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LIFE . . . WITHOUT BUMPER PADS

There's a lot to consider when deciding whether to move to a new home

Good memories and work invested vs. need for more space.

Monday, November 5, 2012 - 12:01 am

Editor's note: Jill Adams is a professional writer based in Fort Wayne.

When we moved into our first house seven years ago, I roamed from room to room, marveling at the space. Having just departed from a “cozy” two-bedroom apartment, my husband and I could hardly believe that we had our very own everything: backyard, garage, front porch, laundry room and more living space than we knew what to do with. As we arranged our meager selection of furniture in our new home, I looked around in wonderment.

“We have a lot of room left over,” I told my husband.

“We do now,” he said. “But it will fill up faster than you think.”

Truer words were never spoken. Three growing kids, one ornery dog and two endlessly re-organizing parents are now bursting out of the space I was once worried about trying to occupy.

One afternoon, as we began to manipulate our living room into a kid-friendly play area, my husband looked thoughtfully at me.

“Do you think we should consider moving?”

I unconsciously groaned. We weren't strangers to this idea. After moving into what we (naively) thought was a fairly maintenance-free house and then subsequently replacing every major component of it, we had seriously debated the same topic only a few years ago.

Ultimately, we had decided that the house we had worked so hard to restore would be the one we stayed in. I looked over at my husband.

“Because the space is tight?” I asked him. “That seems kind of shallow. I mean, people with eight kids used to live in log cabins.”

He raised his eyebrows.

“In part because of space,” he said. “But also because we are spending a lot of time commuting for work and school. We could probably find a place closer to everything we do.”

“I don't know,” I said hesitantly. “I feel bad thinking about leaving our house. We've brought our kids home from the hospital here, had all our holidays here. … A lot of memories!”

“We made the memories,” my husband said easily. “Not the house.”

I nodded thoughtfully, and we went back to the task of re-organizing the space. When we finished, we gave each other a mental high-five for transforming a living room into a functioning play area for the kids.

Two hours later, the space was totally disheveled and the kids were at each other’s throats.

“Maybe it is time to move,” I conceded to my husband.

He nodded, and the house search began.

But after looking at what seemed like no less than a million homes, neither of us saw even one that we liked.

“Maybe we should just stay,” my husband said with a yawn. “We can keep making it work.”

“Yeah,” I agreed. “That would be much easier than trying to find a new house.”

We nodded our accord, and settled into our home once again. I laughed at how silly we were to leave our perfect house just because the size left a little to be desired.

The next week, however, we were back on the fence. As the kids attempted to run off their rainy-day restlessness in our increasingly small kitchen, my husband looked at me in exasperation.

“Time to start the search again?” I asked him wryly.

He nodded.

Back on the hunt we went.

And, once again, we found nothing.

“This is hopeless,” I told my husband.

“Well, we have to find the right house at the right price in the right place,” he responded. “It’s not easy.”

“Maybe,” he added, “we need to be willing to let go of what we have before we’ll find anything different.”

I thought carefully about what he said. I realized that the idea of leaving our first and only house seemed so foreign that I had not been open-minded in our search. As I looked at my husband, I could tell he was thinking the same thing.

That night, we put a “For Sale” sign in our front yard, neither one of us knowing exactly what the next step would be. Maybe we’ll find our dream house and move. Maybe we’ll stay after all. Only time will tell.

This column is the personal opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinion of The News-Sentinel. Jill Adams blogs at http://lifewithoutbumperpads.blogspot.com.