Taming the monster of discontent

August 3, 2009 at 9:13 am 2 comments

I love to move.  I think living in a new environment is invigorating, and I think moving is a great time to take stock of the things I have and purge the unnecessary items that might be cluttering up my life.  In my twenties, I moved eight times:

  • To a two-bedroom apartment in Lawrence with Jacque for my junior year of college;
  • To a studio apartment in Lawrence for my senior year of college;
  • To a one-bedroom apartment in Lawrence when I landed my first “real” job;
  • To a three-bedroom apartment in Topeka with Tiffany when I changed jobs and started grad school;
  • To a three-bedroom house I purchased in Topeka;
  • Back to Mom & Dad’s house in Wichita when I decided to move back “home”;
  • To a two-bedroom apartment in Wichita when I decided I needed to be on my own again;
  • To Brad’s house when we got married, where I’ve now lived for nearly four years.

Brad bought this house before we met.  When he bought it, it was in drastic need of some TLC.  It was 20 years old, and almost all of the items in it – flooring, fixtures, appliances, etc. – was original.  It’s in a good area, though, and easily accessible to Rock Road and K-96.  The neighborhood has a park and our neighbors are a diverse mix of ethnicities and ages.

We have made major improvements to the house.  We have installed new windows and blinds, put in a new deck and back yard fence, replaced the hideous carpet in the kitchen with a laminate hardwood, and removed all the brass lighting fixtures and put in brushed nickel lights.  We’ve added ceiling fans to two of the bedrooms and put new ones in the master bedroom and the living room.  We’ve done a complete gut of the master bathroom and we’re preparing for a gut of the hall bath.  The basement carpet is less than a year old.  All of the bedrooms have gotten new paint.  In the kitchen, Brad put in under cabinet lighting, installed a new dishwasher, and replaced the old stove and fridge.

In short, we’ve put a lot of time and money into this place.  And there’s more to be done.  Lately, though, Brad and I have both been feeling the itch to move.  This house, while more than big enough for all of us, is starting to feel cramped now that we’ve added two kids to our family.  We continue to be plagued by the next door neighbor, whose yard looks as if a subterranean bomb exploded and whose weeds continue to encroach upon the yard Brad has so meticulously nursed back to good health.  Our two-car garage barely houses our two cars, Brad’s work space, the trash can, and all the kids’ vehicular toys, including a wagon, the stroller, and Alissa’s Dora bike.  And, I’ll admit, Brad and I are both tired of dumping so much energy into this house.  It would be nice to go three or four months without having to fix some sort of problem.

We also know that this is a great time to be a homebuyer.  Interest rates are insanely low, and sellers are desperate to unload in a recessed market.  We actually looked at a house two weeks ago that was originally priced at $269K, sat on the market for a year, and was recently re-priced at $219K.  This is a great time to pick up a lot of house for the money.

When the time comes, we would prefer not to send our children to Wichita schools.  We would like to find something east, still in Sedgwick County but in the Andover school district.  The problem is that limits our options as far as price range.  Most of the homes that fit our criteria in the area we are looking in are too expensive for us, especially right now.  Unfortunately, what we want and what we can afford are two separate things.

Our buying power is also contingent on what we can sell this house for.  We had a realtor look at our house last week, and she gave us an analysis of what she thinks we can sell it for.  The news was disappointing, but not unexpected.  She thinks we can sell this house for around $150K, which barely covers the purchase price and the improvements we’ve made to it.  By the time you take out fees and commissions, we would ultimately realize a loss on this house.

The thing is, we don’t HAVE to move right now.  Ultimately, it comes down to the fact that we are both discontent with what we have.  Instead of embracing our current situation – and thanking God for a home to live in – we are letting ourselves get carried away with the idea that we need something else.  The truth is, we won’t need something else for at least a couple more years.  Alissa won’t start kindergarten until 2012, at which time I hope to be in a different school district.

I think for the time being I’m going to quit looking at the real estate web sites.  No need to torture myself anymore.  Instead, I’m going to put my energy into making this house as comfortable, and organized, and livable as possible.


Entry filed under: Life in general.

I'm like a new person. This week’s weigh-in – 8/1/2009

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Anne Burris  |  August 3, 2009 at 10:13 am

    It’s so funny, we are going through the same thing. Every day I check the new postings on Realtor.com, only to make the same realization – The house that I really want is way out of our price range, so why bother looking when we have ample space? Not only that but our mortgage is paid off in 5 years and think of all the awesome vacations or other things we could do with that extra money! I also wonder, do I want to be enslaved to a 30 year mortgage? I’ll be 65 when a new home is paid off!
    But, yet I continue to look at the listings. It’s like an itch I have to scratch. I’m just waiting for the itch to go away, because I know the money-wise decision is to stay here.
    God really has blessed our family and I know I should be content with what I have. Does having a newer and nicer home really make life that much better? I’m not so sure.

  • 2. Janelle  |  August 3, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    How about moving west?? Just a thought? 🙂


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