Friday, September 30, 2011

The little house.. in Pelham.

Six months ago my husband said something to me that made my skin crawl.

"Why don't we take the money that is set aside for a buying a bigger house and put it on this mortgage. Then we can pay off this house super fast."


You see, at that exact moment I was feeling very cramped. Four small children, two adults and two fish all "cozy" in a 1300 sq. ft. house. (They say 1300, but I think it's more like 1000-1100). There are apartments bigger than our house. And I was feeling it. I was NOT saying I didn't like our house. This house is so much more than what either I or my husband grew up with. And our kids have never complained.

It was just that we actually had money to put toward a bigger house. So I cried my lament and my loving man (also wanting more space) agreed to put the house on the market, again. We had already tried to sell it for almost a year before that point. No luck. But we decided to put it back on the market.

Would you know that within two months, FOUR houses on our street also listed. Totaling TEN houses for sale on our street. TEN. Also, several were foreclosures less than $80k. So you get the idea, in this market, to be remotely competitive we would have to lower our price to the same price it was purchased at 10 years ago losing all the money we put into it. In the meantime, every house that we showed interest in would get an offer as soon as we thought we'd put an offer on it. This happened three times.

So, then this strange thing started to happen. As I am pondering the fact that our house may not sell I am seeing that it may not be "that bad" to stay where we are. Then God started to lead my thoughts to "what would life look like if we paid off this house?"

And for a week I wrestled with: the legitimate desire for more space and the legitimate freedom that would come from being completely debt free. Sure, we are debt free from "bad debt" but a mortgage payment is "acceptable debt." Even Dave Ramsey says so. But I just couldn't get it out of my head, all the possibilities that would open up if we delayed our dream home for about 5 years, to gain the ultimate dream: Financial FREEDOM!!

It took a single day of wrestling and in that same day I texted my hubby and said, "Lets do it. lets stay." That meant taking the house off the market, which we did and then making "the plan." Which involves taking our savings, putting it on our mortgage and then paying off the balance, which we believe we can do in two years by doubling our monthly mtg payment (which we are already doing). TWO YEARS. Then continue to stay in the house for at least three, to build up cash for the next house. Then sell this one and with the savings, buy a bigger house: with CASH. (but I know, I am fully ready for God to lead us to something else, something different, as in another change of plan.. I just want to be ready).

In the meantime, being able to give like never before and to be able to see dreams realized.

And part of this process, trying to see the bigger picture and delaying a dream (not the death of one).. all of the sudden my house seems so much sweeter to me than it did before. Suddenly, I am beyond thankful for this small space and all that it is allowing us to do. I am so thankful that, while it wasn't a wrong vs. right decision, God gave wisdom and I think, divine intervention: hello 10 houses for sale on our street, pitiful market. etc., to allow for us to make an amazing decision that we obviously didn't choose at first.

so that's it. We are staying. And we couldn't be more excited.

the fisheye lens makes it look bigger..but I am so thankful for this space..

We've always LOVED our back yard.


-C said...

He always provides! Great is His faithfulness ...

emily said...

I love your house, Rachel, and I think you're using the space so well. But more than that, I think of the incredible blessing it will be to be completely debt free, and I'm excited for you! Now that you're staying, are you going to do some more before and after posts?