Updated: Aug 3
I'm going to be totally honest right off the bat here. No beating around the bush at all. Moving was both a dream come true and a major stressor. But damn that stress is enough to make you wish you'd never had the dream in the first place.
We were six people squished into a 1026 sq. ft. mobile home. And the bigger the kids got, the more squished we became. The park we lived in had raised the rent so much that it was almost as much as the principle people paid for their mortgage. And the yard was sooooo tiny.
We dreamed of moving, of having more space and of not paying for someone else's property but without a down payment, there wasn't much here that we could afford. Then tragedy struck. My father-in-law passed away. We now had our down payment but there was so much to consider - the proximity of a new house to the kids' schools, to our current lives, the price of gas if we moved away from our current area, the commute time for my husband, the bus ride for the kids. Our qualifying amount for the loan pretty much made up our minds for us though. Our current neighborhood was too expensive.
Once that was realized, we set about looking for a home with the most amazing realtor, in an unfamiliar part of town. Enter the new problem. Houses were selling as quickly as we could look at them.
Then one day I was looking online and found a house that needed some cosmetic work but was affordable and had a HUGE backyard. We had always wanted a big backyard for our kids and animals. There was one big problem, though. Houses were selling so fast and our realtor was out of town. I prayed her partner could take us to see it ASAP. Luckily he could. I loved it immediately but it took the hubby a couple of visits to make up his mind. But in the end, we decided we'd just found our new home and put in an offer as soon as our realtor came back to town.
The offer was accepted and we breathed a momentary sigh of relief. We knew that the hardest part was yet to come. We were debt-free but our good credit score was relatively new so we were pretty sure the loan process wouldn't be easy. Of course, we were right, all the way up to the day before closing. We were thisclose to just saying to hell with it and staying put in our tiny home in the park we hated. But alas, the closing day arrived! We were the proud owners of a 1560 sq. foot manufactured home on a permanent foundation on a 13,000 sq. foot lot right smack in the middle of a 'normal' neighborhood.
Little did I know, the hardest part for me was just beginning. We had some cosmetic reno to do and on closing day I had started to feel like shit on a shingle. It was either my anxiety or a fibromyalgia flare-up (If that's what I have.) Every day for just over a month we pulled up and laid down flooring, painted, cleaned, and put furniture together in blistering heat. (Our AC install was delayed). My body ached beyond belief, my stomach was a mess and I was so weak I could barely walk from the car to the house. The guilt I felt every day for not being able to be there for my family was ten times worse throughout the renovations. But finally, the move, which in itself was a three-day adventure, was here and once again I wasn't much help. But then it was done and my kids weren't crowded into two rooms and we had a floorplan that worked for everyone. And did I mention that backyard where our pup was finally able to romp around?
So, was our dream come true