Tuesday, April 30, 2013

sort of sold...

We have accepted an offer on our house, it was listed for 2 1/2 weeks and soon it will no longer be ours.  I am full of emotion right now. 

It's exciting because we decided long ago that we just aren't cut out for house ownership, between the problems with the floors, roof, wear and tear, and regular house things that just need to be fixed we just don't have the money that old houses (or any houses for that matter) require. 

The next emotion is sadness.  The memory of being proud to own our own home, it's the place we've lived the longest together, it's the place we came home to after exciting vacations as a young married couple, and it was the place we brought our baby home to and watched her grow over 2 years. The place has so many memories for me, and always  will, but I think it's done with us. I feel like it will move on to get the facelift it deserves and become home to other families. I also think this is another reason I'm not cut out for ownership. 

I love the idea of dwellings, people take a series of boxes and sometimes oddly shaped walls and turn them into a home. Each one has a different look, a different shape, some are stacked on top of one another, some stand alone, some stand next to twins and triplets who look just like them. What is that thing that takes an empty shell of construction to being an irreplaceable part of your life?   This is the kind of interesting thoughts that come to me as we are thrown into the next phase of the process, finding a rental!

Originally we had agreed on an apartment. My husband is still very much PRO apartment. I was very much PRO apartment 3 weeks ago when we viewed 4 apartments that were in our price range and available for us asap. We passed on those because we were afraid our house would take a long time to sell and we could not afford to pay both rent and mortgage. Little did we know we would be searching the ends of this town, and the next town, looking for a rental in our price range that feels like home.  There is next to nothing. The only option until today was to accept something in a slightly higher price range just because it may be available. However both of those units are contingent on the fact that they have someone in line in front of us. Then I get a call from my Aunt who says there is a house across from her coming up for rent. I should have never gone there,  but of course I was driving by in less than 10 minutes and working on viewing the 3rd room by the time my husband made it out of the car. My demise is that it's old. It's "horizontal bead-board, bead board ceilings, original wood floors" old... my heart was stolen. The great part is that for the most part it's been remodeled. Unlike the old house we've been in, this one feels well insulated, has insulated windows with screens, and central air and heating. It has been incredibly well cared for and updated.  It has a HUGE laundry room, and a porch. Wait, I'm not even emotional yet. This house and it's porch (I'm a sucker for porches) look directly onto the house where all of my childhood memories take place. This house is directly across from my grandma's house. My grandma's house was such a point of pride for her, and my Aunt has certainly carried that on in caring for it. Just the thought that I could sit on the porch of a well cared for old house and have coffee looking onto a place that means so much to me, every morning, is unreal. It makes me really nervous that the lady who owns it has not yet called me back. The current tenants did talk to her about us being interested, and the rent is surely in our original price range. Now all I can do is wait.  

See, one look at nostalgia and I've ruined husband's life and have my heart set on this house that may not even be available. He agreed to it though, which was a tad bit surprising. He rationalized that while it's a house, it's a rental, which means that leaks and roof replacements won't be left up to us. Rental insurance is a lot lower here in the south than homeowners insurance. The updates should also really help with the electric bill.  I'm trying to not get my hopes up however. (Yeah like they aren't already.) There was a very nice apartment in a very nice area that my hopes were already on earlier this afternoon.  I know I have to just let it go and say that we will end up with a home, no matter where it ends up being I'm really just hoping we only have to move once (instead of once into storage and then again into an available place.)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

downsizing for a new reality

       If anyone reads this blog at all (*crickets*) they would know that in February of last year we rented our house out and went to stay with relatives due to my husband's job change.  We were able to move back into our house in November of last year, and while still struggling, we are getting by.  Thankfully he enjoys his new job, and they've sent him to training, and he is working his way up which also involves raising his pay to close to what he was making before the job change. This is all great news for us of course. After moving back into our house we have been left with making evaluations of what we have enjoyed and disliked about living here and living with relatives. We have come to the conclusion that while thankful, we didn't care for living in someone else's house. It was crowded, difficult for everyone, and we were all relieved to get out of that situation. However the relief was short lived after coming back to our house. We had to look at weather we actually love our house or love having our own place. As any family would tell you, your own home is an important part of life, but does it make that much of a difference where that home is? If it's owning your own house or renting an apartment, does the details of the home make a difference? 

       I've been reading a lot about people who have given up owning their home and all the costs and labor that comes along with it, for renting. There is a guy who write a blog about his family's journey after giving up their house for apartment living (http://www.rethinkingthedream.com, great blog, well written, not like this crazy un-organized ranting.) We really see this as something we would be happy per suing. By this point you may be thinking that we are crazy. Almost everyone in our lives thinks this is crazy, (they pretty much think we are crazy anyway, but that could be an entire blog entry on it's own.) What do you do when you don't like your neighborhood (not my neighbors, I love a couple of my neighbors...), you don't like making home repairs, you don't have extra money to repair anything anyway, your husband hates yard work, you hate the outdoors*, etc. It seems awfully logical to us. We could be closer to his job and save on gas, we could be in an area where I'm not afraid to take my daughter on walks down the street (I'm not so much afraid of the people, mostly the neighborhood dogs). It has come to the point where home ownership has caused far more stress than joy in our lives, and that should be the sign of it being time to move on. 

        Of course this whole issue comes with a much larger LARGER problem that is effecting a lot of people right now... we have the wonderful job of selling a house we no longer like to someone in a very down housing market. I'm far too honest of a person and will be the first to tell anyone why buying a house is a foolish thing to do, so that leaves me as the sales person out. We have hired a real estate agent, our poor agent... I really like her personality, she's friendly, I just feel terrible because this is her job. From what I've heard she's good at her job, but it has to be rough right now. I pretty much feel bad for most people who sell things for a living, some people are good at it and do well, I'm just so bad at it that they get sympathy from me. 

       For now I will document our selling, searching, moving, and living journey here. I pray that it doesn't take years. I have a sinking feeling that it will not be at all easy. Hopefully it will be worth it. Maybe one day if anyone ever reads this blog, they can tell me why they think we are crazy also. 

     * We don't hate the outdoors completely, I am terribly afraid of most bugs, dirt, tetanus, snakes, things that fly, things that buzz, the sun, skin cancer, sex offenders, all of our neighbors have large scary dogs that they don't treat very well and attack other neighbors, we don't have a fenced in yard... See why I'm not a good sales person?