Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Moving Backward: from owning to renting

We had been dreaming about moving back to the country for years.  Looking at houses and waiting for one to come on the marketLess houses mean less go on the market.  What did come up in our price range either needed a complete remodel or went so quickly we didn’t have a chance. 

I changed jobs and had a 30 minute commute to and from work.  My commute was nice.  It was the opposite direction as traffic and I got to watch the fields grow on my daily commute.  It also gave my an hour a day to listen to an audio book or sing along to the radio. 

A year and a half later, Michael changed jobs which came with way less stress but also less pay.  His job was now very close to mine and although his commute was now 30 minutes instead of 45 minutes to an hour is was still long. 

His new boss asked him is we wanted to rent out his old house.  Michael was sold instantly – I was not. 

How could we go backward?  We OWN our house, why would we go back to renting? 

Then we sat down and mapped out this potential move.  We discovered we would save about half on our housing expenses (mortgage, insurance, and utilities) and the saving on our gas – no, sorry, FUEL (we have a diesel truck and car) was going to be significant too.  We also priced out rentals in our area and discovered we could rent our current house for enough to cover the mortgage.

Ok, that sounds good but still – renting is throwing your money down the drain, right?  Kind of yes but also no.  You are trading your money for a place to live.  That’s not a bad thing at all. 

Then there was the difference in the houses.  Our house has 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, brand new windows, new flooring, a new master bathroom, a 3 car garage, a decent sized backyard, and we could modify it as we pleased.  It is situated on a cul-de-sac in the suburbs.  The potential rental is a modular – a trailer without wheels, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, awkward layout, mismatched floors, a pond behind the house, and literally 5 minutes from my work.  It is in the country close to the land Michael was going to farm and close to his dad and grandma’s house.   

Yeah, you read that right my husband wanted me to move from a house to a trailer and the crazy part – we did it!  Even crazier – we couldn’t be happier about our choice! 

We moved when I was 7 months pregnant, spent the 8th and 9th month of my pregnancy getting our old house ready to rent out while getting settled in our new place.  It was crazy but looking back it was all worth it. 

I have been writing this blog post in my head for over a year now.  I still have conflicting thoughts about it!  Sometimes I feel like we took a huge step back and might not ever live in a house we own again.  I long for the days when I can tackle projects to improve the house again.  Other times I know this is the best thing for our family right now.  We get more time together since we are spending less time commuting and we live in a much more peaceful area. 

I just did the math and I spend 11.5 DAYS (24 hour periods) on the road in my year and a half commuting to and from work.  When you look at it like that – WOW!

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Maybe we did move backward, but as odd as it sounds sometimes you have to move back to move forward.  (At least that is what I am telling myself!)

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