Why We Are Moving

We are moving into our new house some time in March. It’s just a tad bigger than our current house and has 4-5 bedrooms, just like our current house  The biggest differences between our current house and our new house are:

  • New house has NO yard. Current house has 3 acres
  • New house is walkable to library, grocery store, restaurants. Current house is not walkable to anything – not even to just GO for a walk
  • New house is way more expensive than what we paid for current house

When we moved here 5 years ago, it was because I wanted to have land and chickens and maybe some larger animals. Andrew was worried that the upkeep would be too much and that most of it would fall to him, to which I objected. We fought. We bought the house. The upkeep fell to Andrew. And while I liked having chickens, I didn’t like it as much as I thought I would. As much as I wanted to like homesteading, I just didn’t. I realized that wanting to like something is VERY different from actually liking something.

I also wanted a smaller, cheaper house. This is the smallest, cheapest house I have ever owned. I am glad for this experience as it did force me to embrace a more minimal lifestyle. I had to get rid of half my kitchen stuff, for example. I have made my tiny kitchen work and I like it. I like not having as much stuff. But our house needs some remodeling, and over the past 5 years we haven’t made it a commitment to figure out how to pay for them and it’s made us tired of living here.

We aren’t the right owners for a property like this. Again with the wanting to like something instead of actually liking it. We wanted to like fixing something up but since we didn’t actually like it, we never did it. We updated the house on the cheap (paint and stuff like that) and I think we did a good job but we didn’t do the major things that we envisioned like a master bath remodel or an exterior re-do.

So I have learned some lessons:

  1. I am better suited to new houses that don’t require updating.
  2. I am better suited to houses with minimal outside upkeep (did I mention that I didn’t learn to use a lawnmower until about 2009?)
  3. Aesthetics matter a LOT to me. I think our current house is ugly on the outside and it’s always bothered me. I compromised on this when we bought the house because I thought we would fix it one day. But instead I’ve lived in a house for 5 years that I think it ugly.

Our new house is in a neo-traditional neighborhood with front porches and rear alleyways, within walking distance of the LIBRARY, movie theater, and main shopping district in our town. I have loved neighborhoods like this for a at least 15 years. But it seemed it just wasn’t the right choice for us financially and I tried to listen to Andrew this time and not make a decision I would later regret. He wasn’t nearly as interested as I was in the dream (I always have a dream) and he is way more practical. But he is also not one to stay in one place for long, and we have that in common.

Fast forward another month or two and Andrew had slowly been talking himself into the new house. On my birthday he took me to the neighborhood and we paid the deposit. And I think we have a book to thank for pushing us to take action. We both read Walkable City by Jeff Speck right around the time we were debating moving and it certainly influenced us to want to try living in a walkable area. Only time will tell if we have made the right choice but I wouldn’t be moving if I didn’t feel that this move would make it easier for me to live the life best suited to me.

 

  • Charmaine Taylor

    I always wanted a fixer upper house to tackle, but while married to my city-boy husband he did not..when I finally bought an old cottage with 1/3 acre on my own I was thrilled. And of course it needed what I called the “dentistry of home ownership” All the important stuff you MUST do, that doesn’t show, costs a LOT, but if you don’t do it pain results. (kinda like needing dental crowns, bridges or implants)

    The first 2-3 years were spent hiring the help for replacing posts, piers, rotted floors, a sagging bathroom, repairing roofs, etcetera, while I assisted pulling nails and such. I was doing the deferred maintenance and was young and energetic enough to take it on. Plus it was an affordable and cute cottage. But it got to be so much work that I slowed down, and accepted many flaws. I did some fun projects, yes, and while my home based business took off earning me an income it meant I had little time to DO the fun stuff. I still wanted to do the DIY myself, eventually.

    I sold my business and 3 days later a head on collision wiped out all plans for tiling my floors myself, redoing the kitchen myself…you get the picture. Paying pros $50-$70 an hour to do what I wanted was not an option. I am happy I had the experience, but tackling so much work AND running a business, having animals, doing yard work, traveling a bit, was just a lot. You NEVER know what the future will bring, so understanding what makes you happy in the now is crucial.