Two years ago today we moved our family 45 miles away from my husband's work and my parents and where no one we knew lived. Yep we used to live about 3 miles from hubby's work and about 12 miles from my parents home then moved out to the cow farms (literally - we see one from our master bedroom and smell them every time we go outside). What in the world would make us up and move so far away...LIFE and the dream to live it. Here are some of our reasons for moving 45 miles away:
- Desire for an actual house with a yard. We knew in our hearts that the lifestyle we wanted for our family included outdoor playing and Christmas decorating. We wanted a garden and streets to ride bikes on, we wanted a true single family home with neighbors more likely to grow old on our street than to rent out next year. Sure it exists where we moved from but they are few and far between.
- Price. We didn't want to be so strapped to make payments on our "home" that we couldn't actually enjoy other things in life. Permanent things like $500 HOA payments and fines for washing your cars weren't in the plans for our lifestyle. For HALF the price of homes we were looking at in our old community we bought DOUBLE the home and 8 TIMES the land (it's only a quarter acre but still).
- Own vs. Rent. We wanted to own our home versus continue renting and owning was much more difficult where we lived than was renting. Also we aren't big on moving and had hoped to find a long term home rather than a starter home (our hopes are to stay for a loooong time - more than 20 years - having the girls visit from college or show their own kids their childhood home sounds great to us). Sure we may move again but why buy a home with the thought that it would work for now but we would eventually have to leave.
- New vs Old: Having a newer home that wouldn't require many repairs was a big factor for us. We are not qualified to do major home renovations and would not have wanted to spend the resources needed to such work. Old homes in our old area met most of our criteria but the risks of an indoor pipe bursting, termites, or needing to replace a roof and all of the insulation really didn't appeal to us.
- Short Sales & REOs: We looked for a home for over 2 years (really off and on for 5) and everything was a short sale or REO and even then the homes were being bid up more than $100,000 making them astronomically ridiculous. We walked in to the model homes picked one, filled out paperwork, and before we had reached home we were approved and in escrow on our home. Plus we got to choose everything!!!!!!!! From insulation and wiring to carpet and paint colors!
- Hours. My husband's hours at work changed for the better meaning he would get off of work at least a half hour earlier than before and given that it took him at least 15 minutes to get home before we only ended up out 15 minutes a day of waking hours (he leaves before we are awake) and yes sometimes it is longer - like when a tanker explodes on the freeway causing a 3.5 hour commute. But the trade off wasn't too bad.
- Following our Hearts. In the end we followed our hearts; our new home - though far - was the first time we felt at home in any place we had visited. It just felt right and that was what we had prayer for - that God would let us know when we had found the right home. The one in which to raise our family in.
My advice to anyone looking to purchasing a home and shying away from areas that might not seem right (trust me I naysayed my husband's ideas of moving away for 2 years before finally giving it a chance) is to move past any qualms and look - let your heart tell you yes or no (as long as your bank account and paychecks are also in agreement).
Two years later I still love where I live. We were blessed with amazing neighbors, a growing community, land, indoor space, and amazing amenities around us. 3 years ago I would have laughed if anyone said I would be living where I do now but I love it and I wouldn't change it for the world.