Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Forever House...

We're all forever working toward something bigger and better, aiming for a future with more, more, more - bigger house, better neighbourhood, finer finishes, more furniture and stuff, stuff, stuff.


Before we'd even moved into this house two years ago, when the offer was accepted and the deal was signed and our lives were a flurry of activity purging and packing and planning out the furniture, decor, and future renos in the new place my husband made a passing remark about one of our ideas being "not in this house - but maybe in the next." Why does there have to be a "next house?" I don't want to move.

We have different perspectives, coming from different experiences. I've done the bigger-better-more-more-more thing. I bought my first house with my first husband at twenty-one years old. Teeny-tiny new construction townhome from the builder. Liked it, wanted more. Sold for a profit, bought a much bigger fixer-upper historical home. Liked it, wanted more. Sold for a profit, bought an enormous five thousand square foot mansion. Hated it, hated everything, never been so miserable in my life. Divorced, sold house, lost assets, single parent, single income, etc.etc.etc. Learned to live with, want, and be happy with much less. My husband's never done any of that - this is the first home he's ever owned.

But still I say - why?

diy, home improvement, landscaping, interlocking stone, retaining wall
New stone walk & gardens
Why do we have to plan for a bigger, better house in the future?
Why does there always have to be a "next place" down the road?

Why can't this house be our forever house?

Our house is small, but cozy - and the layout is perfect. Our backyard may be small by normal standards, but for this suburb of this city it's huge. We live in one of the best neighbourhoods in the area, our perfect little Pleasantville. I love our home - we all do. So why can't it be our forever house?

Why should we scrimp and save for an ever bigger house - why can't we spend our time and money turning this house into the home of our dreams? We're happy here. We're comfortable here.

Home decor, living room organization, warm colours, shelf styling
Brand-new living room redo
 And we've already done so much work on this house - we've painted every square inch of every room, we've replaced the carpets with hardwood, we've redone the stairs and railings, we've replaced all the light fixtures, we've completely redone one of the bathrooms and half of the kitchen, we've landscaped and installed stonework and gardens and are halfway through building a massive two-storey deck.

In another year or two this house will literally be the house of our dreams - so why would we ever dream of moving?

In this house, we can afford all the renovations needed to turn it into our dream home. We can afford for one of us to stay home to raise the kids. We can afford for our boys to play rep sports, we can afford to send them all to university. We can afford a trip to Disney World every year and we can afford little extras like our Zoo pass and day trips and dinners out. We even have plans for early retirement. I don't know if we could do all of those things if we were ever buying bigger homes with bigger mortgages and bigger rooms to fill with more stuff.

I have friends still stuck in the "bigger-better-more-more-more" cycle, having to go without vacations and extras and even having to float a dinner out on a credit card. I would never want to be back in the position of choosing between lifestyle and house payments or between giving my kids all those extras they deserve and financing a slightly bigger home. I feel far more spoiled knowing I have money to spend on little extras than I would if all our earnings were going to pay for a little bit larger of a house.

My husband loves this house as much as I do. But he's still not sure we won't outgrow it at some point. We've already planned out possible basement and attic renovations to add more square footage to this teeny-tiny townhome if the need arises - hopefully that will let us stay here in our happy little Pleasantville home forever.

I want this to be our forever home. I want my children's memories tied up in this one family home - we had enough moves and changes in their early years. I want all the rest of my memories to be in this one home - I've moved every year or two since I was eighteen. I want my husband and I to grow old in the same home we raise our children. I want this to be our forever home.

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