A few weeks ago, we wrote about how we were considering moving. We had caught the housing bug again, and our eager realtor had been fueling the fire by sending daily real estate listings to my work email. We had begun rationalizing and dreaming of moving to a nearby community with more highly rated schools and higher real estate prices to match. With interest rates at 2.65% for a new 15 year mortgage, it seemed almost silly to not at least look.
So we looked. We stumbled upon several houses that we thought were okay…but we found two houses that we loved. One was in a pristine neighborhood with an amazing outdoor area and a beautiful, manicured lawn. It had covered front and back porches and lots of room to live and grow. The downside to this property was that the great room was laid out very strange. Although we tried our best we just couldn’t figure out how we could arrange any furniture so that it would make sense. Ultimately, we walked away.
The second house we found was perfect! We loved everything about the inside. It had 4 bedrooms, an office in the front of the house, an amazing kitchen with super fancy appliances, and a huge great room. The back yard was an entertainer’s dream. It had a covered back porch, a beautiful lawn, and a hot tub that was built into an attached deck. I have always wanted a hot tub!
Unfortunately, the dealbreaker for this home was the neighborhood. It was the most expensive house on the block, and the street connected to another neighborhood that looked a little shady. We just couldn’t see ourselves living there and we thought that its location made it a bad investment.
After these disappointments, I started thinking about why we really wanted to move in the first place. Afterall, we have a nice house. It isn’t perfect, but it’s clean and in a safe neighborhood. We have plenty of room here, and the kids are very happy. I started wondering why I was feeling the need to upgrade.
When we bought this house, it was probably my dream house. Why has that feeling changed? Isn’t it good enough anymore? As our incomes have grown, am I getting spoiled? Would moving and upgrading just be giving into the very lifestyle inflation that we claim to loathe? Can someone please tell me that we are not turning into the Joneses!?!?!?!?!?
Could Our Current House Work for Us?
A few days later, Greg asked me what it would take to make this house work better for us. We talked about remodeling the bathrooms. We brainstormed possible solutions for our back yard. We talked briefly about what we could do to make the kitchen better. Ultimately, we decided that the money we would need to spend to do any of those projects would not be a good investment. Our house is probably worth about as much as it could ever be worth because of the neighborhood it is in. Thus, any money that we spend remodeling here would probably be wasted. Since that’s the case, I don’t think it would be wise to do any remodeling. Even if we remodeled the kitchen, I still wouldn’t like the bathrooms and vice versa. It just wouldn’t be worth it.
Is New Furniture the Answer?
After talking about it at length, I realized that one thing that drives me crazy about our house is our living room furniture. We bought it three years ago, and I never sit on it because it is totally uncomfortable. I had back surgery in my early 20′s and have to be really picky about where I sit. Since my furniture is oversized and fluffy, I have been sitting on my living room floor for the past three years. Although I really didn’t want to buy new furniture again, I began to realize that I wasn’t feeling at home in my house because I didn’t have a comfortable place to relax. After sitting on the floor all this time, it took almost moving to make me realize that one thing I really need is different furniture.
I started looking for furniture on Craigslist. I found sofas and loveseats that looked really nice. The only problem with buying used furniture is that we don’t really have a way to move it. Also, since my back problems are an issue, buying used furniture would probably mean driving to a bunch of people’s houses and asking them to let me sit on it for a while before I could decide. Plus, used couches have been puked, drooled, and farted on so you can’t really clean them like you can a piece of used wooden furniture.
That convinced us to do the unthinkable. We went furniture shopping at real stores! At furniture stores, they let you sit on them all day! I didn’t even have to worry about any awkward moments. After visitng several stores, we found a couch, chair, and ottoman that were extremely comfortable for both of us….and we bought them! Of course, we wanted to get some credit card rewards, so we purchased them as such. As per usual, we’ve already paid the cards off online.
That is how I saved 50K by buying new furniture. It will get delivered in a few weeks, and I think it will help us stay in this house a lot longer. I can’t promise that I won’t be dreaming about real estate ever again, but I truly believe that it will make this house feel more like my home. I still think that we will move in the next 5-10 years, but we are hoping to wait until we can buy our new house in cash. Besides, we’ve only got 35 more months to go until we are debt free. It’s too late in the game for us get off track!
What do you think? Have you ever spent money on one thing that saved you from spending money on something else? Let us know in the comments below! Also, feel free to subscribe to our blog by clicking the link or adding your email to the form above.