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I should be content, but...

April 23rd, 2017 at 09:52 am

Most days I am content with what we have and feel pretty blessed. Then there are days...

A couple of folks I worked with are either buying or selling their homes or both. We've lived in this house 19 years this month. It is the longest I have ever lived anywhere. I didn't think we moved that much, but I realized that as a kid, I lived in 6 different places not counting college, and as adult, I've lived in 3. I realize there are folks, especially military families, who move far more. But for someone here in the Midwest, it seems like a lot of moves. Probably why I don't want to move again.

Anyway, back to the folks and their homes. My city is around 70,000 in population, maybe a little more if you count the villages near by. Cost of living is pretty cheap and we are still having economic problems. Our city used to be almost entirely blue collar, but we have lost lots of industry. The cost of an average home is $81,000 according to city data. Imagine my surprise when someone I worked with who is about 20 years younger just sold their home for $374,000. Wow. I'm in shock. I know I made more than she did, so her husband must have a big paying job. Another person made about what I made and she and her husband just bought a house for around the same price. I can't even imagine the upkeep or payments. Not to mention cleaning the huge thing. I'm talking these houses are big. Ours is around 1500 square feet. These houses are at least double that.

Then I start wondering if I made mistakes and didn't take enough chances. Our goal, when we bought our first house together in 1990, was to get the house paid off. We didn't pay off that one, but sold it with more equity than what we owed, and bought this one. We made extra payments on our mortgage and when something worked out we could actually pay it off early, we did. We then spent the money we were paying on the mortgage, well spent is the wrong word, but I just kept writing the checks and put it in a savings account until we had enough to invest. I guess part of me is just a little jealous of their fancy new homes.

I have been talking to myself and saying I need to be content with what we have. It's wrong for me to be jealous. Realistically, I don't want a bigger home and I certainly don't want to clean a bigger home. I don't know for sure, but something makes me think they may have outside help cleaning. I certainly don't want to pay for the taxes (Illinois taxes are outrageous) as well as insurance.

Anyway, forgive me for my coveting, but thank you for allowing me to think through this and put my thoughts down as I work through this. Hopefully I am feeling more content.

7 Responses to “I should be content, but...”

  1. Wink Says:

    Oh my goodness I just had a very similar experience when I visited my cousin for Easter at their new, very large, very high end home! I was drooling a little over the master bathroom. I think I'll make a post about the particulars. I had to give myself a reality check when I came home to my small, but paid off condo!

  2. ceejay74 Says:

    I am a fool for big homes! I lived in small apartments from after college to my late 20s. Then AS & I bought a 950-sq-ft condo and managed to live there as we added another adult, a cat, and two kids. But once that second kid came I started really drooling over larger homes with yards. We stre-e-e-etched to buy a big old duplex; our part of it is about 2400 sq ft. And guess what? I STILL feel a pang of jealousy over homes that are bigger than mine. I don't even know why I find big houses so thrilling; I'm not a status-symbol kind of person, hardly ever buy new (vs used/clearance) clothes and don't own a car. But anyway, I do sympathize.

    Also, you made really smart choices; I bet your friends will be sweating bullets when they near retirement ...

  3. AnotherReader Says:

    At some point, those people will envy your savings and investments. You will be comfortable and they will worry about how to pay off all that debt and still retire.

  4. creditcardfree Says:

    I live in 2400 sq ft. It's way too much. I would love to get back to 1500 to 1800. I think many people get caught up in the new designs, such as granite and darker cabinets. The truth is that these upgrades can be done to smaller homes at far less cost than buying new.

  5. CB in the City Says:

    AR said it very well. Real comfort is financial security, not a big house. I suspect many people in luxurious houses are in over their heads and will live to regret their impulsiveness.

  6. LivingAlmostLarge Says:

    I think everyone covets something. If you didn't you aren't human. We aren't meant to be perfect. I have major pangs of coveting.

  7. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    I wish we were in a smaller house. Smaller yard. This house is too much for us really.

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