A little over four years ago Mr. Something and I were newly engaged and both still living at home with our parents. We decided to do the “smart” thing and look for a starter home instead of paying rent. We ended up buying a duplex in a new development, lured by the idea of new construction, (hopefully) no hidden problems, and the freedom to make our home the way we wanted it. It was a little further out than we had originally wanted but looking within our price range, closer to where we work, we could have only afforded a thirty year old condo with one bedroom and a parking place. Knowing it was our 5-7 year plan we didn’t want to bank on having decent resale for such a place and thought that a two bedroom, 2.5 bath, duplex with a 2 car garage and a nice yard would be easier to sell when we were ready for the next step.
At the time, 5-7 years seemed like a long way off. Yet, here we sit, 4 years later knowing that we are, and will be for a while, in the same situation as many people. Stuck. Our developer has even stopped building duplexes because they can now build the single family homes for the what the duplexes once sold for! So we sit on an unfinished street knowing that people are coming into our neighborhood with the budget we had, and affording 4 bedroom single family homes… forever homes.
We never intended this to be our forever home, especially since we are both commuting 45-60 minutes each way to work. With only two bedrooms and zero storage, I never imagined having children in this house. I know many people have made happy families in homes much smaller than ours but I don’t think I could handle both of us being an hour away from our kids while they are at school.
The excitement that THP now brings to me has begun to alter that image. Still certain that this is not our forever home but thinking of ways to “make it work.” I can’t help but wondering if I am getting ahead of myself.
Last weekend we were invited to our friends’ new home for a bonfire. It’s a beautiful old ranch with a big yard in a top school district. My friend made the jape, “Yeah we learned from your mistake and held out for our forever home. We’ll be here until we are 60.” I know she didn’t mean to insult and I really am so very happy for them, on the doorstep of their own somedays. Yet, part of me ached to be there. My 30 mile commute has worn on me over the last few years but now that our next step is slowly becoming clearer, the ever-elusive forever home seems so far away. I am not, by any means, ungrateful for the beautiful home that I have, and as I mentioned, the picture of this home is changing. But I feel like I’m stuck walking in too-small shoes and there’s a marathon on the horizon. I’m jealous of my friend’s just-right shoes as I see her up there, toeing the starting line.
It’s a wrench in the timeline. We are, of course, still in the “Educate Yourself” step in this process. We have not, in fact, decided on anything for sure yet. But children, adopted or not, would stretch our current shoes uncomfortably. Perhaps I need to be browsing for a realtor instead of adoption agencies. The cart can’t pull the horse.