Should we stay or should we go?

Image source: The Money Pit

Should we stay or should we go?

CRUNCH deets:
You’re feeling more claustrophobic every day because, oh yeah, your family’s growing. Babies don’t stay in cribs forever and toy, backpack, and clothing volcanoes erupt every minute. No one’s safe, never mind the house. Your sister’s dreamhome in the burbs is calling your name, but you love your neighbours and the local gut-jobs are so impressive you’re thinking a reno might be the smart play. Except for, ya know, the noise, dust, cost, and time. So many decisions, so little closet space.

The Fix:
Lower the bar – part two.

Fix deets:
We excitedly welcomed a new family member almost a year ago (!). Within her first six months, we realized that a family of five in a three-bedroom, twelve-hundred square-foot home is, well, you do the math. So we decided to sell. We set our sights on a spacious four-bedroom, four-bathroom, four-parking-spot home a mere twenty minutes away, plonked that ‘For Sale’ sign in our lawn, and began choosing paint colours for “the new house”. There were some unexpected hiccups: we listed at the wrong time, for the wrong price, with the wrong agents. And so, duh, we didn’t sell. Not even close.

The upside was that faced with all that rejection, we totally, completely, fell in love with our house. Again. Sure, it’s small, but it’s easy to clean. Sure, it’s “broken” (according to our boys), but it’s also got ninety years of character. Sure, the hood is dense and can get a little rowdy, but we have awesome friends and an incredible support network. Failing to sell made us realize everything we’d lose if we traded up for a younger model.

So we turned our minds to renovating. Our basement’s partially finished with heated floors and board and batten walls. The problem? I hit the ceiling doing jumping jacks and guys, I’m five foot two. 05Apr2013aThe unfinished areas include a toilet in the “laundry room” and a very sketch boogeyman hideout under the stairs. It would be lovely to renovate. But it would also be freakin’ expensive. And after a few months or less, that blinged up basement would turn into just another space for us to play/chill/clean. Yawn.

In other words, had we moved, we would have loved our new house until the magic wore off. Whenever we renovate, we’ll love our new space until the magic wears off. But sooner or later, the magic will wear off. We’re not saying don’t ever move or do anything to improve your home – how depressing is that? Just remember you’re not solving world hunger and keep it simple so you don’t stress.

Remember this:
The grass is often greener, whether we’re talking homes, spouses, jobs, even kids. You chose that {fill-in-the-blank} for a reason and remembering what sparked the attraction will help stop the shortchanging. The honeymoon phase inevitably ends and if you spend your life always searching for more… you’ll spend your life always searching for more.

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