I had a post ready to go about untold stories. In that post I share some of the ways we are not so minimalist. Many of us strive towards minimalism or simplicity but come up short in some areas of our lives. I’m postponing that post, because today I want to talk about something that came up recently that is more important.
My wife and I have differeing dreams. I thought we were at least somewhat on the same page, but it’s becoming clear now that we are not. When we gave up our house, we were both excited to go back to renting. No more worries, lots more time and money, and the freedom to do more fun family activities.
Even after all we’ve been through, and the benefits we are seeing from renting, she has continued to pine for a houe. The signs were there, I just kept ignoring them. She often watched episodes of House Hunters and Love It or Leave It. She frequently peruzed Zillow looking at houses in our area. I ignored those signs because any time we talked about it, she acted as if she liked all the benefits we are seeing from renting.
On Friday she found a house that she fell in love with. It’s in the same school zone and it hits her “dream items” that our other house did not have — two stories, upgraded cabinets, granite countertops, and a 3 car garage.
We talked about it and I told her that I absolutely do not want to own another house. I love renting and I don’t want to go back to home ownership.
She’s determined though, much like she was with our china cabinet. With the china cabinet, she HAD to have it. Usually I handle things when buy something off of craigslist, but in this case, I told her I wanted nothing to do with it. So she handled everything — she contacted the seller, got her brother to bring his truck, and helped load it up. She even repainted it after we got it home. Then, a few days later she didn’t like it anymore. We tried selling it on craiglist, but it didn’t sell, and now we’re considering donating it to get it out of our home. That was a 270 dollar loss. That sucks, but I figure it was a $270 lesson learned.
Now we’re looking at a $270,000 dollar lesson, that I’m afraid may end up the same way.
She has her mind set on this house. We have talked and talked all weekend and we don’t get anywhere. She has contacted a realtor and applied for preapproval on a loan.
I don’t want to go back to a place where we don’t have any free time or spending money. At this point she isn’t even working. She was working 6 hours per week doing behavior therapy. That added to our spending money and was nice to have, but when that client chose to move on, she chose to take a break from work to focus on her master’s degree courses. We were fine financially, so I was perfectly ok with that.
Now she wants to go back to work and work 20 to 30 hours per week so that we can buy this house. It’s releatively easy to pick up hours in her field, so I’m sure she can get the hours, I’m just not conviced that she’s going to like working the extra hours. I know we are fortunate that she doesn’t have to work now, but that is the situation we created for ourselves. Now she wants to give up that freedom that we created and go back to work, just so we can buy a house.
She is ruled by emotion in much the same way that I am ruled by logic. I’m not a Vulcan devoid of emotion, but I’m primarily ruled by logic. Likewise, my wife isn’t devoid of logic, but is primarily ruled by emotion. I love her emotion and feeling, but it can be a source of conflict.
As now, she fell in love with this house, and from a logical perspective it just doesn’t make sense.
I also love the passion and assertiveness she is showing now. It’s very sexy. I just wish the driving factor in this new found passion wasn’t rooted in buying a house.
I think she’s slowing coming down from the initial emotional high and is starting to run the numbers. She still says she wants the house, but at least she’s looking to see what it’s really going to cost. I don’t know if that will change anything, only time will tell.
I’m sharing this because it shows how tough it is when a couple can’t come to consensus on the future. I’m feeling really down about the direction she’s wanting to go, and she’s convinced that her direction is the one she wants.
The dialogue is open and flowing. I feel like I’m crushing her dreams when I share mine. I would love for her to have a house if it meant that we could have all the other stuff we want more than we want a house. I hated the time I spent maintaining our house, and I love that our weekends are completely open and free now that we rent.
I told her flat out that if we get a house I’m not going to do anything above and beyond what I’m doing while we rent. She said that’s fine, that she will take care of all those things. I’m not sure she realizes how much work that actually is since she was never really involved in most of it. That means I’m not fixing toilets or sinks, I’m not doing yard work, I’m not maintaining the pool, I’m not replacing a roof or air conditioner, I’m not taking care of plumbing issues, or any of those other maintenance tasks that are currently included in our rent. I don’t want any part of things that take my time, effort, and money to fix or maintain. I feel like an ass saying that, but I really value my free time and a huge factor in going back to renting was that I don’t want to spend my time doing those things.
As she sits next to me crunching the numbers, I keep thinking about how many fun things we could do if she were to go back to work, work the hours she’s talking about working, and instead of buying a house we stayed in our rental apartment. We could really do the traveling we’ve both always dreamed of. Ski trips, road trips, cruises, travel to New York, London, Paris, and Japan. Our entertainment and travel budget would really fulfill our dreams. We could create so many wonderful memories while seeing new places and experiencing new cultures. We could also set aside a larger chunk of income for the future in the hopes of retiring early. It feels like these things would be so much more rewarding than sinking them into a house.
During the time it’s taken me to type this we have had several more conversations and we’re still not any further than when we started. I’m not sure where we’ll end up, but it will likely be whatever she decides. In the end I typically defer my wants for hers. I hope I can get her to see clearly on what home ownership means for us, but at this point we are sliding back towards the life we once had, albeit with a little more spending money if she returns to work.
I am so stressed and frustrated.
The other issue that at hand is that we can currently live on one income. Buying a house would require both incomes and would mean that if either of us became unemployed we would be in a lot of trouble. I much prefer the flexibility and safety of a home that only requires one income.
Another fact is that since we weren’t planning to buy a house we don’t have any savings in place to use for a down payment or any up front maintenance that will be required. The house she is looking at is a foreclosure, and while it looks to be in decent shape, it’s going to need some work. It’s quite possible that we won’t even get approved for financing since we’d need it to be zero down payment. If that’s the case maybe this situation will right itself in the short term, but I’m getting the feeling that she’s not going to let this go.
So that’s where we’re at right now. I’m vehemently opposed to buying a house and she’s convinced that she wants it. The financial, income, and loan situation is up in the air. I don’t know how things will develop from here, but I’ll continue to share here as we progress.