I own a home. Sometimes, I wish I’d never bought. Homeownership comes with its downside. However, owning a home is playing an important role in my journey to live more simply.
Homeownership: It’s a Hate/Love Relationship
If you follow my other blog, Hip Diggs, you might have read these articles about my take on homeownership:
- 4 Big Reasons I’m Thinking About Selling My Home
- 13 Things I Hate About Being a Homeowner
- 10 Reasons I’m Looking Forward to Downsizing My Home
In fact, the main reason I’ve stopped posting as often at Hip Diggs is simply because I have little to post about simple living until I’m able to solve my homeownership dilemma.
If I were 100% true to myself, I’d have sold my house already. After a few years of ownership, I realized that it wasn’t really for me, (at least in my current situation).
Homeownership is not so simple if you have a limited income. Buying a home was a landmark decision in my life. And although I bought a home within my financial means, I have never felt so financially strapped and physically stuck since signing my closing documents.
Add the work that comes with homeownership, yard work, repairs, painting, etc., and any sane non-handyman has to question their own sanity. What was I thinking? Buying a house? I hate being a homeowner. It adds financial stress, emotional stress, physical stress, and more stress.
What About the Love?
There are a couple of things I love about owning a home… well love might be a little too strong of a word. Here are two benefits:
- The pride of ownership: It is a nice feeling to know that you own something. (Well, not really. The bank owns it.) And there lies the problem. Although I love the idea of slowly making improvements to my home and property, I’m constantly reminded that I can’t really afford to make much progress because I owe the bank money every month. If the home was paid off, then it might work. But as it is, it’s a trap.
- The equity: I was fortunate to buy low. The value of my house has appreciated quite a bit in 5 years, from 144K to over 200K. I’ve already used some of that equity to refinance and pay off half of my college and divorce debt. And if I sold today, I could probably be debt free by the end of the year. So although I love the equity, I tend to see it as a short-term tool rather than a long-term advantage.
The Continuing Dilemma of Homeownership
So as I read my own words, I ask myself why I don’t just call my realtor and get that for-sale sign in the yard? This spring, I might. But there are a few complications:
- The dog: More than anything else, my beloved dog, Shep, keeps me hesitant to sell at this time. If I sold, my preference would be to temporarily rent an apartment again. Renting a house is not as much to my financial advantage. Buying a smaller house could be an option, but those are hard to find. Finding a new home for Shep is an option, but a hard one.
- The kid: Annie has lived here since she was 8 years old. She enjoys having a place to call home. And although I wouldn’t let this stop me from selling. It is something to consider.
- The move: Who doesn’t dread the thought of moving? However, as a counter-argument, moving leads to downsizing. And downsizing is the end goal here.
- The money: Waiting a few more years until the dog dies and Annie goes off to college is an option. I would gain more equity in the meantime. (Unless the market crashes and the water main blows.) But is feeling like a slave to a house worth it?
When I consider simplicity, selling my house makes sense. I rented for most of my life. Looking back, life was much less complicated and much more affordable as a renter.
As a creative person, owning less gives me the freedom to create more. Not owning a home would offer the money and freedom to do more traveling. It would free up the time to do more writing and more music production.
I would have less debt, less bills, less stress.
I invite you to keep track of my ongoing homeownership dilemma at my other blog, Hip Diggs. Although, I’m posting less frequently at Hip Diggs, making this blog my primary blog, I continue to post anything that relates directly to my journey to live more simply. You won’t find many new listicles or how-to posts, but you will occasionally find real-life examples of my ongoing journey to live simple.