I truly love the man that gets up with three toddlers, changes their diapers, suctions their stuffy noses, feeds them breakfast, gets them dressed for the day ... and then, keeps them quietly entertained so that I can continue sleeping.
All hail Charlie, King of the Toddlers!
Since the time that my husband has returned,
I have continued to pester him that we need a larger house we have resumed our talks on moving. We've spoken to several realtors and we've spoken to a few people that are interested in purchasing our house, directly. Today, we spent the better part of the day looking at homes. Lots and lots of homes. BECAUSE ... we've convinced ourselves that if we ARE going to move - we may as well move in to a house that is going to offer us more than an additional 600 square feet.
** Insert sticker shock and subsequent hyperventilation that comes with houses (and property taxes) for homes >2,500 square feet in desirable areas, in San Diego, California. **
If you've never walked through a gorgeously decorated model home with three toddlers who are doggedly determined to touch every single breakable item - and jump on the meticulously appointed bed - I strongly encourage you to ignore the urge if it ever strikes. However, trying to ignore three toddlers who enjoy walking up the OUTSIDE of an 18-foot staircase is not recommended. Even if it does keep them quiet.
Now, I'm no Suze Orman ... but I am starting to think that I am pretty conservative when it comes to money. Ever since I've had a job ... other than working part-time for my dad at his pharmacy when I was 12 ... I've been careful to save at least 10% of my income. In recent years, that has escalated to more like 20%, safely tucked away in a 401K. I don't even think about the fact that I'm saving, because I have it automatically deducted from my pay. Yet, when I receive quarterly statements - I am happily reminded that I've got a nice little account that has been growing through the years and it gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling.
We are extremely lucky that we bought our home before every thing in California went completely through the roof. Although prices have stabilized somewhat, they are no where near the levels they were when we first bought in to the real estate market 10 years ago. But here we are ... with our growing family ... and an overwhelming
Yet, given the state of the housing market, we are asking ourselves ... is it worth it to sell our house and buy something larger, possibly having to reduce the amount of money we are contributing every month to our savings account ... or ... does it make more financial sense to stay where we are - pay our house down, suck up the fact that we have ZERO room (and baby Nemo really will be sleeping in one of the drawers from our dresser), and purchase a house in a few years - when the cost of living may potentially be even higher than it is right now?
Is it possible that purchasing a new home, will be as fantastic of an investment as purchasing our current house turned out to be? (Assuming we still decide to remain in California - which at the moment - seems like the most logical place to be.)
Today, we found a few homes that we really liked.
I mean, we really, really, really liked them.
It was difficult to get past the gorgeous double ovens, butler's pantry, multiple car garage, breathtaking views, and our three children happily, and yet safely, occupied in an expansive laundry room. These were certainly the kind of homes that we could imagine ourselves living in for the next 20 years ... or more. The school district is phenomenol, there are award-winning recreation centers and year-round pools, and parks galore - all within walking distance.
Now the question is - what kind of financial sacrifice do we want to make to live there?
Do we want to reduce our savings contributions, even if it is for the short term?
Do we want to live off of Ramen noodles and potatoes, with protein in the form of hotdogs?
When we bought our house 10-years ago, it was a stretch for us. Can we assume that we'll have to make that stretch again, but eventually it will balance out, like it did - here?
I've read the advice "drive inexpensive cars but live in the nicest house you can afford." In this day and age, and in a California real estate market, is it realistic to have a debt to income ratio of 36% or less ... when you have three (almost four) children - all of whom wear diapers?
If so, Jay's 96-square foot house on wheels is starting to sound pretty good, again.