The Freedom of Less


A member of the family is house hunting. His goal is to find a well priced home with a minimum of five bedrooms and four bathrooms. So far he seems most interested in houses with at least 2500 square feet.

A few of the houses have been more than double the size of mine, which always seemed quite reasonably sized at 1600 square feet.

I wonder if our little family will move one day. The schools in our current district are all poorly ranked, which means we will most likely have to shell out $15,000 to $20,000 for private school if we decide to stay. Do we move to a new neighborhood with better schools and higher home prices or do we stay put knowing that tuition rates for two children will easily cost us more than the price of a new home?

I don’t know. What I do know is that I will not be tied to huge mortgage payments. I would prefer to discard half of our possessions and live in a smaller home than to live in a larger home and spend the next thirty years paying it off.

Right now my husband and I are only four years away from the final mortgage payment on our primary home. Four years from now, with our home paid off, my husband can rethink his career path.

He can continue to run his own business or he can quit his current line of work in search of something more rewarding. I’ve been out of the workforce for three and a half years and will most likely will remain that way for at least five more. When my youngest son marches off to kindergarten I can decide exactly how I want to spend my days.

Do I return to a career in software development or do I look for a more meaningful, but much lower paying position? I don’t know. What I do know is that I cannot make that decision if I move and tie myself to a huge mortgage payment.

When shopping for a home it is easy to lose sight of the all the lifestyle factors that exist outside of the walls you want to live in. A large house with a big mortgage payment might seem like an okay idea now, but what happens fifteen years from now when you are unhappy with your line of work and looking to do something different?

I know that I would happily choose less over more. I would choose a smaller space and fewer possessions for the freedom of future possibilities.

Would you?

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