I've been spending a lot of time writing about moving to a new house. I released my self from the self-imposed pressure of finding a new place last week because it was stressing me out. Yes, the sooner we move, the sooner we can save more money but it isn't critical that we move right now. I did look at an apartment-townhouse although small it would be doable. It also didn't meet one of our three requirements: laundry in unit. We decided to keep looking. The other day a listing for a house popped up. It's right in the area that we want to live near the village just a hop skip and a jump from the new library, police station, fire station, grocery store et cetera. It is two bedrooms and one bath. It has a garage with laundry hookups. It is a bit small-not quite 1,000 square feet but not much smaller than the apartment that we looked at.
It caused quite a stir in me because I had almost resigned myself completely to the idea that we would need to move into an apartment. When the house listing popped up, it got me thinking about the wants vs. needs and the status symbol that a single family home is. I live in an area where attached housing is subpar not just in terms of desirability but in terms of the quality of the housing (cheap construction of the 60s and 70s with few amenities) also. This house is more expensive than the equivalent apartment (if you take the laundry out of the equation). It is $1500 a month vs. the $1295 for the apartment. However, it does include the laundry hookups. We estimated that we would spend about $20 per week ($80 per month) on coin laundry at the apartment. We would also need to pay trash pickup at the house. So, the difference is $155 for a yard, a garage, the convenience of laundry, and the prime location. Oh yeah, and for the status symbol. It wouldn't entirely close the gap of our finances but it would save us about $315 a month over our current house.
We're going to look at the house this morning. I hope we really like it. It would be great to have a grassy yard again for the kids to play in. There is even room for a veggie garden. Something I would miss not being able to have in an apartment.