Maybe the Neighborhood Will Come to Us

I haven’t kept it a secret here that we are trying to sell our townhouse. We are trying to sell our townhouse in a dismal housing market, where the unemployment rate is still near 9% and new construction has all but stalled.

We bought this townhouse a year after we were married, when the economy appeared to be fine. The plan was to stay here for about five years, start a family, and then move onto bigger and greener pastures.

Then the housing market tanked.

Then we added to our family somewhat unexpectedly.

Then I lost my full-time job.

Ten years later, here we are. We’re waiting for our home value to go back up (ha!) or our savings to grow (double ha!) so that we can afford to move to the bigger house we’ve always dreamed about owning.

Don’t get me wrong: I am fully aware that this is a first-world, middle-class, gainfully employed “problem” that doesn’t really count as a problem. We have a roof over our heads that we can afford, which is no small blessing.

I’ve made a list of reasons, though, why living smaller right now is okay, for the days when it feels like the walls are closing in on our two bedroom home.

1) Two families with children have moved into our six-unit block of homes this summer. The economic downturn has a lot of people moving, and our neighborhood is a good place for kids, minus the retention ponds.

2) Kids are so rare in our neighborhood that we know all of them, and their parents, by name.

3) We don’t sit around much at home. If it’s nice, we’re outside. If it’s not nice, we’re off exploring because four people in a small space on a rainy day gets old fast.

4) Our kids like each other. There’s no storming off into a private space because there is no private space. They share a room and pretty much everything in it. Sometimes, they choose to play in a bathroom or a closet alone. But otherwise, they are playing together, which is music to my ears.

5) When the whole family pitches in, we can clean the whole house in under an hour.

On second thought, maybe we aren’t in the market for a new house, because it feels like we are, in fact, home.

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