So, after months of searching for a new home in our new city, we finally purchased one. We are thrilled not to live in an apartment anymore, but I have to tell you that this house is not “the dream home.” In fact, it has almost nothing on my wish list. You may be wondering why we didn’t buy the dream house, especially after months of searching.
It’s a good question. When we first walked into the home where I am writing this post, I took one quick look, walked out, and said, “No.” It’s a small, three-bedroom home with a small kitchen and a small backyard, backing up to lots of other small homes with no backyards, just minutes from the Interstate. (Did I mention, “small?”) Not exactly the quiet, country retreat I had in mind. Nope. Not going to do it.
Later that week, our realtor showed us a property with almost everything on the wish list. Four bedrooms. Check. Hardwood floors. Check. Large kitchen with gas range. Check. Wood-burning fireplace. Check. Dedicated space for a homeschool classroom. Check. Enough acreage for a large garden, plus room for an orchard and berry patch. Check. Some added amenities, including a creek at the back of the property with an extra, two-car garage to store tools and toys. Double check. Final bonus: we would have had access to a private lake across the road.
What wasn’t to love? The price. Our loan officer assured us we could make the payments with no problem, and we certainly could. For the NEXT THIRTY YEARS. When I told my realtor that if we bought the house I would be in debt until I was 75, she said, “You and everybody else.”
And that’s when it hit me. No. Not me. I refuse to live like everybody else if living like everybody else means scrimping and saving, sacrificing other hopes and dreams, just so we can have a home with everything on the checklist. If you’ve ever found something you thought you wanted, only to discover that you have no peace about buying it, you know exactly how I felt.
So that’s how I ended up in a small, starter home in a no-backyard-neighborhood. And why I’m glad I did. This home actually offers us many advantages. 1) We’re no longer renting. 2) We were able to get all our stuff out of long-term storage. 3) We’re saving a ton of money. 4) We can take our time to search for the right property at the right price. 5) We can either sell this home for a small profit or turn it into an income property. In other words, it gives us lots of options.
The best part about this house? After we moved in, I slept through the night for the first time in months. Let me tell you, there’s no way to buy that kind of peace. So that’s why we didn’t buy “the dream house.” No, where I live right now is not the dream house, but it’s a house that can get me to my dreams, and I can live with that!