One thing I've realized in doing this is that I don't know how much to budget for utilities. Of course this is something that varies and I understand that, but I really don't have much of a clue, which is crazy since I've lived out on my own for 15 years now! But I've always lived somewhere with (mostly) paid utilities.
In Denton I paid electric and that was it. So I know how much electric costs for a small one bedroom apartment with the only occupant gone all day (and how much it is when the apartment sits empty for a couple of months at a time while you jaunt across the country). I also know that Mom and Dad's electric bill can be higher than their mortgage payment. But that's a HUGE range! So, say James gets that job in Concord, NC and we are living in a 3 bedroom house. Probably an older one, so not the best weatherproofing. What am I looking at for electric? And some of the houses have gas heating...would that make a big difference in price?
Then, what else is there? Water? What does that run? (Katie and Chad need not reply!)
Trash? The only time we've "paid" for trash was to get a sticker in Madisonville so that one of our cars (wisely chose James' car) could drive into the dump and drop off our trash.
Anything else? Phones and internet I know about (sure hope we get good cheap high speed wherever we end up). TV we probably won't end up paying for (just buying a converter box).
Just trying to work out hypothetical budgets in order to know how much we can afford for rent, but that really depends on how much we are paying for other utilities. Of course James has to get a job first (and technically he hasn't even lost his here, yet) but I'm trying to do what I can now to figure out the possibilities (no use getting a job we can't live off of). And, yes, I'm largely obsessing over gaining some kind of illusion of control. Humor me.