Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Moving House? Not So Fast.

Gentle reader,

Are you thinking about moving house?

Are you caught up in the manic cycle of house buying and selling, just so you can"move up", impress the Joneses and feel good about yourself?

Hold on one minute, let's think about this.

Old Memories
There is something to be said about laying down roots in one place. I am not talking about shallow roots, I am talking about deep, deep roots.

I remember Karl from next door. He was in his mid-80's when we first moved in. We helped him and his wife mow their lawn when he was sick and I remember how he joked, when one day he had not woken up until 4pm, that he was "getting ready to sleep full-time". Old Karl is gone now. But those memories of him live on and they still make me smile once in a while.

I remember my children running about the house when they were little.
This old place has all those old memories in its woodwork. If I were to move, I am afraid that most of those memories would stay behind.

How about you?

What memories do you have and don't you think you might lose some of them in the shuffle?

It's hard to build a solid community when people are constantly coming and going.

True friendships are forged over long periods of time. Shared memories of "how things used to be" and hardships endured ("do you remember the winter of 1986?") help to form a bond between neighbors. Think about how long it takes to build these bonds.

People can be fiercely individualistic and it can take many years for people who were strangers
to become true neighbors. If you move, perhaps you will lose some or all of these relationships and it may take years to re-build them in another area.

A move "just for the sake of moving" can be very costly. Consider the following:

1) How much extra mortgage will you have if you "move up"?

Perhaps more importantly, how much longer will you need to be paying that mortgage if you refinance with a new 30 year loan? Will you feel good about your decision later, when you are forced to keep sending a cheque to the mortgage company when you could have owned your old house free and clear?

2) If you move into a bigger house, what about the increased insurance, heating and cooling bills and property taxes?

3) Do you really need the extra space? Is it worth the use of all those resources (construction materials) and added energy usage?

Of course, sometimes it is necessary to move.

Jobs come and go, harsh economic realities often take precedence over personal preferences.

These are just some things to think about before you make your decision.

And on to today's quote:

"We shape our buildings, and afterwards our buildings shape us."
-Winston Churchill

Until the next time, I remain,

Your friend,

Buford Twain

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