Somewhat unexpectedly, we have found ourselves back in the housing market. As you know, a few months ago, we were offered a possible rental home on some land starting this summer. Unfortunately, the owner still doesn’t know for sure if he is going to get a new assignment allowing him to move, so we have just been waiting. After the experience we went through last summer, we had given up the idea of buying a place. Most financial experts recommend you own a house for at least 3 years before selling in order for it to be a good deal, and, due to our 1 year lease, we are now down to about 2 and a half. Well, we got to talking about our situation.
The house we currently live in has proven to be one mess after the next. First there was continual mis-management of our paperwork and over-charges that lasted for several months before it got straightened out. Then there was the no-warning re-roof, followed by the rainstorm that flooded our master bedroom. Then there was an almost 2 week process of everyone blaming everyone else while we just wanted the room fixed so we could use our home again. Then there were the leaky sprinkler systems, the faulty water regulator, false carbon monoxide alarms, the exposed wiring issues, the non-working phone jacks, the broken garbage disposal that had to be replaced, etc. We thought everything was finally taken care of, and winter came. We discovered the boys’ bedrooms had crushed and non-functioning heating ducts, meaning they were freezing at night. We convinced the office to provide us with a space heater to get through the winter, and were told a repair would be a major process. They agreed to wait until we moved out to fix it. Then we discovered that the house has little insulation (apparently), and cold winds continually blow through the phone jacks and electrical outlets located along the outside walls, plus the door and window seals all leak. My muscles are usually sore from being cold all the time. Then, we got a call that they had decided to repair the heating issue after all, and they re-did the whole thing, which took 2 afternoons. Unfortunately, they put the new vent right beside JR’s top bunk, so the air blows out on his head. There is no way to move the bed at this point, so we have to keep the vent closed anyway, and still use the space heater. As if that wasn’t enough, I recently realized the kids and I have had respiratory issues for several months now. Considering we hardly ever get sick in any way, and when we do, it never lasts more than a few days, I got to thinking. We discovered that our heat ducts had never been cleaned after the re-model, and a neighbor’s had gotten so bad the guy hired to clean them had to wear a respirator and discovered fiberglass insulation in the ducts. So, we are now scheduled to have ours cleaned tomorrow to see if it will help any. Now, to add insult to injury, our military housing allowance just increased. While this is usually a blessing, by regulation, though, every cent of our allowance goes straight to the rental company, so we are paying an exorbitant amount of money every month for the lousiest house we have ever lived in. I could be thankful for the house itself, as it has a great location, a beautiful view, and a few other things going for it. The price we are paying and the hassles we have had, though, quite outweigh all the advantages! Sorry, I digressed severely….
So, we sat down and wrote out the financial aspects of staying in the house we currently have, moving to a rental, or buying a home and some property. We were absolutely stunned at the total amount of money this house will have cost us over a 3 year period! Especially when we added in the price we pay for our dairy and egg products, which we know we could supply ourselves. After some discussion and prayer, we realized it would be well worth any risk to buy a place, thus the search was on. We knew we had a one year lease, but we pulled out the contract to verify everything. Amazingly (and somehow I totally missed this fact when I signed), the crooks at the rental office had written into our lease that our “1 year” lease was, in fact 13 months long! WHAT?! So, we decided that, if God chose to bless us with a new home in the near future, it would be well worth every cent to pay the early-termination penalty fee and get out of this arrangement as soon as we can, then to keep supporting the unethical principles of this privatization company–and we would still come out ahead financially!
So, we spent a bit of time researching homes this weekend. We found one that is promising, but it is a bank-owned, which we have no experience with. The home itself is on 5 acres, and we can raise whatever garden, compost pile, or critter we desire! Even though it is a foreclosure, it only appears to have minor issues that need some work, but otherwise appears move-in ready. It seems to be a steal of a deal since it is a bank property, which means, God willing, we would possibly be able to sell it very easily for at least the same price we purchased it for. S has just left to go for a second, closer inspection, and our realtor is encouraging us to rush a bit as she doesn’t think it will be on the market long. So, although we are still praying about it, it looks as though we will be getting the paperwork in order as soon as feasibly possible and see what happens. Even if this doesn’t work out, though, I’m sure we will continue to search and see what we can find.
I selfishly pray and hope that God will allow us to move. I was disappointed a home didn’t work out last year anyway, but with all that has happened in this house, I am tired of the hassle. I am tired of having maintenance workers in and out constantly, and almost always disrupting our nap times when they come. I want desperately to move into a home, on some land, raise some animals, have a place my kids can romp freely without negative influence from neighboring children, be able to let my dog go play off leash without a neighbor complaining, be warm in the winter, and decorate and “build” our home the way I want without having to worry about getting permission for everything (I can’t even plant a single flower here without filing paperwork with the office!). I know it seems silly, but in the almost 10 years we have been married, I have never even painted a bedroom in the house we live in! Part of me feels that, as a homemaker, it is a my duty to “make” our home into a peaceful retreat that helps clarify who we are as a family. Yet, I have been limited to curtains and wall hangings (limited at that). I feel like I’ve never been able to “stake our claim” in a home. I keep reminding myself that it may not be in God’s plan for us to move, I don’t know. Oh, but I can’t help but hope and dream! Only time will tell.