Day 3 Frugal Living Challenge: Downsizing Your Home
This is a tough one! I imagine if anyone were to really struggle with adapting to a frugal lifestyle, it would be with their home and square footage. We are constantly told that we ‘need more space’ and bigger is better. Is it, really? What ever happened to ‘enough’? I completely admit to being seduced by big, beautiful homes in lovely, tree-lined-street communities. It’s gorgeous! But what in the world would my little family do with something like that? We would never use a quarter of it. In her post, Andrea of Frugally Sustainable provides links to sites dedicated to small house living, which is at the polar opposite of those huge, 4,000+ square foot temptresses. These are the extremes of living, and I know there are multitude of options for many people who lay in between. Town homes, apartments of all configurations, and simple, modest single family homes are all out there.
Daily Goal: Given your own unique situation and based off of what you have read today…determine your own goal. How would downsizing your home assist you in living frugally?
Me: Our unique situation is not that unique. We are most likely a typical profile of people who are suffering in the mortgage crisis today. In 2006 when we built our 3,102 sq. ft. home, we had NO CLUE what the best choice for us would be. We did what everyone else seemed to be doing – moving out to the ‘burbs and building the biggest house we could afford. I had no idea that six years later, I would be yearning for the two bedroom, two bath apartment we left behind in the city. I had no idea that I would be yearning for a day that the mortgage company didn’t have us by the throat, either. Or that we only actually use HALF of our house… the list could go on.
Our solution to downsizing has several steps. Refinancing is a start. Eventually we know that we will move to a different house. One with half the square footage we have now, that is more closely located to work, and one that has already been around for a while. We see no point in building new- our mentality is such that we can be just fine with something that is already there. I doubt we could make an extreme change, such as the Small House Movement, but simpler is definitely better for us.
I will start working again. The days of being a stay at home mom are numbered- and now is the right time. The stars are aligning, so to speak, for all of these motions to gain momentum.
A smaller house, a smaller note, nothing new or fancy, and closer to work and the places we go on a regular basis. That is our plan. Nothing extreme, just smaller.
* The irony of this post being a wee bit late is that we were up late last night, figuring out how to deal with our downsizing.