Joe wants to sell our house and move. We’ve been here less than two years (It will be two years in mid-September), and the last time we moved, it was just SO STRESSFUL. Granted, things will be different. He only wants to move a few cities away from where we are now, so instead of a 5 hour car ride, we’re looking at a 30-40 minute drive. We won’t be staying in hotels, so we have time to find the right place. If we don’t sell this place, its no big deal. We’ll just wait for the right time and try again.
So why does he want to move? This place is HUGE for just two people, a dog, and a cat. We both work, I’m going to school, and he is planning on going back to school in the near future, so keeping this place clean has been a struggle, even with Joe not in school. Once he returns, it would be even MORE difficult. We’re pretty far away from all of the things we like to do. If Joe’s little brother has a health emergency (he’s a type 1 diabetic), we’re a solid 30-45 minutes away, and his other brother can’t always be relied on to get there in an emergency. The schools out here suck balls, so when we do have children, we would be moving anyways because the schools are so horrible. Since we only want two kids anyways, we don’t really need a gargantuan house like what we have now.
Also, if we can get enough money for this place, AND get a smaller place for less, we could possibly afford to get married, which is huge for me right now. We’ve been together for over four years now, I’ll be 30 in December, and lets face it, my uterus isn’t getting any younger either. Not to mention all the things we would need to do to this house to make it kid friendly. We have a dirt lot for a backyard, which is fine with Harley because she is a lazy bum who sleeps on the couch all day anyways, but kids need a place to play, and it would cost a small fortune to make our backyard livable. We’re looking at condos for the smaller place, many of which have parks, playgrounds, AND pools(you have no idea how much I want a pool), so we’re covered there. The school districts in the three places we are seriously considering are a million times better than what we have out here, and we would be closer not only to Joe’s family, but all of the things we really enjoy doing.
The only downside is, we would be pretty far away from where Joe is working now, but I would be a lot closer to a lot of the job opportunities I have been seeing. And the public transportation is so much better in these places then what I have to work with out here, so even if I did have to ride the bus (or light rail) to work, it would be that much easier to access. I’m just scared. The last time we moved we could fit everything we owned into our car. Now we have furniture, some of which we will probably have to sell. Not to mention the kitchen full of small appliances and the bigger appliances we would likely be bringing with us (at the very least our fridge, possible washer and dryer, definitely the TV). I have bad back problems, and Joe has his leg problems from the accident he was in a few years ago, so we would either have to hire movers or ask my dad and brothers to come help us, neither of which is a horribly appealing proposition. If my family came and helped, Joe would feel obligated to help, and he really shouldn’t be because of his legs. If we hired movers, that is an added expense on top of an already expensive situation, and I would’t trust them to handle my belongings with care.
But then there are other things to consider as well. A smaller place means lower utility bills. Our electric bill for last month was almost $400. Assuming we keep up the same usage but with a MUCH smaller place(our house is just over 2,000 sq. ft, we are looking at condos in the 1,000-1,300 sq. ft range), we could essentially cut our bill in half. The only downside to a lot of the places we are looking at is they are strictly electric appliances (no more gas stove!), which could fluctuate the bill slightly higher, but nothing compared to what we are dealing with now. And property taxes. Smaller place = cheaper property taxes. Most of the places, the estimates weren’t even over $1,000 for the whole year. Ours for this year? Close to $2,000. We have a living room we never use, two bedrooms that serve no useful purpose 95% of the time, and a list of things we “should” be doing to this place a mile long that we just don’t have the time and/or the money to fix.
But MOVING?!?!?! I’m scared that a lot of these places we won’t be able to move to because of Harley (she is a pit bull mix), there is the ever-dreaded HOA fee (which will more than likely be higher than what we are paying now, due to the increased amenities), and the fact that if we do move, this will be our THIRD move in 2 1/2 years. Poor Snickers is probably going to have heart failure when she sees a moving truck pull up, and there is just no telling how Harley is going to react to moving into a neighborhood that is by nature just more community oriented. We might have to actually TALK to our neighbors! The horror! We’re serious hermits, can you tell? In the almost two years we’ve been here, we’ve talked to maybe 2 of the neighbors for anything longer than 30 seconds. And the second one was because the battery on the car died and we needed a jump. The first was the neighbors nosy ass kids who sat there and talked to Joe and I while we were pulling weeds in the front yard.
And that’s another plus side to moving. Little to no yard maintenance! Most of the places have small patios that are mostly concrete, and public areas would be maintained by the HOA! So take off the $40 we were paying the gardener every 2-3 weeks to come and pull weeds out of our front yard and make sure the trees look alive. We’d save on our water bill as well since we’d have little to no vegetation we’d have to attempt to keep alive, so even if we have a higher HOA fee, we’d save enough in other areas to recoup the cost of the increased HOA fee. Just the $80/month on the gardener would be enough to cover it in most places. Add in the savings on the electric and water bills, and we might even be able to afford cable again! And all electric appliances would mean little to no gas bills. Granted, ours has only been about $40/month, but its still a savings.
I’m just very nervous. I detest moving, with a passion. But the reasons behind it are solid. We don’t need a place this big. By definition we can afford it, but we’ve been struggling, especially with me out of work. If we were able to get a place cheap enough, we could pay off the car and eliminate that payment altogether. That’s an extra $250/month we could put towards a million other things, like diapers for a baby. We’d be closer to Joe’s family, so when we do have kids, I could still work and our baby would be with family instead of some random stranger we know nothing about. With all the recent stories about nannies and babysitters doing unspeakable things to the kids they are supposed to be caring for, just the thought of it drives me to madness.
I guess the question is now, do we call the real estate agent?