Wednesday, March 30, 2011

House hunting?

I'm at that place again. You know, that place I go every few years. The place in the back of my mind that still believes in the "American Dream". The place that thinks every thing in the world would be better if we were homeowners.

Normally, I recognize that the "American Dream" is not what it used to be. That the new dream most American's have is to stay afloat from month to month, to have food on the table and to have a job and health insurance.

We have that now, and I am very grateful. Christopher has been at his job for over ten years and I have been at mine over five years. We have great health insurance, we always have plenty of food and our bills are paid. That has not always been the case for us. We went through a period of time when I couldn't keep a job. I was laid off twice in two years and our income was unstable. We didn't get our bills paid on time and we had to wait to get groceries until pay day. We know what it's like to struggle, to argue about money and to worry that the grocery check is going to bounce. We are all too aware that we could be back there in just a few months if either of us lost our jobs or got hurt.

What we don't have is a house. We have a wonderful home that we rent. It is a three story townhouse at the end of a cul-de-sac in an area of town that we like. We have a great landlord who takes care of any issues we may have right away. Our small back yard butts up to a wooded city park and we get lots of birds and forest animals. This small townhouse has been our home for just shy of 11 years.

House prices are at record lows right now. I feel like we should buy a house, but I really don't know if I want to be the one who has to fix things that go wrong and take care of the yard. I don't know if being tied down by home ownership will interfere with our plan to move to Alaska in the next decade, or if it would ultimately help us to reach that goal.

*sigh* I guess I need to do some serious thinking and talking with Christopher so we can figure out just what the "Urban Dream" is.

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