Nancie and I spent our first five years of marriage in southern California. While we were there, we made some dear friends for life. We recently took a vacation to visit some of those dear friends. While we were visiting, we showed our kids where we lived and worked. While their interest level wasn’t all we dreamed it to be, for Nancie and me it was a great trip down memory lane, especially when we drove by our first house. Nancie and I both were like little kids when we saw it for the first time in years.
Since seeing our little house, I have wondered, when it comes to homes, have we taken five steps forward or five steps back.
Size: Our first house was 900 square feet. The yard was about the size of three picnic blankets. The house we live in now is several times bigger than that and we live on over an acre lot. With the little house, we could have the thing cleaned from top to bottom and the yard manicured in an hour and a half. The house we live in now never seems to be cleaned from top to bottom or have a manicured lawn.
Cost: We rented that house and could walk away whenever we wanted. By the time we pay off our current house, our kids will probably be newlyweds living in their first, maybe even second houses.
Gratitude: We both agreed that we were more excited to move in that little house then any of the other homes we have lived in since. When my wife talks about it, she is just so stinking cute. Just thinking and talking about it seems to make her 24 again.
Don’t get me wrong. We love our home. We love the space. We love the kids having lots of room inside and outside to play. We love having room when people come over. But if I am being really honest, once again, I would love to be able to go back to 1996 and visit myself in that little house.
Here’s what I would say—
Size: This is a great size house. Always remember, the more you have, the more you have to take care of. Every minute you are cleaning or maintaining a home is a minute you could be doing something else.
Cost: If you ever think about moving out of this house and buying a house, buy way less than you can afford. Don’t make yourself house poor. And remember, every dollar you spend on a house is a dollar you could save or spend on something else.
Gratitude: You are very grateful for this little house. Regardless of where you live, always be this grateful that God has put a roof over your head and has given you a wife to make your house a home. Oh how lonely you would be without her!
God, thank You that You love me regardless of where I live. Help me to have your perspective when it comes to stuff!
What have you learned through your home buying experiences?