Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Buying a house, buying a life

My mind and our discussions are running along the path of home buying. Since moving to Cleveland three years ago we have been renting a house- which we love. It is much bigger than we need, and because we don't pay taxes or maintenance we feel we are getting a good deal. Last week someone came to fix our front step and someone came to repair the roof and we haven't done yard work in three years ... renting is seriously underrated.

But then equity and interest rates and we wonder are we being a good steward of our finances living here?

And so we look at houses, but with each house we find ourselves reevaluating our values and priorities and asking what is our mission, really?

Because it isn't just a house, it is a life.

Whether we intend it or not, a house consumes a lot of life.

It is a long-term decision. We don't plan to move to another city anytime soon, but when we think about giving up that freedom, we hesitate.

Some houses would cost less money, but cost more time in maintenance and remodel.

The small house we love is a great decision financially, but it would make hospitality more difficult- something that I believe in and love to do- a less tangible but just as real expense.

Living in the country and owning land has its charms, but so does the city.

Do we want to spend our weekends taking care of a house? Would we rather own a smaller and more affordable home with low maintenance and use the time and money for other things?

Where is our community- the place God is calling us to live and love our neighbor? I once believed that was a firm calling- now I think maybe can be many places; wherever you are.

our current old ugly kitchen which I love

I don't believe that owning a home is the only choice or always the best choice anymore. I do believe that the kind of home you live in should reflect your own values and goals and priorities.

For now, if I were dreaming, this is the list of what I am looking for in a house:

At least one good tree in the yard
A view of the sky from the kitchen window, preferably west
A space of some sort for homeschool
Good neighbors. Great neighbors would be even better. (By the way the house next to ours is opening up- any friends want to move to Cleveland?)

What would be on your home-buying list?

UPDATED: read this!

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