last morning at home // moving and home-buying thoughts

November 13, 2018

We have lived in our current home for 5 years.  Today we are moving exactly 0.3 miles to stay with Josh’s parents until (probably) the end of the school year.  Once our home sells, we may start the buying/renting process* and spend weekends at our new digs, but the plan is to stay in Miami Beach until the end of the school year.

my morning happy place: coffee, an open blogger window, a (relatively) clear desk
not shown but often part of this scene: planner πŸ™‚
I supposed we could have stayed in our house and worked around tours/etc, but it’s so hard to keep a home show-worthy when there are 3 children in it.  We have painters/etc coming this week.  There is a lot of space at his parents’ house, so I hope we don’t drive them crazy.  We’ll just take it one day at a time to start.

I am not sentimental about this home, really.  I’m not sure why – we made so many wonderful memories here.  I actually think I’ll miss our general neighborhood (the great playground, the preschool) more than our house itself.  The layout wasn’t perfect for us – there’s not really a good private office space to work, and we never put a closet in our room (that’s right – we lived here FIVE YEARS and did not manage to have a closet or proper wardrobes installed).  I suppose I did learn some lessons, living here:
1) Our family is unlikely to want to spend time/money improving our home, so for us it is better to buy one that is mostly or completely ‘done’ at purchase.
2) We actually don’t need that much storage space (better just to limit the amount of stuff to store).
3) Kids sharing a room is fine (though might not be as ideal when they are older esp with the gender mix we have).
4) I still love IKEA (I think our demographic is supposed to have ‘outgrown’ this Swedish superstore, but . . . no).  We have a lot of their kid furniture, 2 couches, and our dining room table from IKEA, as well as many softer goods (sheets, drinking glasses, etc).  I actually love the freedom of not worrying about whether the kids will ruin something nice.  
5) You can host a decent-sized gathering in a fairly moderate-sized square footage — I think our largest party was Josh’s 40th, and I’ve also hosted some well-attended book clubs with ~15+ people in our ~2000 sq foot home.  
6) Neither Josh nor I want to spend a lot of $ on a fancy or large home.  I am not going to share specific numbers (this is not a personal finance blog!) but I will say we have no plans to spend anywhere near what Dave Ramsey says we “can” with this calculator.  Things I’d rather spend $ on:
– vacations
– adequate childcare/services to help life run smoothly
– experiences / activities, for adults or kids
– food / restaurants 
– planners (jk but . . . I like having a decent ‘allowance’ each month to play with.  It makes me far happier than extra square footage would)
– saving (for kids’ colleges, retirement, etc)
(also not on above list: high end furniture/decor and fancy/pricey cars)
I also am now wise to the costs that come with a bigger/pricier home, including high property taxes, insurance (wind insurance is insanely $ here), air conditioning costs, maintenance, etc.  We are not frugal/”FIRE” people, but I guess we sort of want to be relatively house-rich!  
* We are undecided – Josh and I love the flexibility that renting affords, especially since we are having trouble committing to a specific location to move (locals: it appears to be between Weston, Davie, and Cooper City currently).  However, there just aren’t that many rental options available in the regions we’re considering.
There is a lot in flux right now (Josh’s new job, some potential minor pivoting for my career, new schools, home stuff, moving).  I suspect the next 6-12 months will be challenging – I remember feeling pretty lost/anxious/lonely after our move to Miami Beach, and maybe it will happen again.  At least this time I can feel more confident that eventually, we will feel settled again.