My theme for my goals this year is re-evaluation, and one thing that led to my choosing this theme was a constant battle in our minds: whether to stay in this house or move.
Our house is old, like 1910’s old. That means we a) have a tiny kitchen, b) very little storage, c) a creepy basement we’ll never use for more than laundry/workshop/dumping grounds, and d) have tiny bathrooms (we’re lucky we had space to put a 1/2-bath on the main floor – a hot commodity around this neighbourhood).
When I get in one of those “GOD, I HATE THIS HOUSE!!!” moods, the things I dream about are:
- a more open floor plan on the first floor
- a kitchen with more cupboard space and an island between it and the dining room
- a large mudroom/laundry combo off the front (MORE SPACE for all our clothes/bags/gear/etc)
- a MUCH bigger upstairs bathroom
- a finished attic, so we can have a second living area (and a place to move all the kids toys so they’re not the first thing we see coming in) — which could house a THIRD bathroom!
- being on a much quieter street (I know I can’t change this, but I’m DREAMING here!)
During and after these moments, we often start perusing through the MLS listings, searching for houses. We talk for hours about whether it’s worth it to stay here and do the renovations, or would it be better to try and find a house that hits all our “must-have’s”. It’s our own personal “Love It or List It”, without any help from professionals.
Sure, we can easily find homes that have everything we want…for a much heftier price tag than what we paid for this house.
And, just like Cloud wrote about recently, these things are much more WANTS than NEEDS. When I really thing about it, we’re pretty darn lucky with our life (and house) as it is now. Why do we feel like we NEED more room, or NEED a bigger bathroom, or NEED to have main floor laundry?
We look at bigger, newer, more “fancy” houses – with their huge kitchens, giant walls of windows, massive master suites, and living room/family room/game rooms – as though that is what we NEED.
Yes, we could afford to go with either of these options, but then it hits us: what are our priorities in life? Do we want to spend money for years on making or getting a bigger/”better” house, or could we spend that in a way that could really make a difference in our lives in other ways. Like, being able to do more of the things we enjoy like golfing, going to baseball games, going on family vacations, or taking art or music classes.
We get so tied up in what we WANT in a house, as though having an island in our kitchen or a walk-in closet would make us happy.
So, we are trying to keep these things in mind and we move forward with these types of decisions. We will constantly be re-evaluating our goals and aligning them with what our priorities really are.
How do you reconcile between what you WANT and what you NEED.