The situation room
The house-hunting has gone better. Here's what I have ATM:
Option 1: The small cabin in Talkeetna, 120 miles north of Anchorage. Very rural, ~70 miles to the nearest grocery or WalMart, and I can now move in as early as next Monday. I don't think I'll meet too many people there, but there should be great chances of seeing moose, maybe some bears, it's closer to Denali, I can get on a bike at the front door and ride right onto the trails, and it's a new, clean cabin. The basic rent is $700/month, but the utilities will be another $140, and the owner wants a 10-month lease, so $8,400 is the total, and I could stay until April (or at least into the fall) if I wanted to try the winter.
Option 2: An older, small house in a nice, rural area of Eagle River, 12 miles north of Anchorage. Haven't seen the inside of the home, and can't see it until Friday, so it may be nice inside, or a disaster. The owner has been a very, very nice realtor, and says it needs "some work". There's some chance of seeing wildlife here, but much more work to get on a trail, with the positive being it's in a town with all the stores I need. Price is $1,100/month, and the owner is currently ok w/ doing month-to-month, but would prefer a year. If I leave at the end of September the cost is probably ~$5K, but there's some chance she could say "You know, I really need a year". (10-20% chance I'll guess.)
So, do I wait and see Option #2 on Friday, hoping Option #1 doesn't go away by then? Worse yet, Option 1 goes away and Option 2 then needs a year's lease, and then I'm back to square one? Or, cross my fingers and wait for Friday, hoping Option 2 comes through and I can save a fair amount of $?
This feels like a sports draft-day situation or something similar.