January 14, 2006

why renting sucks

The hubby and I have started house wishing this month. What is house wishing you ask? Well, let me tell you. House wishing is a very similar process to house shopping. You pick up real estate magazines and you circle the houses you like. You mentally make a list of features that would make or break a sale. You try to figure out how much house you can afford. You hire a real estate agent to take you around to look at houses in your price range and eventually, you an your significant other settle on which house is appropriate and you bid on it. Except in house wishing your budget is so dismally pitiful that after you look at all the mobile homes in your area, you want to go home and cry. It is not funny how poor we are.

Now we could spring for a nicer house in a higher price range, but I would still like to be able to say, oh I don't know....pay the car insurance when it's due, so that I can still drive to places on the truck I am currently paying for.

I have two requirements for a house. One, that I am able to fence in the yard for my PoPo; She deserves it. Two, (and I stole this one from my husband who no longer uses it) that my neighbors are not right on top of me. I figure these are reasonable standards; After all we live in the sticks. The problem with these requirements, is finding a house that M and I can agree on. And just for the record, I am a cheapskate. I lived very hard in college to stay out of debt and it's hard to break that mentality. That being said, I am very inclined to buying a cheap structurally stable home and work hard on improving it, than to spend more money on a nicer home. Convenience is nice, I admit. And my husband's two requirements are that he wants to like the house without spending a lot of repair time on it. These are also reasonable requirements. Happiness is very important to keeping a marriage and a family together. Happiness from you new house and with your fenced in yard. These requirements should not be too hard to combine, right? Sure! you say. You just bump up the price and lessen the amount of repairs. Or you say, you could just build a house you both like on land you both like. Surely, picking out land is much easier than houses, while giving yourself a pat on the back for figuring out such good solutions. WRONG! You forgot to factor in the WE ARE POOR! factor. In case you missed that point, go reread the first paragraph of this blog. I'll wait until that sinks in.

We are poor and therefore cannot just skip the house shopping problem and jump over to the easier and far happier "just buy land" solution, because we still have to pay rent and for a new car. Both are items we cannot go without, unfortunately. Why is there no easy solution, like someone dies and just leaves us a lot of money-preferably not some one we know. We're not asking Grandma to kick the bucket here. A distant relative will work, like a great aunt or something. Until then, I'll hold my breath.

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