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standard January 27, 2012 11 responses

I live in an amazing area. It’s gorgeous here. Gorgeous as in sometimes I want to stop on the side of the road just so I can gawk at the scenery. The weather is amazing — never too hot or too cold. There are no bugs. (No, really, no bugs.) And even better, the people here are awesome.

This place, that I never expected to live in, is amazing in every way possible… except one.

The housing prices here are astounding. And not in a good way.

This past month, as we’ve visited countless homes in the hopes of moving to a town that would allow us to reduce the amount of time we spend commuting and that would bring us closer to our community, C has lamented the unfairness of the high price of homes.

“But we need homes. Why can’t they all cost the same?”

So, after patting ourselves on the back for raising a bleeding heart liberal like her parents, we’ve explained to her again and again that sure, there are affordable homes, but if you want to live somewhere as special as we do, you have to be willing to pay the price.

This week we found the house of our dreams and one dizzying few days later, we’re finding ourselves the new owners of this house.

And I am SO excited.

Seriously, it’ll be like living in one of those spots I want to pull over and gawk at.

I keep wanting to pinch myself about what just happened.

And yet, I can’t seem to allow myself to scream it on the rooftops.

Fact is, I think I’m embarrassed about what we’re paying for this house.

For this area? It’s a deal. Ok, fine, at least it’s quite reasonable. And a great investment. And we can afford it. Which is astounding in and of itself.

But I have friends whose husbands have lost jobs this year. I have friends facing foreclosure. I have friends who live pay check to pay check. Sharing the listing with them to show off our new gem feels so… unfeeling.

Tonight as I was driving I thought back to the year we’ve just lived through. Everyone has their own burdens. Ours are health related, not financial (knock wood). As much as C wishes it were possible, we can’t all live in the same homes, in the same towns. We’ve chosen this place because of family and roots. It is our home. I can’t keep being embarrassed about the choice we’ve made in living here.

I’m excited about this new chapter in our lives. Yes, it will mean some sacrifices. Yes, it might be a little insane when you think about the actual numbers involved in the game. But when I wake up in the morning and I drink my tea in front of a view that makes my soul whole, I’ll know there was a reason we found this place just when we needed it.

I’m making peace with my embarrassment. I’m embracing our choice.

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11 responses

  • Congratulations!! My dad was somewhat mortified at the housing costs where we live, but he lives in the most depressed housing market in the United States. (I’m 95% sure that’s not an exaggeration.) So: It’s relative. Don’t be embarrassed.

  • I really, really love this post. You put into words a lot of what I felt five years ago when we bought our house.

    And yes, we’ve had to make other sacrifices – no more expensive vacations, no more spur-of-the-moment furniture purchases. But I wouldn’t have it any other way – I love where we live.

    The fact is, whether you bought the house or not was not going to affect the monetary situations of those around you, so I’m with you: share, be proud, and be happy. It’s not bragging, it’s living your life.

  • I am so, so, SO excited for you! And very happy that you’ll be nearby even more often. I agree with Selfish Mom – “be happy.” It really is okay. And know that I’m very happy for you!

  • Why should you be embarrassed? Because a burger in NYC cost $20 but in Birmingham only $5 does that mean you shouldn’t eat or tell people?

    Why should it matter what you paid for the house? You bought a house. You’re financially able to do so, what business is it of anyone what you paid?

    Am I embarrassed at the amount I pay for my electric bill in the summer because I like my house cool? No! For some it’s more than their car payment, rent or some months in the summer more than a few people’s mortgage. Should I suffer in the sweltering heat because someone will judge me?

    If anything, you should be embarrassed for those people who will judge you, because they are small people.

    People judge us everyday based on the car we drive, the purse we carry or the clothes we wear, the vacations we take. That’s unfortunate for them, because they’re small people.

    Whether you have to make sacrifices to get this house is nobody’s business. But just as you would not say “Hey, look at my new shoes I just paid $500 for” or “Did you see my new $42K car?”, you don’t have to tell people how much it was. If it’s so important to them, let them look it up.

    If any of these people can’t share in your joy and happiness then they don’t deserve to be in your life!

    *steps off soapbox*

  • I understand completely how you feel. It’s definitely part of my makeup too to feel bad about things that I am able to afford or things we choose.

    I don’t think it will sink in until you’re actually in the house that it’s yours!

    I am THRILLED for you and your family, and can’t wait to come for a visit. 😉

  • I’m so thrilled for you all! Don’t be bothered that it cost a lot of money – you earned it and you have the right to spend it! ENJOY!

  • Dude you have no reason to be embarrassed! None.at.all! I understand the feeling but girl you should be celebrating it with open arms. I am beyond happy for you and uhhh hum, where’s the pics?
    And congratulations 🙂

  • Jessica,
    I can relate to how you feel. Sometimes living in southern CA… it just feels surreal. A home can’t really cost this much, for what, and don’t even get me started on the property taxes.
    I’m forever wondering what everyone does to earn the income they need to maintain living here.
    I’m thrilled that you found a home you love and can afford.

  • We bought our home in October and felt a bit embarrassed for some of the same reasons. I just found your blog and will follow its very good.

  • I can relate to this. After buying our house at a great price (and despite what people say in the comments, a shocking number of folks have asked us what the price is!), we spent a LOT of money to upgrade it. I never thought I’d say this, but we are (pretty much) living in our dream home. Way nicer and more space than I ever thought we’d manage staying in our current area.

    I love the house, but at times, I’m self-conscious about showing it off to certain friends who are having hard times.

    I can wait to see that fabulous view. Enjoy!

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