A House by another name….

Let’s see, in my adult life I’ve rented an apartment, owned a house and owned a condo. I’ve even done some of those things more than once, though always just one at a time. I’m no real estate tycoon!

When my ex and I divorced, and I was moving out and away with Krystal, I gave serious thought to buying a condo versus a house due to not having to worry about outside maintenance. But a friend talked me into giving my child a yard and a neighborhood, and in the end I agreed. I bought the house we live in now in September 2005, which just incidentally coincides with the absolute peak of the real estate market in my area. Lucky me.

It’s becoming clear to me that I am not cut out to own a house. Parenting two kids, working full time (and a dog!) are taking up all my time and energy. Finding time to mow the lawn, worry about a new roof (which it seems clear I now need), painting, siding, yard work and all the worries that go along with home ownership are pushing me closer and closer to the edge.

OK, so here’s where it gets dicey. Major brain spillage ahead:

I want to move to a warmer climate (Florida, or if I can get a relocation package through work, I’ll take North Carolina). I do not have a timeline for this, but due to external factors, we are probably looking at 3-4 years. Unless I get laid off, in which case that may accelerate things – after all, if I have to look for a job anyway, I may as well look where I want to live. Right?

Alternatively, I don’t want to have to live through another New England winter! And certainly not in a place where I have to worry about shoveling/plowing my driveway.

My roof likely needs replacing. There is a spot on my bedroom ceiling and the whole thing looks pretty ugly from the outside. In today’s buyers’ market, I’m sure I’d have to replace it before anyone would buy my place.

I need to do some landscaping in the front of my house. The mulch around my foundation plantings gets splattered up onto the ground level windows every time it rains and makes the house look dirty and dingy. I need to put down rocks instead, but man that sounds like a lot of work. Just thinking about it makes me tired.

My “lawn” is just green stuff that needs to be mowed. I’m not sure how much of it is actually grass. Lots of clover and other stuff. But it does look pretty good for 24-48 hours after I mow it. I sometimes think I should invest in some sort of lawn service to increase my “curb appeal”, but the thought and money involved don’t appeal to me terribly much.

Are you wondering yet why I bothered to buy a house at all?

Oh, and because, as I stated earlier, I bought my house when prices were at their highest, I’d be lucky to sell my house for little more than what I owe on it, provided I actually sold now. Which is one of the drivers to waiting a few years before the move south. But that’s so logical.

As is my way, I’ve done a lot of browsing online. I’ve found some condos in our area that sound appealing, and I’ve even driven by a few of them to see how they “really” look (pictures in a real estate ad can be so deceiving!). The girls have started asking, “Are we moving?” and the answer is not so easy. Probably not, at least not now, as much as I’d like to. And by “like to”, I mean to already be in a new place. The thought of actually packing and moving makes me want to claw my eyes out.

Oh, and if I act now (before September – so not happening) and move to a place with full day Kindergarten (which is not available in our state, but we are very close to a state where they do offer it, and which I’ve considered), I could save myself a year of private Kindergarten tuition for Belle, which amounts to no small sum.

Do I sound totally flighty yet?

And yet, I don’t want to move the kids twice. I can’t imagine, knowingly and purposely, moving now (unless we stayed in the same school district), and then completely relocating in 3-4 years. Plus, moving for a short time period like that would eat up closing and moving costs, making it financially inadvisable. There I go, getting all logical again.

I just want something to be easy.

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4 responses to “A House by another name….

  1. As one who moved every two to four years for the first 20 years of our marriage, I find that there is something cleansing and revitalizing about moving. Not the actual move (I HATE packing and we usually had to move ourselves), but the act of relocating to somewhere no one knows you. Not all bad…

  2. I am 52 and have moved TWICE in my life. I would have preferred NONE. Moving sucks.

  3. I’ve moved a lot. But not with kids yet. I hope you choose North Carolina. I’m only 2 hours from Asheville!

  4. I don’t think you sound flighty at all. I think it sounds like you’ve put a lot of thought into it. As much as I also would hate to move the kids now and then move them again in a couple of years, that sounds like a logical plan, given today’s economic climate.

    However, I was just commenting to another teacher at my school that I went to the same school district my entire life and lived in the same house my entire childhood, and that I think as a kid, moving would be a difficult adjustment. You know your girls. How would they fare? What do they think/feel?

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