Friday, September 24, 2010
Be it Ever so Humble
When Daryl and I bought our first home, times were different. We had been taught to invest in a home, put money into improving the property, let it gain equity, and in a few years when our expanding family is ready to move on, simply cash in on our investment, collect on the equity and appreciation, and upgrade to a larger more permanent home.
A year later, the concept of a "starter home" came crashing down with the housing market. We have moved on, but our ties to the home in Northeast Ohio have not. We are still homeowners, but we do not actually live in the home that we own. Instead, we've turned it into an "income property." It's called that, but we really are not making any income on it. We are barely breaking even most months. But, since we cannot sell the house and our tenants needed a place to live, it seems to have worked itself out.
Now the time has come and we are in a situation where we must move back to the Cleveland area. We looked at our options- buy another property, or rent. We went for the latter. It just makes sense. We are nowhere in the position to go further into debt just for a place to live.
The search has been on for a month. Daryl has been living in Cleveland with friends during the week, so that he can go to work and figure out our housing situation, and coming home on the weekends. This has been extremely tough for the whole family. Being a single mother during the week has been physically exhausting. But the emotional exhaustion has been even harder to deal with. Jonah will often wake up asking for Dada. When we take a car ride, he exclaims "Dada!" as soon as we reach our destination, as if he thinks we were riding in the car to see Daryl. Because we've been doing skype video conferences, he now sees a computer and freaks out, thinking he can talk to his dad on any computer (although this has improved and he's starting to realize that we only talk to Dada on the kitchen Mac) We are grateful for the weekends. There are many other families that live seperated for longer than this. But it is still hard to say goodbye every Sunday night, and still hard to face a two year old who wants dada to tuck him in at night.
But we have finally found a humble abode to call home sweet home. We are very excited about this house. Although it is a very teeny house, it will allow us to continue to live the aspects of our lifestyle that is important to us. It sits on two acres of land, with fruit trees already matured and producing. There is a fenced off area that has been previously tilled for a garden, with asparagus still growing. There is a solid fence around the yard, so that we can let our dog off leash (great for training) and I don't have to hover over Jonah to make sure he doesn't bolt into the street. I have permission from the landlady to put up a swing set for the kids and a clothesline for the diapers. There is a wood burning fireplace with a fan to heat the living area, and a wood burner stove in the partially finished basement. There is patio in the backyard as well as an area that is paved where we will set up Jonah's outdoor play things. It will be perfect for a basketball hoop!
We are thrilled to have such a wonderful place to call home. It does not bother us that we don't "own" it, it is still our home. We are pretty sad to be leaving the Perrysburg area. We had wanted to settle down in this area. We liked being in such an agricultural community. But it will be nice to be near our friends again. And although I am a little torn about leaving the place where my daughter was born, it will be nice to be living on our own as well!