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All Signs Point to Downsize

Making the choice to make it all smaller

by Mandy Nelson - Dandysound  |  8823 views  |  9 comments  |        Rate this now! 

Six years ago, my husband and I moved to this Massachusetts city out of necessity.  Rent for our two bedroom apartment outside of Boston went up to 1,400 bucks.  Ouch.  So we decided it was finally time to own a home, knowing that our mortgage payments would be less than rent and we had enough money for the 20 percent down payment.  We started looking.  And looking.  And looking.  There were no affordable homes for us near Boston.  Or 30 minutes out.  But 45 minutes?  Bingo.  And that's when we found our dream home.

This house is amazing: an antique colonial/farmhouse on a hill with five bedrooms, two full bathrooms, a huge kitchen, and a dining room.  There is plenty of yard, all fenced in, and enough parking for six cars right in the driveway, on a street where most houses don't have a driveway.   Double front doors open to a front hall equipped with the original carved railing from 1880.  There is a second staircase from the back hall to the second floor.  Sigh.  This is the house I've always dreamed of having.  Unfortunately it's in the wrong city and, six years later, we realize it's time to go.

We've had many discussions about what we need in a house.  We know what we want, we know what we can afford, we know what is available and, now, we know how to be practical.

This past weekend, the two of us went up to what will be our new town and looked at houses.  There are so many wonderful houses in this particular Maine town, but it seems that none of them are in our price range.  What we saw was eye opening for sure and brought up the same discussion over and over again.  What are we doing?  We love this house we have now.  Oh, right, we don't like living here.  We've finally painted every room the right color and made the right furniture to fit everything.  Oh, right, this was temporary.  I have a walk-in closet and a huge pantry.  What will I do without those?  Oh, right, have less stuff.  These children have their own rooms and room for everything.  Oh, right, we'll be able to save more money each month for the things that are more important.

In the end it comes down to the fact that we have to downsize.  This is a big move for us.  It's the start of a great future, the next step on our goal ladder, but it could bring about some scary changes.  And with the economy getting shakier -- a notion I've long avoided but now it's time to be real and grown up and stop ignoring what's going on around me -- taking on a bigger home and/or a bigger mortgage is out of the question.

About the Author

Mandy is a voice over artist, yoga instructor and mom to 2 princesses. Not always in that order.

Read more by Mandy Nelson - Dandysound

9 comments so far...

  • No question, just wrote a note.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Mandy Nelson - Dandysound on 23rd June 2008

  • So, what was your question again?

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Dr Christopher on 23rd June 2008

  • I am not a religious fanatic but I do believe in the science of religious principles. Christ said not to build our treasures up on earth but instead in heaven. You have traded material things for peace of mind. I think that is what Christ was talking about.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Teri Calhoun on 22nd June 2008

  • I've been spoiled, I've always lived within 30 min. from my hometown and my family. 10 years ago we moved back "home" and we couldn't be happier -- all of us. My husband moved a lot when he was growing up, 23 times I think he counted once. I could see the pain & disappointment on his face each time he remembered another place his parents called "home." Home to us as always been family... follow your heart!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by DandiK on 20th June 2008

  • My husband and I recently moved across the country for a better paying job because what he was bringing home in FL wasn't enough to cover all of our expenses, including a mortgage that we rushed into. At the time, we though the home was a great idea. I was still pregnant and we needed to live in a bigger place than our tiny 1 bedroom apartment. At this point, I think it was a bad move because getting the bigger place meant spending more money on furniture to fill it. Then, having the acre of yard meant getting a new riding lawnmower. So, we have all this stuff (and a home) that needed to be moved to WY and we downsized from a 4/3 to a 3/2.5. My kitchen is a quarter the size it was in FL and I lost a living room and some master bedroom space.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by lauren126 on 31st May 2008

  • I really hate moving... We'll have to do that in a few months and I'm so not looking forward to packing, etc. This stuff really stresses me out! Good luck and sounds like you are doing the right thing!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Victoria on 29th May 2008

  • All for a beach town and family. A big house means more time spent taking care of it..although your house sounds gorgeous and well worth it but it sounds like the quality of life you are looking for, will be there. Best of luck!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by on 28th May 2008

  • I have not had to downsize but I did relocate when my marriage was going to hell so I could be closer to family. What makes a home a home to me? It is loving my space (inside and out), being sorta close to family and living in a community that my kids thrive in. I fully expect that once the kids leave the house I'll sell and relocate to the city.

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by KathyHowe on 28th May 2008

  • We did this when we moved from NYC to Boston and I went from making mega bucks to working my butt off to build a company:) -- we have more space because we moved to the burbs from one of the most expensive areas in Manhattan, but downsizing our spending has actually caused less stress than I thought. I think being closer to family is one of THE most important things in terms of being happy with where you live -- it's true for us and will be true for you.

    Moving is tough, physically and emotionally, I really hear you. Good luck with this -- but to me it sounds like you're doing a great thing for your family!

    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Nataly on 28th May 2008