Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Thou Shalt Not Covet

My dream house-- sorta.

Okay, I am trying not to act like a spoiled baby. (I really AM trying!)


Though we live in a small home, it's in an ideal location. I love our ward, our neighborhood, and our reasonable rent payments. We have an awesome landlord! What more could a girl want?!

Hence the sigh...

I feel like I'm being ungrateful.


I want to own a home again. And I want it to have more than just a "yard." I want a bit of space-- not much! Just at least half an acre, which is prime real estate 'round these parts.

And I feel like our family of thirteen-- soon to be fourteen-- really could use a house that has more than 4 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. (The bathroom issue is getting a bit out of hand.)

So I look. I admit it. I LOOK.

On Craig's List. On various real estate websites. I take detours in more rural-type neighborhoods, especially ones in former ward boundaries.

So silly me found an empty lot today that would be perfect! It's got everything I want. Citrus AND pecan trees. TWO WHOLE ACRES. In the boundaries of an old ward. (Did I mention I'd love to build just the house we need?) And the price is even reasonable!!!

The Lot

The grown-up in me (yes, there's one in there, somewhere) says:
"Hello?! You don't have a down-payment."
"Your credit isn't fixed, yet. You can't get a loan."
"Even if you could purchase the land, are you really wanting to live in a tent this summer? Or are you really thinking you can pay monthly for land you want to build on in the future, while staying in your rental until you CAN get a loan to build? Even if you could find a way to buy this without a loan?"

And then I slap myself, take a deep breath, and go back to life.

Someday feels so far away!

Okay, my baby fit is now over. I'll move on.

But I think I'll partake of a little something in my sugar-free chocolate stash first.

(Thanks for joining me in my little pity party. If you come back, I promise not to whine again for a long time. At least not here... )

~Whiny Me


  1. I know where you are coming from. In 2009, we took a $13,000 loss on a house (which we are still paying for and we will be for some time.) We had to move because my husband would no loner have a job and there were no other jobs in his field. A year later we were able to buy another home. It is a good home too. But it is much smaller then what other big families have and it has a very tiny yard. Sometimes I catch myself thinking "if only" too. Fortunately, although we only have 2400sqft, we do have 5 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms (plus one bathroom has a separate tub and shower). All the bedrooms are on an upper level, so the downstairs is all just open living space. It wouldn't work without the good floor plan. We were only able to buy the house because my husband worked for a job that didn't pay him or lay him off. We went through the state to get the back wages up to $10,000. We ended up getting the back wages plus a $9,000 tax return at the same time our rental was being foreclosed on and we had to leave, and no one else would rent something decent to our a big family at a price we could pay. So we used the money as a down payment instead of paying off debt. In some ways, I think the Lord forced us into our home. I know our home is a blessing, but sometimes I do think,"her house is so much bigger and nicer..."

  2. (((HUGS)))

    I feel for you, though the squeeze isn't so tight here yet. Can I join the house pity party too? We've got 9 in a 3 bedroom 1 1/2 bath house in town with a yard. And it's a yard I can't let the kids go play in without an adult because we live a block from the high school with an alley that is the main walkway to everything (like the local pizza shop). People walk down it all hours of the day and night.

    And now that baby Mason is here we know we NEED to move in the next few years to something wheelchair accessible with at least one bedroom on the main floor. Sigh. I know God will provide a job that pays more and a house. I just need to be patient and prayerful.

  3. Thanks, ladies! I appreciate your kind comments so much. :-)

  4. I kind of like being back in a rental...but miss owning a piece of land.

    We are sitting with our twiddling thumbs trying to find a place to live where we can be self sufficient. I feel your pain.

    (although our farm land does not come with citrus or pecan trees! :D)

    And, can I just ask you a question? Not ment as a mean one at all. How do you fit all of you in 4 bedrooms? We have 3bedrooms and only 5 people and sometimes I want to scream with the fighting over the space. How do you do it? I would love to know some tips or sanity needs your help! :)

  5. Hi Jaime!

    We use bunkbeds. AND my husband and I moved out of our large Master Bedroom to give it to all our girls. (7 of them.) The room has two sink/mirror areas: one outside the bathroom door and another inside it. It just made sense for the girls to have the space for all the brushing and primping that goes on. Right now, they have one set of twin bunkbeds, and a bunkbed set that has a twin mattress on top and a full size on the bottom. Three of the little girls (ages 6, 4, 3) presently share the full size mattress, and then there's also a crib with the baby in it. We need to soon get another bunkbed and a toddler bed, but because it used to be the Master Bedroom, we think they will fit.

    This house is great, but it's only 1600 to 1800 square feet. As my mom put it, if it had a basement, it would be PERFECT! (But basements are rare in AZ. I'm not sure why-- they dig pools all the time!)

    Oh, and we also have all four boys on two bunkbeds in their room. They're pretty crowded, but it's working right now.

    Another thing we do, is that the boys have their dressers and clothes in a different room (the smallest bedroom). It used to be the family closet, but with the big walk-in closet in the girls'/former Master bedroom, their clothes fit in their room.

    We also have 90% of all the toys in the Family Room. The bigger kids keep a few things in their rooms, but the rest of it is in a communal toy area in the corner.

    I hope this might give you some ideas. :-)


  6. Well after reading Tristan and Rachel's comments I feel ashamed. Rachel, when we looked to rent and buy, we never looked under 2000 sq ft. Most other big families I know have 3000-5000 sq ft and wonder how I can do it on what we have. But you have less then what I have and you are making it work. I truly hope you guys can get your dream homes, or at least another bathroom+1000 sq ft. When we were buying my husband kept reminding me of the number of kids the pioneers had and what they had to live in and how they made it. Sometimes, I'd argue that they were dreaming of that bigger, more beautiful house too.

  7. Hi, Rachel. I read your blog all the time, but don't seem to comment much. Think of you guys often...
    We are living in a 700 sq. ft. studio that is one open space--all six of us--soon to be seven! (YAY!)
    Sometimes I go crazy inside having everything so, well, exposed. I declutter like crazy, but with 6 people, you can only get rid of so much...must have clothes, must sleep somewhere, lol. Oh, and MUST HAVE BOOKS! So I feel your angst. The one plus is that we have unlimited access to grass dirt and water and bugs and snakes (well, that's not that good) and sunshine. (Except we got snow here Monday! It was crazy.)
    But I long, yearn for a home of our own again too. With bedrooms, lol. Someday. Hang in there. And I will too. ;-)

  8. You know, Diane, you should NOT feel bad! My husband and I have made some dumb choices with our finances in the past, and so we are where we are. I can totally understand what you're saying-- because I've been there, too. Please don't feel bad! It sounds like you and your husband have been wise stewards of what the Lord has given you. :-)

    Oh, wow, Nicole! I'm glad to have you here. You have given me a renewed perspective and a reminder to be grateful. And amen about the BOOKS! :-D I'll hang in there, and I wish YOU all the best!


  9. HA! I was just thinking about the connection between coveting and not going where you'll be tempted to sin. I think checking Craigs list is a good thing because it helps you know the market for when you are ready to buy. And I LOVE looking at too when there's a viable chance to look at homes in any location. But I suppose there's a point where you have to find something else to do. . . ;)

    I feel your pain, though ours, thankfully, isn't about housing. It's about transportation here in China. I really miss having our own car that everyone can ride together in without the stress of public transportation (which I do enjoy, mostly). Being independent on our scooter is really great but it only fits 2 mostly and is slower than a lot of other scooters even.

    Such a fine line of sanity we walk, huh?

  10. Hi Verena! I'm glad you chimed in.

    It's true-- I need to spend less time being tempted by what I can't have. I know I drive Russell crazy, but he just tells me to go ahead and call to see if the owner will carry the note. (It can't hurt to ask, right? But then I usually just chicken out.) He's so tolerant!

    I guess we all have things we struggle with, huh? I hope the new scooter continues to bless and help you with all your transportation needs!

    {{{hugs}}} I miss you!

  11. Housing woes....we feel them too as we search for a reasonable (ha ha right) house in Flagstaff.

    Have you looked into USDA home loans? They only apply to certain areas of the Valley of the Sun, but we found that we qualify and they allow a much lower down payment and better interest rates for those who qualify. There are income requirements as well.

  12. Celeste: How did I miss that you're living in Flag???

    Yeah, reasonable is a relative term, right? Maybe I will look into USDA home loans. We want to live in a rural area, after all!

    Hugs to you! I hope your house hunt is short and successful!!!

  13. hugs rachel...I'm right there with you. Not exactly there...but do you really want 11 more people in your house? ;) Love grows best in little houses...or it better because that's what we've got.


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