Wow, it’s been over a week since I last posted! I hate to neglect my blog, but this past week has been hard. It started with an awful storm on Wednesday that left us without power on one of the hottest days so far this year. A tornado actually touched the ground less than a mile from our house! Luckily, our house didn’t suffer any damage, though there were many trees down in surrounding areas. A man was actually killed when a tree fell on his truck while driving down the road, not too far from here! We were out looking at houses over the weekend (will discuss that a little further down) and saw that particular tree still by the side of the road. Its roots were almost non-existent, most likely due to a paved driveway built around it. Being top-heavy, it was only a matter of time before it fell. That poor man was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Going back to what I mentioned before, about looking at houses – I have some big news! I’m just now bringing myself to write about it because I’ve finally come to terms with it all. Enough with the suspense, right? So here goes – we’ve decided to downsize. We’re going to a) put our home on the market and b) either rent a place for a year or buy a house that costs significantly less than what our current house is worth (not sure about part b yet).
I know this is a HUGE decision to make in just a few days time, but it’s for the best. I think we need to try to live below our means (for once) and focus on what’s important – ourselves, not our things. The housing market isn’t getting better, so I realize this isn’t the ideal time to sell, but I really do believe that our house will sell itself. Right now we’re basically paying to be close to the city, which would make sense if either one of us actually worked there! We’ll use the equity gained towards a down-payment on a new house and to pay off all our current debts (this is assuming we get our asking price). Our new mortgage will be less, freeing a significant amount of income every month and leaving us more financially (and psychologically) secure.
Our ultimate goal? To eliminate all our debt and save, save, save! Retirement & college savings accounts are established, but not anywhere near where they should be. If something unexpected happens – a tree falling on the house, let’s say, I don’t want to lose sleep agonizing over how we will pay for the repairs. I’d love to have 4-6 months of salary in the bank, so if we go through another bad period, it’ll be okay. I would definitely upgrade our health insurance plan to something with better coverage, expand our investment portfolio, and perhaps plan regular vacations – I’m dying to go visit my Aunt in Paris!
Right now it makes sense in my mind and on paper. Just thinking about it feels so liberating! Let’s just hope it all works out in the end. The hardest part is letting go of our house. We’ve done so much to it; definitely made it our own over the past 6 years. We’re already known as the “fun” house in the neighborhood because we have a great backyard, a home theater room, and host various events throughout the year. I’m definitely going to miss that, but I’m holding out hope that we’ll find something similar, if not better!
Please, please, please don’t worry about us! We’re okay at the moment; not defaulting on any payments or anything, just tired of being overextended. I’d rather be proactive and move now, when the girls aren’t in school, then have to uproot them later on if we are in worse circumstances. Since we’ll most likely move to a smaller house, my focus now is just getting rid of stuff. We’re kicking it all off with a huge yard sale tomorrow. This annual neighborhood event couldn’t come at a better time! I’ve been sorting through all our belongings the past few days. My method: I pick something up and ask myself if I’ve used it in the past year. If not, then it immediately goes in the “sell” pile – which has now taken up the entire dining room! Luckily, we don’t have to lug all our junk around because I volunteered our front yard for the sale. This is the first yard sale I’ve ever participated in so I’m kind of excited (as pitiful as that sounds!) I’ll let you know how it goes, and post frequent updates on the whole selling/moving process, so stay tuned!