Image by: Humming Homebody
For the past few months I have been glued to my phone looking up real estate where we live, in southern California. Prices have gone up so much in just the past two years that I’ve lived here and according to economics, they see prices to continue to go up for at least the next two year, possibly even the next eight! In eight years my oldest will be 12-years-old, so naturally I’ve been thinking, if prices don’t drop she’s never going to have a yard to play in her entire childhood.
With that thought I immediately started looking all over for a house I thought we could possibly afford. At first my expectations were high, but as I started calculating mortgages, my expectations dwindled. Then I researched all the programs for teachers to get into housing and met up with a lender to go over what we could afford with the program I thought best fit for us.
The outcome was depressing. After we got home I cried, for probably a good hour. Then I went back online and looked for houses to rent. After a few more days of obsessing, I found a killer deal. 3 bedroom, 2 bathrooms, house with a yard, my own laundry, on a cul de sac, back in my home town, 9 out of 10 rated schools, AND the best part, is we could afford the place without feeling uncomfortable. I set up an appointment to see it. Then I started to think of all the things I would be giving up.
Although I live in an apartment, I have a landlord who is so aware of what’s going on, it’s like having an alarm system installed in your home. I can walk to the park, the elementary school that has high ratings, the library, stores, restaurants, and my favorite grocery store. I have good friends, my daughter has good friends and I’m apart of a great community with a large diversity. Moving would mean that anytime I need to go somewhere I have to drive, (and with three kids in car seats, I’d so rather be able to walk). And I’d have to start over again with making friends, and did I mention my husband would have to commute?
That’s when the thought came to my mind: “Bloom where you are planted.” I canceled my appointment to see the house for rent a few hours before. The more I started to think about what we can do in our situation, the more I realized the grass really might not be greener on the other side. Sure a few years down the road with more in our savings account, when prices of homes start to go down again, (because there’s always ups and downs in the housing market), we’ll be ready. And maybe before that we will find a better place to rent with a yard. But until that happens I’ve decided that I need to grow and bloom where I am right now. My family and I aren’t going anywhere and so I might as well make the very best of it. Here is a list of things I plan on doing to help with just that. I share it for anyone who is feeling a little stuck in their situation to know, you aren’t alone. I think everyone at some point feels this way, whether it’s because of your location or the stage of life you’re in.
- Think or write everyday things that you’re grateful for.
- Foster your creativity. Internet and apps, like Pinterest, on our phone can give us a false illusion that we are creating when actually we are consuming. Find something that you enjoy and then do it.
- Beautify your home.
- Get moving, no not pack your bags, but move your body, exercise!
- See what events are going on in your area. This is something I love about Facebook is you can now see events near you going on. Look them up, and then actually get out and go.
- Invest in your relationships
- Take care of what you do have and have a heart of gratitude.