We will be moving into a space that Jonathan estimates to be about a third of the space we now inhabit. This is neither an accident nor a disaster, but an intentional choice made with much prayer and thought.
We love our current home. We love the house, the property, the community… it has been more of a blessing than I could recount to live here for the last year. If you look through my pictures over the last year, you get a glimpse of how much we love it here. And I will be honest and admit that the thought of leaving is far from easy.
However, this gorgeous abode runs between 32.5 and 42.5% of our monthly income (our rent is somewhat variable according to how much work we do for our terrific homeowners). That is just way too much for us to be spending on housing, and we have been looking and praying about something different for a while now.
In early-mid March, we looked at three different houses. After much prayer, we made an offer on the mobile above and sat back to see what the Lord would do. Because we have a bankruptcy with a foreclosure on our record, a traditional loan was not an option for us, and we were unsure whether the family would accept our land contract offer (though we had sweetened the deal as much as we could and included a down payment that was almost a third of the asking price). We got word a few days later that they had accepted our offer.
Our closing date is set for April 27th, and we will be moving somewhat gradually through (at least) the first half of May. Our new home is a smidge shy of 1100 sq. feet and sits on an acre and a half. The payment will be about 21% of our monthly income (house payment + taxes and insurance; 4 year term with a goal of having the whole thing paid off in two).
The property is closer to town and in a decidedly more populated area (a disadvantage in our books), but we are glad to have a field across the dirt road from us to the north and only one house between us and more fields on the west. We’ll be less than four miles from Kansas Bible Camp, which is something about which we’re pretty excited. We have plenty of room for a garden, and actually have already started working on that with permission from the current owner.
The big challenge/opportunity with this move is going to be an adjustment in our space perspective. The American idea of how much living space is needed per person is pretty crazy, but it is extremely difficult to get away from that mindset.
I have been longing for years for our family to craft a more simple life together, to weed out the extras that weigh us down and to choose a less encumbered lifestyle. Part of that simpler life is financial freedom, which is one of the biggest reasons we are making this move. Another part of that simpler life is “stuff” freedom, and we will, by sheer necessity, be making great strides in that area as well.
From Merriam Webster –
Definition of PARE
1: to trim off an outside, excess, or irregular part of (pare apples) (paring his nails)
2: to diminish or reduce by or as if by paring (pare expenses) (the novel was pared down to 200 pages)
I hope to blog regulary through this process of paring down our “stuff” and simplifying our life. I’d love it if you’d join me as I do!