We've put in a request to rent back from the new owners -- we'll see what they say. I'm honestly not sure what the best strategy is if they're not interested in renting back. Here are a few possibilities for what the next six months will look like. Keep in mind that while work is scheduled to be completed on our actual house around the start of September, construction projects are regularly known to run months over schedule.
- Option A: Move into Wisconsin house as is. Um...this one is pretty much not feasible right now, as the floors and walls are all ripped up, there's no working kitchen, etc. But in theory, I guess we could get Pam to have her guys clear out the one room on the second floor that is mostly going to be untouched (Kevin's study), and we could put our bed in there for sleeping, and we could eat takeout, cook outside on the grill, get a hotplate, use a microwave, and live through the renovation. This does not sound appealing, and I know Pam and her crew are going to absolutely HATE the idea of having us and a toddler and an infant in the house while they're trying to work. But hey, we save several months of rent money, which is probably $10,000 - $15,000. That's a lot of money. Maybe not something to be completely discounted, especially if they can prioritize finishing another room or two on the second floor (floors and walls clean and functional, at least, if not perfectly finished), so we have a little more space to work with.
- Option B: Rent another house or condo like the one we're in. Simplest, in some sense. Costs probably around what we're paying now, plus a couple thousand dollars for the extra move in-out of that location. Extra hassle of an entire additional move, of course, so expect at least two weeks' worth of lost work time to packing and unpacking factored in. I've JUST finished unpacking at this house (after six months of living here, although to be fair, I didn't get a lot done in the first few months due to brand-new baby), so the thought of packing up and unpacking, just to do it AGAIN six months later makes me want to cry. But that's just the exhaustion talking. I'm not sure it should be listened to.
- Option C: The nomad option. If the new owners will let us stay in the house 'til the end of April (end of semester), or if Daniel and Anne will let us move back in with them for two weeks, then an option would be to move most of our stuff into the garage or basement of our real house, and then spend the summer travelling, probably mostly visiting Kevin's family in California, although my family has also put in a bid for us to spend some time with them. There's obviously some hassle there too -- living out of suitcases, managing kids in unfamiliar places, dealing with relatives (much as we love them, there's such a thing as too much closeness, you know?). But saves the same significant amount of money as option A, without getting in the way of the contractors and their work. Of course, if the job isn't actually finished by mid-August (or at least finished enough to let us move in), then we run the risk of having to find another rental and do another move then, because of course Kevin and I are both teaching in the fall and need to be back and relatively settled in Chicago.