photo by linda yvonne
Lately, I've found myself daydreaming. Daydreaming about a home for me and Michael where we can put down our roots and call our own. I'm not sure where this came from, because I've always been content to rent and not have to worry about financing repairs or upgrades or handling a mortgage. And I'm still content to do so, but somewhere over the past few weeks, it's as if a switch went off inside of me that made me begin thinking about our future home.
Even when we were dating, Michael and I would go for walks through little neighborhoods and point out which houses we liked. Fortunately, we both gravitated toward the same kinds of homes: Small cottage-like homes with character and charm. (Yes, this was something I filed away in my mind while we were dating: "Reason #429 why I want to marry this man! We like the same kind of houses!")
I've always leaned toward having a smaller home, mostly because I've always hoped to stay at home once I have kids and I know that a larger-home mortgage is apt to be a burden on a single income. In speaking with some friends, they've shared the blessing that a small living arrangement provides: Less to furnish (which allows you to pick the pieces you really like and have an excuse to spend a bit more). Less to clean. Less to hoard. They attest that it's a practice in simplicity and minimalism, which I can definitely appreciate.
But I also like the idea of cozy home, where someone is just down the hall or in the next room--almost where you're forced to live amongst one another, even when you don't feel like it. (And, I expect that during the teens years, that will be the reality!) In a book of stories about the Amish and their daily life, the author shares that the way the Amish structure their homes is very intentional: Bedrooms are constructed quite small and the only room in the house that is heated is their family room. (I believe they call it a "great room.") They do this because they want everyone in the family to spend their free time together, to congregate in one area of the home and interact rather than retreat off into separate bedrooms.
Now, we're not ready to start shopping or putting down bids anytime soon; we want Michael to have a stable full-time job first, so that we can know neighborhoods to look at and what kind of budget we have. Recently, I came across a blog of a couple who is saving up to put 100% down on their first home purchase. I'm not sure how realistic 100% is for us and our timeline, but I think that the idea behind it is quite inspiring and something that I've added to my prayer list. (Also inspiring because I used one of those online calculators and found out that with the amount we currently have saved as a down-payment, we'd pay $69K in interest over the course of a mortgage!)
For now it's a percolating thought that's got me thinking. I'll be curious to see what our someday-home looks like and how closely it resembles the one I've been imagining!