Well, here we go again…
A few weeks ago, Holly wrote about how we are “houseaholics“. When you combine this with the fact that we aren’t very happy with some aspects of our current residence, you have a recipe for house shopping on your hands. Although we haven’t made any final decisions as of yet, we are certainly considering the possibility of moving again.
As usual, the moving bug hit Holly first. Like the sleuth that I am, I first noticed that something was stirring when she started showing me emails of new
“products” houses on the market sent to her from our dealer realtor. I’m not sure if she broke down and requested these emails or if our realtor just thought she would give us a little nudge. Regardless, I had a feeling about what was going to happen next…and I was right.
Soon, I began catching my lovely wife staring at real estate websites, browsing the available selection. When I questioned her about what she was doing, she would coyly reply that she was “just looking.” After politely reminding her that we already had a house and a financial plan to boot, she would give me her best puppy dog eyes, bat her lashes and explain that she just liked to look. I knew that this wasn’t going anywhere good – and fast!
The house search cooled off for several weeks. Of course, I assumed that all was back to normal and the house hunt was put on hold. As I often am, I was – of course – wrong. After my suspicions had been properly misdirected by this lapse in the search, a few weekends ago, my wife sweetly asked what I wanted to do for the day. I said that I didn’t have any plans and asked her opinion. She told me that she wanted to drop by an open house place that she loved. RED ALERT! RED ALERT! INCOMING! INCOMING! But, I already knew that it was too late.
Although I immediately put my guard up, she deftly evaded my fruitless attempts to stop the upcoming process. “Come on, it will be fun,” she encouraged me. “We aren’t really looking. It will give us something to do.” She was starting to win me over, playing to the weakness of my own real estate addiction. Besides, what harm could there be in looking? Plus, the kids were going to come and look at the house with us so we couldn’t be that serious, right?
I knew it would happen, and it did. Walking into that open house, I felt so dirty, but I felt so good at the same time. You see, I’m a house addict too, but I’ve trained myself to fight the housing urge over the last few years. On the other hand, I could already tell that Holly loved it. I, however, would need a little convincing. My wife would drop subtle – and not so subtle – hints that she wanted to move. For a few weeks, I was able to fend off the urge that was growing inside of me, but I have finally given in. We are officially on the market for a new house.
Rethinking Our Dream House
Last time we thought about moving, we were looking at “upsizing” our house. This time, I am glad to say that we have kept our senses. Rather than searching for a house that is almost twice the size and has several acres of land, this time we are looking at real estate that is near the same size as our existing house. This is much friendlier on our pocket-book and will fit in better with our long-term financial goals.
So, if we don’t want to trade up to a starter castle, why move? Why would we not stay in the same place? I’m glad that you asked!
Why We are Considering a Move
There are things about our current house that we don’t like and that we can’t change. The yard sucks and is beyond my, admittedly, weak powers to heal it. We don’t like where the house sits on the odd-shaped lot. Our back yard is small and nearly unusable because of the numerous fruit trees. That is a real bummer because we have young children who love to play outside. Essentially, every time we go outside, we get anxious because we hate the yard. That isn’t really worth it to us anymore.
One of the main reasons that got me to consider a move was the school system. Our current plan was to pay off the house that we are living in within three years. After that, we planned on looking at a house in a different school district. However, in three years, our oldest will have already started school. Even though she will only be in first or second grade, why not move now while prices and interest rates are low. Since we have the ability to start her off in the school where we intend for her to go later, why not do that now?
The last thing that pushed me into full-fledged house shopping was that we have made a promise to ourselves to pay off the new house way ahead of schedule. The house we are currently considering is priced at a point where we can have it totally paid off in four years instead of three. Since the house we are looking at can provide us with multiple things that our current house can’t, the increase in our happiness outweighs the additional year of payments.
Finally, the house we are seriously considering is one of the least expensive houses in a beautiful neighborhood. That is always a good thing, right? If you know about real estate, one of the keys to making a good investment is not buying the most expensive house on the block. While this house is certainly beautiful, the neighboring houses are even larger and more expensive. That is sure to keep our property value up.
No Decision Yet
So, essentially what we’ve decided is that our savings goals have to be a balancing act. While we aren’t willing to compromise our savings goals too much, we also are very open to increasing our happiness quotient. If we had consumer debt, we would not be considering this move at all and would be paying down our debt instead. However, since this is only a small step up in price, this option is definitely open to us. Essentially, we are trading one mortgage for another…but we think it is going to add a huge amount of value to our lives. We will be sure to keep you updated on our decision.
What do you think? Are we crazy? Are we addicts? What should we do? Let us know in the comments below!