So, word has gotten out in our ward that we've listed the house--if we'd in fact wanted to keep it a secret we should have a) not told the kids b) stopped being Mormon and c) not blogged about it. Seeing as how we didn't do any of those things, everyone knows. And everyone asks the same thing, Why?
It sounds like a simple question, which means it ought to have a simple answer. Most people can answer that somewhat simple--we got a new job, we want to build, we want to be closer to family. We don't have that kind of simple answer, but here is my attempt at trying to sum it all up and dispel the myths.
Myth 1--We want a bigger house.
Nope. My house is plenty big, and we're on five acres of land, and we love it. I don't mean we like it, it works, and we're happy here, I mean we LOVE it. The floorplan is perfect, the yard is great, and we've worked hard for ten years to make it perfect--with every amenity we have ever wanted--except for the lousy basement carpet. We have molded this home into exactly what we could ever want. It is our dream house--it really is.
Myth 2--If you aren't going for bigger and better, then you must not be able to afford it anymore.
Hmmmm. Yes and no. We CAN afford it and don't forsee that we will hit a point where we can't afford it in the near future. My husband makes a good living and we only owe a little over half it's worth, so the payment isn't horrible. BUT my husband is involved in real estate investing and an economy based buisness--both of which have been hit hard of late. We don't get paychecks, we don't have a 401K, we don't get sick days or group plan insurance. We do pay a lot of money in taxes (and will likely be paying more once our new president takes over), we do tend to get lump sum payments a couple times a year that we have to stretch out, and our health insurance is through the roof. We are our own job security, which is great except when you wish someone else was in charge of some of these aspects. It's not that we can't pay the mortgage as much as it is we're not sure we want to pay it.
Myth 3--If you don't want bigger and better and you can afford the house you have, you must be sick in the head.
Possibly. I'd be the last person to deny insanity and I admit that I really do fear that if we sell we'll regret it, always wishing we'd stayed. And yet, we just have a . . . feeling. I don't know what the feeling is. Maybe it's just us finally understanding what it means to live below our means and us wanting to adjust our lifestyle to fit that better. Maybe it's a forshadowing of our future income situation, maybe we're just bored and need a new challenge. Maybe it's a test to see if we'll act on a feeling we both have--a little like the Abraham Isac thing but without the deadly weapons involved. Perhaps it won't sell, we'll live happily ever after right here and this is all just a phase we're going through. I don't know. What I do know is that last summer when the yard work was making us both cranky, I suggested selling and my husband shut it down without a discussion--something he doesn't do very often because he usually wins the discussions. But he wouldn't even consider it. A month ago he's the one that brought it up. We discussed and discussed and discussed and then called a realator. Which, ironically is exactly the way it happened last time we moved. We weren't considering a move despite owning a buisness an hour from our home. We talked about staying there forever and running the buisness with the help of an on-site manager and Lee making the drive once a week. We were very happy there. Then one day Lee said maybe we ought to move. Within two weeks we'd listed the house. Two months later it had sold and we were on our way to Willard.
This kinda feels like that did and we've had two walk throughs this week that both really liked it and are taking a few days to think about it. That's promising.
However, we keep reminding ourselves that it's a horrible time to sell, and yet it's a great time to buy. We want to stay in Willard and have dozens of homes to choose from. We've looked at several via the internet and have one we're quite interested in and have walked through, but we're not taking any action until/unless our house sells, then we'll panic :-)
I'm not expecting to sell right away and I'm not packing boxes, but as I go through my days I'm taking note of what I'd take, what I'd throw out, and what I'd sell in a moving sale. I'm surprised how much of the space in this house is taken up with things I don't use, don't need, or don't even want--but I have room to store it so I do. That seems a little bonkers, doesn't it?
And I'm still not convinced the 'feeling' had nothing to do with selling and everything to do with my keeping my house clean--it looks so good! And every day the kids and I get it back into top shape so that if someone wants to walk through it, I'm ready. It's been nice to have a super clean house--it's been years since I've been this vigilant and rather than taking away from my writing time, after a few days spent just cleaning, cleaning, cleaning, I have less to do than I used to and I feel more at peace when I sit down to write because I don't have a dozen household chores calling at me. That's been nice.
Anyway, this is my attempt at a simple answer. We'll see where we go from here.