the schools within walking distance? or do they require a bus ride? In the large complex he would soon be with a group for transportation. That might ease some fears about school reentry. Is there room for your BBQ at both places? You seem to like cooking out. In either location I'm sure there are churches and youth groups available if he really is looking for spiritual support. I'm glad it is your decision and really hope this leads to a fresh chapter in your life. DDD
thank you! Yes, I made sure I can use a small grill at both places. The isolated one has a yard of actual ground for the dogs and a small portion of covered patio so it would be nice in the summer. In the winter, it would feel cozier. But, I'm also giving a lot of weight to the image of each place and the effect on both my and difficult child's MH and daily mood in general. I completely agree that living in a seemingly healthier neighborhood with more "community" feel could be a great thing. I don't think I'd pick that one though if it's just going to be me. And then, it's great for difficult child to have places nearby he can walk to and have constructive things to do, but if he's going to pull something like he did last year, I think of him laying out of school to hang out at the shopping center and try to steal stuff. Then, at the townhouse that more secluded, a neighbor came out and spoke to the landlord while I was there and mentioned he'd just been hunting. The last thing I need or want is for difficult child to find out a neighbor has weapons in his home. I do think difficult child will be much more motivated if he knows he has a nice BR, walk in closet and private bath of his own, with a view of a pool he can freely use in the summer. The issue then will be that money will be tighter. I don't see any possibility though that difficult child won't be returning to live with me at some point- either around the first of the year or 1-3 mos later if he goes to a group home first. I don't resent accommodating that but if he isn't even going to try, and even worse, commits offenses against me again, I'll resent the tar out of it. I'll sleep on it before taking action that locks me in, and I'm supposed to go visit difficult child tomorrow. By the time I get home from that, I should have a gut feeling about the best answer. I can tell you that the townhouse is being rented by the owner, not a rep, and he's willing to put ceiling fans in the bedrooms because I said I like them so much.
Both require 1 mos rent as a deposit, one year lease. The TH has a little lower rent if I sign a 2 year lease, which I'm reluctant to do. I'm thinking more about what happens if one of these gov jobs comes thru and I'm trying to break a lease.
I'm looking at these schools closer. The one in the better school district actually had about 4 times as many violations with a weapon last year as the one in the jurisdiction with the TH.
The school in the TH jurisdiction: difficult child would get on a bus about the time I leave for work but would get home about 1 1/2 hr before I do. At the other one- the nice complex- he'd have to get himself to school on time since it start almost 2 hours after I needd to leave for work. But, it's close enough for him to walk to and he'd only be getting home about 45 mins before me.
K...I would definitely go with the 2 bathrooms. But that is just me. I would not want to have to share bathrooms with my teen son in the morning. And...if he doesnt come home, you can always get a roommate.
I am going to be completely honest here. I dont think you should worry as much about if the neighbors hunt or if difficult child might skip school and go to the mall and shoplift. If he does, its on him. By now, he surely knows that. He should be able to honeymoon for at least as long as it takes to get him to 18. If the place has a pool and a fairly nice flow...great. Im sure there are things he can do around there. He is resourceful.
Make sure that any lease has a clause that says if you end up working more than 60 miles away that you can break the lease with 30 days notice. In this economy it can be a lifesaver. It was never a problem to have t in any lease that we ever signed.
How realistic is it to think that difficult child will ever live with you for any amt of time? Or that nice surroundings will matter much to him? He sure didn't care about the home you owned, and I am sure it was very nice.
Call the police station and ask them how often they are called to each apt complex, and what problems they know of in each. they usually can tell you if there is a big drug problem there, etc.... Also have the exact address of the units and ask the utility companies how much the monthly bills for the units were for the last occupant. It can make a HUGE difference in your bills.
Yeah- difficult child and I both know his legal issues are on him from now on- no matter what a PO or GAL says. It's an additional concern though when I have to worry about him damaging a place I'm renting, causing bodily harm to me, vandalizing a gov computer, etc. If he'd just gone out and tried durgs or had sex like most you teens (not that I think that's ok), it would be different. My concerns are "what if he maims or kills me" and what happens if he puts holes in these walls like he did at our home (the house I was buying), and doG forbid, he vandalizes this gov computer.....so what can help here really? An environment where we re-bond or an environment where he knows I'm giving him space to grow up? Ideally, I guess both. I can't afford both....but look at why I can't.
DJ, my son can't seem to honeymoon for 3 weeks. Remember last year? Now when he's really trying- that's a different story. He knows right from wrong. But last year, sitting there with burn marks on him that he says he "let" people do, he said he could never do what it took to live in the "real world" and he'd rather be in Department of Juvenile Justice. OK, fine- but to me- that isn't normal thinking. He had everyone, including me, so convinced that he had learned his lesson and was ready to turn things around before he was released- I swear, this child will be the death of me.
I've checked on utility bills- they go down either way because they both have a heat pump- CH/A- that was my #1 priority because difficult child and I both have allergies and cannot breathe well in these homes like I'm living in now- radiant heat and wall ACs. That just had to go. Plus, this house is very old with drafty windows/doors. Utilities will go down- thank goodness- I can't see paying a fortune for them when it results in an environment I can't breathe well in. And difficult child's breathing is more difficult than mine.
Have you also budgeted in your transportation costs from both places to get a better final total?
Hold onto your seats, Ladies- difficult child says he has a better chance of making it if we live at the place near the Y and was thrilled to hear it was close enough to walk to it.
He said they had been teaching the kids in his treatment program that kids that are bad influences are like a web and in order to prevent getting caught up in those bad influences, he has to pull himself out of that web but even that isn't enough if he can't replace it with a "web" of good influences because otherwise, he'd just be lonely and bored and more easily influenced. He says that IF it turned out that other teens in his living complex turned out to be bad influences, he'd prefer to have an option like the Y to hang out at because those teens are most likely not bad influences. Plus, the Y always has a weight room and exercise equipment and sometimes other programs for teens.
difficult child attended many types of programs at the Y from 4yo until 13yo so he is comfortable with it.
And he said the other place wouldn't be worth living tight for money and he didn't mind sharing a bathroom. (There is a 1/2 bath in addition to the one full bath.)
I drove around the area again on the way home and it's not nearly as isolated as I'd thought- I'd been taking the easy way there, which turned out to be the long way, and found there are 2 shopping centers about 6/10 of a mile away and both have grocery stores in them.
On a side note- I guess difficult child talked with a psychiatrist there, per his request, and is now trialing abilify.
Separate names with a comma.