On Being at a Crossroads...

Right now Blake and I are at a crossroads...house-wise.

We are currently renting the house in which we live, while we rent out the home we own.
Crazy, I know.  And possibly stupid.
But it's been totally worth it for the school this situation enables my daughters to attend.

But we've got decisions to make.
Do we sell the house we own since the market has rebounded a bit...or keep it as a rental property?
Do we move out of the area?  Or more into town?  Or further out in the country?
Or gasp!...move back into our old house???

The biggest question we're trying to answer for ourselves is whether we move to a larger home to accomodate our large family (taking into account that all 4 of our kids will be teenagers at the same time and will need their space), or do basically the opposite and downsize.

our old house...the one we own...and I still love it with all of my heart


I've had this feeling for a while now that I want to simplify and minimize our lifestyle, while living well under our means.  Ideally, I would love to find an old country home on a few acres, homeschool our children, sell all our over-sized furniture, and just be minimalists (doesn't everyone?).  This has been on my mind and heart for a while now.  But it's a lot easier said than done.

I know that doing this could possibly cause our home to be disharmonious being in such close quarters, etc....and then I ponder how nice that large model home around the corner would be to build, loads of space, exposed rock, wooden beams....it's so beautiful...but pushes the limits of our price range.

So it seems like downsizing is the right thing to do.
We would be living within (and under) our means.
We would be teaching our children that they're not entitled to their own room, lots of toys/stuff, a large house, etc.
And hopefully, we could save money that could be spent on travel, college funds, and other important experiences that being "house poor" would deem impossible.

Besides all of that, our children are only getting more expensive.  (Yes, yes, we knew this would happen...just thought we had a few more years.  Tyler Bree can put away food like a sixteen year old boy!)  When we look at just how much we spent alone on groceries last month, the amount is shocking.  Feeding our children healthy, non-processed foods is important to me...not that we do it all the time, we don't....but it's something we work towards, and it sure ain't cheap.  Again, another reason to downsize our lives and channel our finances more to the important things in life, like health and wellness.

But the issue is...we just can't seem to see a clear choice.  Yet.
There are pros and cons to both sides...mainly in consideration of the size of our family.  We've been praying about it and discuss it almost daily.  Thankfully, we have some time to make our choices...but this crossroads is a big one.  Wherever we move next, we want it to be our home until our children move out.

We need to make dang sure that we can be happy there....all six of us.


How do you feel about living large vs. living small....if you had the choice???



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22 comments:

  1. Ooh gosh my husband and I seemed to have this debate for like ever the past few months... It's such a hard question!! But I totally see the advantages to living well below your means and having a little extra cash around to do some fun things. Being house poor really is no fun... and so not worth it in my opinion!

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    1. I agree Dawnell...and we could get rid of tons of stuff!!!! :) Thanks for your thoughts!

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  2. We've had this same discussion at our house. It's a tough one. We are staying in our modest home for now. It just feels safe and comfortable. Good luck with your decision.:)
    xoAmy
    www.dreamingincashmere.com

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  3. Definitely live below your means! There are so many positives. Had a post on my blog just the other day about this.

    http://www.makingsenseofcents.com/2013/08/how-much-house-do-you-really-need.html

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    1. Thanks so much for sharing your post! I agree with you on wasted space! Loved the post!

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  4. I go back and forth on this same issue all the time. We're set in our house right now because of law school and all that business...but I'm thinking about afterwards, and what we'll do then. I think there's a nice mix...I want a big(ger) house, because I want all my kids' friends hanging out over here...and I want them to have the space to do that. And when family come to visit...I want them to feel comfortable. It is a hard decision, though. Noel and I were talking about different locations for after he graduated, and one place that we really love would send the boys to a school that is ridiculous....like, if you don't drive a Range Rover, don't bother coming to school. So we'll see. What kind of school do your girls go to now?

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    1. Yeah, I agree. They go to a public school....it's one that my mom was the first principal at when it opened, so it feels like home to me and we pretty much know everyone. :) I'm open to moving schools tho.

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  5. I wish I could give you some advice but this is totally out of my element lol I think the right decision will come to you at the right time. Provide for your children yet live within your means. You & Blake will make the right decision! miss your pretty face!

    xxS

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    1. Thanks Stesh. It's no fun making smart and responsible choices. ;) I'll keep ya posted!

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  6. Yup, sounds familiar. I think I could live in my current house for a long time…if only it had another bathroom. Maybe we'll have to build an outhouse! Maybe what hardest for you right now is that you have SO many options. That's a good thing, when you really think about it. You get to make a decision, and not have one made for you by other circumstances. Whatever you choose, I'm pretty sure you can keep it real.

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    1. Ha! Yes, and outhouse...I'm sure the boys would be all over that! Thanks Maren...we know what we should do...but it's hard to make the choices to go along with that decision. :)

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  7. So hard, right? I think living small now that I have kids and regret making decisions that will affect things long term, like buying a house far from where they may go to school. Far better to live small and have more options than restrict yourself with something that you can't get out of easily to make changes. I think...

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    1. I agree...thanks for you input Marie! It's not the fun choice, but probably the best one. :)

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  8. I lived in a 3bed/1bath/936 square feet with 4 boys, we moved to a bigger space (double) and all decided that we were happier in our tiny home all cramped together. We had less things, and we spent a lot of time together (yes mostly waiting for bathroom time) (lol). Advice? Pray and Fast. Then go to the Temple. The Lord will never steer you wrong. It may not be the path that we would have chosen/thought/desired but our happiness is HIS ultimate goal. Sending you faith/juju ;)

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    1. Thank you...what a touching and profound comment! Hopefully we'll get an answer soon! :)

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  9. We would live to move to something smaller to save money, time and energy. But, we've concluded that the cost of trying to sell isn't worth it...yet. It has been on my heart to simplify our lives, in more ways than one. I don't know if we are scared to make the big decisions or if we just don't know what the options are. If you figure anything out, let me know!!

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    1. Will do. :) We know what we should do...it's just not what we want to do. :)

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  10. Living in a two-story house and it being only my dad and I is really hard. We've got 4 bedrooms. 1 full of stuff we probably don't need, 2 used as bedrooms and one used as an office. Honestly? I want to downsize so badly. I can't wait for the day I get to move out and into my own apartment, not only because I'll have the freedom of living on my own, but because I'll be forced to downsize and organize everything. A couple years ago, life got ahold of me and with going between two houses when my parents got a divorce, stuff got spread around and now I have doubles of some stuff. I can't wait til I can purge my closet and start fresh with everything.
    So, I'd say unless you need a bigger space, downsizing is the way to go. It just makes me feel so much more organized.

    Sincerely, Dani Rose

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    1. Thanks for your thoughts, Dani. I can imagine that it will feel good to purge stuff....hang in there!!!

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  11. This is such a tough decision. When we moved to our current city - we bought a big old house at 2600 sf. With four little ones, we thought we would need the room. Two years later we moved to a much much smaller home where all the kids had to share rooms. Great house and loved living small, but ultimately it had to do with location! Stayed there 4 years and now have moved on to another larger home in a great location with great schools. After experiencing both worlds (old house - lots of room - lots of work) and (newer house - much smaller - not so hot schools and location), I can honestly say location, location, location. Our house isn't super big or small or super dreamy, but the location is killer. We live really close to the kids schools ( four kids - spread across 3 schools), so it is great for activities and sports. The biggest change is I absolutely love driving through my neighborhood each day to this home and I love that my kids can safely explore the neighborhood on bikes.

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  12. What a great thought provoking post! My family and i definitely don't live within our means, unfortunatly. We have a six bedroom house for 3 ppl bc we don't like to move and wanted to be prepared for the family we wanted in x amount of years. Because of this, when i made the decision to look for a job that i love i couldn't considernjobs that would pay me less than i am making now, its such a cluster and i constantly resent the house! We recently decided to sit down and talk about whats important in life and bidgeting since we have a new baby to plan a future for.

    Awesome post! And sorry for any miss spellings typing on a tablet sucks, lol!

    Xo, Joanne

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  13. We are living in a defence property and renting out our dream home which we built. We could live in it (with a big commute) but doing it this way is financially better for us. We get super cheap rent on this place but can charge a high rent for the property we own. I would love to go back to more space, playrooms, larger yard etc. but know in the long run this will set us up financially. And it has forced us to not hold on to things we don't use all the time. It's worth it to be able to experience more with the freed up money.

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