A Place to Call Home

For the first 18 years of my life, I lived in one house. I love my par­ents’ house. It’s not huge or fan­cy. It’s not even what I would con­sid­er the per­fect lay­out, but man, I love that place. After I left home to go to col­lege, I lived in 11 dif­fer­ent places. These include dorms, sum­mer camp cab­ins, home with my par­ents for a sum­mer, apart­ments, and the house we owned for three years. Of those places, the house def­i­nite­ly felt the most like home even though we were there only for three years.

After liv­ing in the house for three years, we start­ed to reeval­u­ate our sit­u­a­tion. Did we real­ly want to live in a place where it was a 10 mile dri­ve each way to go to work, church, the gro­cery store, friends’ hous­es? In addi­tion, our house had two bed­rooms upstairs and two down­stairs. At the time, we weren’t expect­ing any chil­dren to be born in the near future, but we knew it would prob­a­bly be an issue when Baby #3 was on the way. I also had a real­ly hard time meet­ing any­one in the small town where we lived. It was pri­mar­i­ly a bed­room com­mu­ni­ty with no great places to meet oth­er moms or kids. We talked about what to do for quite a while. Stay or sell? In the end, we decid­ed that most of the things which we con­sid­ered to be issues or prob­lems were not going to change. We decid­ed to put the house on the mar­ket and see if any­one would buy it. To our sur­prise we end­ed up with a buy­er after the first day on the mar­ket. After that, we had a whirl­wind 5 weeks of look­ing at hous­es, find­ing none we liked, look­ing at apart­ments, doing last minute fix­es on the house, and mov­ing!

We’ve been liv­ing in our cur­rent apart­ment for just under a year now, and while it’s not ide­al, there are def­i­nite­ly things I real­ly appre­ci­ate about liv­ing here. We are close to friends, close to a park, with­in walk­ing dis­tance of Jason’s work. The apart­ment is pret­ty afford­able. It’s real­ly pret­ty big for an apart­ment. The laun­dry room is right off the kitchen and easy to access for me dur­ing the day. It has a deck on the north side of the build­ing which allows us shade in the after­noon sun. It has under­ground park­ing so I don’t have to take the boys out­side to get them in the vehi­cle in the win­ter. We have a bike path prac­ti­cal­ly out our front door. We are just a cou­ple min­utes from both gro­cery stores that we fre­quent. So, as I said, there are many *many* things to like about it. Obvi­ous­ly there are things which I don’t like about it, but I think every house or apart­ment has things like that.

Orig­i­nal­ly, our plan was to live in this apart­ment for a year and find a house this sum­mer. Then, when I found out I was preg­nant, we thought it might be bet­ter not to go through the work and stress of buy­ing a house and mov­ing dur­ing the preg­nan­cy. One of the cri­te­ria we had decid­ed on in our search for a house was an attached garage. It’s North Dako­ta. It can be cold in the win­ter. It can be rainy or windy through­out the year. Hav­ing an attached garage would be real­ly nice. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, the more I look at hous­es the more I won­der if that is a real­i­ty for us. My hus­band is the Chief Tech­nol­o­gy Offi­cer for his com­pa­ny and does almost all their com­put­er-relat­ed work. He also does some web pro­gram­ming on the side. I am a for­mer spe­cial edu­ca­tion teacher, but I am stay­ing at home with our kids right now. It’s a pri­or­i­ty for us to spend time togeth­er as a fam­i­ly. Lots of time by some accounts. I could work, but I would be sac­ri­fic­ing time with my young chil­dren and my awe­some hus­band. Jason could work more than he already does by doing more pro­gram­ming, but he would then be sac­ri­fic­ing his time with me and his time for run­ning, relax­ing, and sleep­ing. How much can (or should) one per­son work???

So, because of our pri­or­i­ties, it seems like we have a cou­ple choic­es. We can con­tin­ue to live in this apart­ment and save mon­ey and hope that a house in our price range comes up with an attached garage. We can look at hous­es and go for one that doesn’t have an attached garage. We can wait until this fall (when I will be 7 1/2 months or more preg­nant) and look at hous­es when the pre-win­ter price reduc­tions hap­pen.

I’m guess­ing that part of the rea­son this has become a major issue for me again is because I’m preg­nant and prob­a­bly get­ting some of those nest­ing-type feel­ings. Also, while it’s so much eas­i­er to find things to do with the boys in the sum­mer, it’s real­ly hard to keep two boys occu­pied in the win­ter. Think­ing about doing that and hav­ing a new baby is def­i­nite­ly some­thing that’s on my mind reg­u­lar­ly. I’m also real­iz­ing that even if we stay here anoth­er year, with all the mon­ey we can save it still will prob­a­bly not be enough to get a house with an attached garage. *ETA* As soon as I hit pub­lish, I real­ized that I for­got an impor­tant thought! I loved my house grow­ing up, and I want that same sense of place and com­fort for my kids.

So, until then, I will be here in our pret­ty darn good apart­ment. Not lov­ing the wimpy air con­di­tion­er but feel­ing thank­ful for the many things which are work­ing out with us being here. And pon­der­ing.

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