Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Thoughts for Tuesday

Our housing situation has been on my mind a lot these past few days. What to do? Should we move? Should we try to stay? What are the tradeoffs? Is it worth it? Can we take a few giant steps back in our housing situation? We’ve lived in a house, albeit a rental house, for the last six years. We’ve lived in our current home for a little less than a year and a half. Previous to that we lived in a much smaller, older house nearby. The house was in a great location with a nice backyard but the layout was weird. Only about 800 square feet of it were truly usable. It was also very old and nothing had been updated, and I mean nothing. We had no dishwasher and the kitchen counter space was practically non-existent. We also really had no dining room. But it was cheap. We paid there about the amount that we’re thinking we can afford in a new house. Our current house is great. More than enough room, everything is usable if a little dated and run down. The location is great. But we really can’t afford to stay here on one income.

I sent my husband out yesterday to go look at a townhouse-apartment that looked really good on paper. The only think it didn’t meet of our specifications was the washer and dryer. It is a 2 bed, 1.5 bath, 1,000 square foot two story place with a small yard. I had pretty high hopes that it might work out. It wasn’t exactly in the best location but it is near the large regional park and within walking distance of a grocery store. Last night, we talked through what he saw. He said the place is small but doable. I could tell he was hesitant. When I pushed him as to whether this is something that we should pursue or hold off, he thought we should keep looking. I think that it finally hit him that we are really about to downgrade our lifestyle. Perhaps, he hadn’t quite thought it through in as much detail as I have. It made me feel selfish. I am the one who stands to gain the most from all of this. We’ll all have to sacrifice some for this to work. Moving back into an apartment is a big step. I remember when we moved into our first house. I was so excited to finally have an address that didn’t end in an apartment number. Then, again I thought then what I really wanted was a career and the financial ease of the dual income lifestyle. I didn’t bargain back then my first daughter was only two how quickly time would fly by. How I would soon come to regret all of the time spent working instead of with my family. My husband and I have asked ourselves whether or not we should have stayed in our first little house. It had a lot of drawbacks but it also would have made moving to one income an easier thing.

For now, we need to decide whether we find a large apartment that will work for the next year or two or wait and hope that a small house comes up for rent in our price range. I don’t know what the right decision is. I’d hate to move into an apartment and then have a little house come up that we could afford. I also know that if we move into an apartment, it will be that much easier to start saving and adjust to our new lifestyle. Decisions, decisions.

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