Stress of moving
My commute currently means that I'm on the road for over an hour a day, and can't partake of some of the benefits of living close to work, like taking the patrol car home, or checking on duty from home, or having lunch or supper with my family during my meal break.
Add in the fact that my wife --a sculptor-- needs a shop, and to this point her needs have been served by our screened-in back porch.
Add in the fact that, while a good little house, we really need a bit more room than our 3/2, 1440 square foot domicile provides us. Frankly, I'd like an office, rather than to have the desktop computer in the living room.
So we're looking. But.
(Of course there's a "but.")
But we have to sell our current house, first.
Hard to sell a house when you're living in it.
Especially when there are... concerns. The house is getting on in years (ca. 1983). It's in a neighborhood that's beginning to slide into a shallow decline. When we bought the house, it wasn't until we sat at the closing table that I discovered this: See that red shape that I drew behind the back fence of my house? That's the large portion of a drainage ditch that we charitably call a "creek," which I own. It's pitched at about a 50% grade, and is pretty swampy at the bottom. I can do nothing with it. But I'm taxed on it at the same rate per square foot as my front yard and my living room. Oh, goody.
So what do we do? Well, we're barely living in it.
My sister in-law makes her business "flipping" houses. She buys 'em cheap, fixes 'em up, and sells them at a profit. That's how she makes her living. It's a lot of work, but she knows the business, and makes a tidy little profit at it. She's provided some consult for us on this issue, and is adamant: Get everything that you can possibly remove out of the house, get it fixed up and cleaned up and polished and painted as nicely as possible, and show it with barest minimum furniture and human articles in it. People, when they come in to look at your house, don't want to feel like they're walking through your home; they want to envision it as their home. So you make the beds, remove any real color from the common rooms (helllllloooo, neutral colors...), and basically live out of suitcases. Oh, those foo-foo pillows? They get put on the made bed every day.
All the furniture that is not a bed or the couch goes to storage. Plus, most of our clothes. And kitchen items. Kitchen table, and whatnot.
Then we fixed up the house. New back splash and counter top in the kitchen. New counter top and sink in the bathroom. A dividing wall in the living room was removed. Siding on the gables outside was replaced. The backyard shed was fixed up. Two weeks ago we had golf-ball to lime-sized hail. Okay; new roof.
I'm freaking hemorrhaging money, here. All on spec.
My wife, the frugal one, is beginning to seriously stress. Both of us are stressing about the disarray that our house is in, while we try to put lipstick on our pi... uh, swi... uh, lovely princess of a house. We're going to be moving our daughters out of one of the best school districts in the state. We don't know that we'll even get within $10k of our house's appraisal price (you know, the rate at which it's being taxed on). And we're tired (work, commute, kids, grad school...). And we can't find anything, because it's all packed away.
This sucks, Beavis.
Add all that to the fact that we don't even know where (except generally) we'll move when we sell this thing. We need money in hand to figure that out.
I'm tired of being a grown up.