Saturday, March 27, 2010

Upgrading Our Space, Downsizing Our Housing Payment

We've outgrown our house, as families do - well, like OUR family does. When we bought our groovy three-bedroom-two-bath-postage-stamp-sized-yard home, we only had five kids.

I know. I say that like a guy might say, "It's ONLY fifty baseball caps." What can I say? Some people collect cars. I happen to collect kids.

After the babies got too big to stay in our room, the boys left their bedroom and "walled" up a room in the garage. They liked the privacy of being able to play video games and watch movies without anyone bugging them, and we loved them for it. That's a big sacrifice for a pair of teen boys to make. Giving up their room for their tiny sisters was selfless and... well, sweet.

Even with Princess gone, there never seems to be enough room. We're still a family with six kids at home, three dogs, two cats and a 75-gallon aquarium filled with um, some fish. I can't be sure how many, exactly, we have swimming around in there because Mr. Wright has been slacking on his tank cleaning duties. It looks more like someone threw some moving "things" into an oversized punchbowl.

When we bought our home, the real estate market was booming, and I settled into a comfortable pace of editing the writing I'd done over the past ten years to see what was salvageable and what wasn't. The idea was that I was going to write my novel, or produce a volume of poetry, or an anthology of short stories or whatever happened.

That plan worked for a while, but when the bottom fell out of the real estate market a couple years ago, we were hit hard. Extremely hard. We've been through market slumps before, and the fact is that business always picks back up. It's cyclical. The problem is, we can't wait it out anymore. I started doing more freelancing, but I hardly think I'm going to earn enough doing that to make up for the loss of real estate income. I can't tell you the number of real estate professionals I know who have lost their homes or are in the process. The industry was hit HARD. It's really opened my eyes to how so much of the economy is tied to housing. Anyway, our mortgage payment went from "manageable" to "a stretch" to "completely unrealistic."

So, we move. Have I mentioned how much I hate moving? Or how much it sucks?

Perhaps I have. *ahem*

Anyway, this time is different. This time, I LOVE our new house! The kitchen countertops suck, but I can get over that. It has a huge deck! It has 2.5 bathrooms! It has an area where I'm going to put a library! It has walk-in closets! The boys can live INSIDE the house!

What's even better? Oh, yeah. It's just a couple miles away. No moving over any mountain pass for the Wrights THIS time. Aaaaand, it's cutting our housing payment considerably. More space for less money? I'll take it! We're renting, but maybe I'm ready for it to be someone else's job to fix a broken step or a busted water pipe.

Seriously, this house is perfect for us. For now, anyway. Until and unless we grow again. The owner is interested in selling it. I told Mr. Wright to get busy getting the market back in shape so we can buy it - for CASH. Wouldn't that be nice?

Has the economy caused your family to make changes in your lifestyle or budget? Tell me how... You may, of course, comment anonymously on this post.

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  1. I am so in the middle of this process of facing a move that trying to comment honestly about it threatens my sanity. Lets just say it has hit us hard, and its still hitting. Despite my emotions right now I do know that everything will be okay. Good luck in your new place. A LIBRARY! hooooray for You!

  2. Ah, Sweetie... thank you for sharing. It's good to know - no, it's ESSENTIAL - to know that one isn't alone. I think so many people are struggling right now, but it still feels lonely because no one talks about it. Know what I mean?

    A library... yeah. My little sister has one in her house (she doesn't have any kids), and I've become the jealous type. So, I laid claim to an unused office area in the new house. w00t! I'm excited!!!


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