I love almost everything about my little house, from the frictionless slate floors to the low sunny windows, to the roomy, curbless roll-in shower to the fully accessible kitchen where I can make a complete Thanksgiving meal on my own. If I could just pick it up and transport it to another neighborhood, I'd be over the moon happy.
But, gas prices being what they are, a 40 mile round trip to work out at the SpoFit
3 -4 times a week just doesn't make sense. I find all my business is a minimum 20 mile trip. All of my friends and social activities are also in the central core of my beloved Phoenix. I dream about being able to roll out my front door and pushing a few blocks to the local coffee shop or light rail stop that can take me most of the places I frequent. So, moving makes sense.
I contacted my Realtor to explore my options. My current home has gained equity again following the crash. With the improvements I've made in terms of accessibility, he thinks I could get enough out of it to make sense – if I were any other buyer.
But, when you ask the two questions unique to me, it gets complicated:
1. How much do I need to budget for modifications?
2. Where do I live in the interim?
Suddenly, I'm afraid. My house makes sense to me. I know how to function in this space. If I move, I'll have to do battle once again with a Home Owners Association that might not like my entry ramps or my service dog or how I position my mail box to reach it. I might find in the process of changing out the kitchen that I have to spend more money than I've planned or budgeted thus leaving me in an untenable position of no modification. What if my new neighbors aren't as wonderful as my current neighbors?
I also have to figure out how to pack, haul it into a truck, unpack and get it all put away. I'll need to hang curtains and pictures. I'm not sure that 3 to 5 foot range I can reach makes the most sense aesthetically. Hiring help to manage all of this can be quite costly and stressful. Is a lifestyle change worth all this?
So I keep calling my Realtor: it's on, it's off, it's on again… it's.. I just don't know. I think I just need to take the leap and believe it will all be ok. I have to hope that when I'm ready to buy, a modifiable house will be available in the area where I want to live. The current market offerings suggest so but what will be for sale when I'm ready to buy?
I think I'll just stay focused on the adventure. I'll get the do-over I've wanted since I finished this house. I now know where I like my grab bars and how far I can move a pot of boiling pasta between the stove and the sink in one move. I can perfect my guesses and shop with a different vision than the first time I did this. But what if… That's what wakes me up at night.
Is a change solely for convenience worth it? Will I be happier in a more social community? I guess there's only one way to find out. If nothing else, it will provide blog fodder for the short term. Stay tuned…
© 2013 Jennifer Longdon |