Image source: Home is Where the Heart Is Print on Etsy
We brought our first house, a townhouse, 6 years ago this October. At the time when we bought it I wasn’t thinking much past the excitement of making such a purchase and all that it implied. (Yay, look at me, I’m an adult!) The process wasn’t exactly a dream, but it wasn’t as nightmarish as some people’s experiences but it left it’s mark.
For a long time I’ve been happy to sit in this house and just be happy with it. In the lead up to the Little Man’s birth we invested some money in making tweaks to the house. It was money well spent because I love the direction our house is moving in. There’s just one small catch, we now have a child.
With the addition to our family I’m now reevaluating our housing situation and as I see it we have 3 options:
- Buy a house.
- Move towns and buy a house.
- Stay where we are.
I find myself constantly debating the merits of each of these options without ever coming to a real decision about what to do. Today I found myself investigating Option 1, but is it the best option for our family.
Image source: Wood Sign Family Rules on Etsy
Here’s the thing. When the Little Man was first born I desperately (and I mean desperately) wanted to move back to my home town, buy a house in the same street as my parents and live a very Brady life safe in the protective embrace of my parents.
Now that the Little Man is a little older, I’m a little more confident in my parenting abilities and Spring is about to be upon us I’m wondering if the best thing for our family in the long run is to stay where we are geographically.
I want the Little Man to know his Grandparents, Aunties and Uncles and maybe the best way for that to happen is for us to stay in the middle, like we are now. We’re a days drive from Melbourne and a 5 hour plane trip from Townsville. We’re in the middle.
The past weeks we’ve been exploring the opportunities that may be open to us in Townsville. They’re not great. I mean there’s a reason I moved to Canberra 10 years ago and it wasn’t for the great surf beaches! (It was for the legalized pot growing, prostitution and fireworks!)
If we lived in Townsville we’d take a big hit financially, but we’d make a big gain in the family stakes. Really, at this stage in our lives we can’t underplay how important the money is. (We’ve got private school bills in our future!)
I know that if money was no option I’d stay in Canberra. When I daydream about that big lotto win that’s coming my way any minute now I dream about staying here. (And living in Red Hill…) I just travel a lot more and my family comes to me a lot more.
So I guess in my heart of hearts I know that option 2 isn’t really an option that I want. I want (with all my heart) to be physically closer to my folks, but I also want us to have a certain lifestyle and I want the Little Man to have access to things here that he wouldn’t have up there. (Especially if ole’ Can-do Campbell keeps screwing Queensland over!)
That leaves us with Option 1 and Option 3. And those options bring with them a whole new bunch of considerations.
Image source: Home is Where the Heart Is Print on Etsy
When I think about buying another property I’m simultaneously excited and repulsed. I loathe the financial side of things. Getting all the paperwork together, working out the best financing options and waiting for approvals. But I do so love to shop.
I could spend hours combing real estate sites looking for possible homes. I love looking at the high end of the market (just to torture myself) and I love looking at the low end of the market (I’m a closet flipper). I just find myself paralyzed with indecision when it comes to actually making another purchase.
Do we buy new? The house we’re in now we bought new. We knew ourselves well enough at the time to know that we wouldn’t be able to save the cash or commit the time to renovating. We also knew we wanted low maintenance because we’re both hopeless when it comes to strapping on a tool belt, never mind actually using a tool!
If we buy new we’re going to need to spend a lot more money then I’m necessarily comfortable with to end up living in something that’s not a shoe box. We wil have to buy in an outer suburb which means that we’ll be further away from the places that we like to go to now socially. It will mean a longer commute to work for both of us and it will also eventually mean a longer trip for the Little Man.
However, buying new affords us the luxury of not having to go backwards with our housing standards. It also means that we won’t have to renovate or do anything for the next 5 years like we did with our current house. We can just move in and enjoy.
Now when I grew up we moved on average every 5 years. It was great and I credit it with one of the reasons I can manage change so well (to an extent) and that I can make friends fairly easily (keeping them is another challenge). I also think it’s why I get bored so easily when it comes to housing. I like the different experiences moving gave me.
On the flip side Hubby’s Father still lives in the house that Hubby grew up in. Hubby never moved house as a child – ever! I envy that. When I think about the childhood that I’d like to give the Little Man it centers on him having a family home like Hubby had. So if we bought new, in our price range, we’d out grow the house and have no room to expand.
Image source: Dreams for Your Boy Print on Etsy
That leaves buying an older house that gives us the option of extending in 10 years time to make a parents retreat and a teenage prison. If we buy an older house it will mean possibly living with a bathroom and kitchen that look like something the 70′s threw up and I don’t know if I have the constitution for that. (yes, I’m well aware I’m a diva!)
Regardless, the option to buy a house rests on us having to sell our current house and that just seems like a crap load of work. Which bring me to option 3, staying where we are.
Now when I think about that I try to pretend that we live in New York or Tokyo because if we lived in either of those cities our current house would be considered a mansion and we wouldn’t think twice about raising a family in a 3 bedroom townhouse.
The thing is we don’t live in either of those cities which I’m reminded of every time I drive out of the house and see the other homes around us with yards. So I guess I know what it is that I want to do I just need to suck it up and push through the crappy so I can enjoy what I want ultimately.
Bah… I never was any good at scaraficing for a longer term goal. Guess it’s time to teach this old(ish) dog a new trick.