Confessions of a Houseaholic

So this is mostly not public knowledge among people I know, but I must confess that I am already longing to move. Not that I don't like my house, because the house itself is just fine and perfectly perfect and decked out in gorgeous moldings and tall ceilings and huge bathrooms and granite countertops, but I've learned a lot in the 13 or so months we've lived here about what I need, want, and simply do not need.

Since being laid off from my job, Seth and I have entered the sometimes cruel world of living on one paycheck and having to lose things we otherwise would've kept and enjoyed. Namely, a car - we sold our CR-V (on my birthday, thankyouverymuch) to save us from an almost $500 a month car payment. We tried living on one car, but I think that lasted only 2-3 weeks. We then bought a cheap car and more than cut in half that old car payment. We've gone to the grocery store with new eyes on and actually paying attention to prices and how much stuff we didn't need to buy. It's been a bit of an eye-opener that's now reached beyond our simple everyday purchases.

Losing income makes you reassess your true needs in life and helps you to easily distinguish between wants and needs. While it was dawing on me well before I lost my job, it's even more apparent now that wedontneedthismuchhouseandyard. Our house is a little over 2400 square feet and sits on slightly less than half an acre. When we were moving from our townhouse to this house it felt like we could breathe again and I couldn't wait to stretch my legs in the new house and have a place for everything. We wanted a yard for Three to run and play in and be able to be off her leash. We've got all that (minus a fence to let our doggy free) but now I'm not so impressed.

I've been longing to be back in Apex. I realize that I loved being so convenient to so much, yet it still had the small town charm. Apex got a lot of new stores during our time there and I obviously took for granted being able to pop over to any number of those places in mere minutes. Our house now is pretty far in comparison to the nearest "main road" and I guess that's to be expected when you "live out in the county."

I don't need this much house. I'm constantly overwhelmed with our space. We don't use the 2 bedrooms upstairs although we've had friends sleep in our guest bedroom a few times, but the other one has never had a real purpose. We use the bonus room, but lately I've been content to hang out downstairs and watch TV or we'll camp out in our bedroom while doing our separate hobby-type things. I've been to see a couple of smaller homes in the last few weeks and have decided about 2100-2200 square feet is plenty for us.

Aside from the house, our yard is even more overwhelming. We've never done anything to it and the plants the builder put in died within a few months of our moving in. We've got more weeds than grass it seems and as soon as I pull them, 10 more grow in its place. We haven't put the money into our yard and our mulch is probably almost 3 years old. Unfortunately, our neighbors have perfectly groomed yards and have beautiful flowers and fresh mulch all the time. I know they think we're idiots.

Anyway, it's gotten to the point that I'm ready to downsize and am OK with less space. Think about how small a home in the 50's was and people lived just fine and dandy in those homes. My in-laws have about 1900 square feet and they raised a family 3 children and 2 adults in there! I'm into being green when I can be, but I think people forget that part of being green is not only being energy efficient but being SPACE efficient. We don't need all these huge homes with tons of excess. I'm all for a nice, new home with hardwood floors, but I don't need 800 rooms to clean each week.

So....we're going to talk with our realtor about what we might be able to get for our house in this market. If her estimation doesn't meet our expectations we'll just keep hanging on until things get better. I know it's crazy to be thinking of moving just a year after doing it once, but this time would feel more informed and more conscious of what's too much and what's just right. We'd be headed back "home" and I might just be ready to start a family then...


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