I’ve been living in my cottage since May of 2012, so far the experience has been great. For those of you who don’t know, my husband and I have been house sitting for his step father to save on housing costs.
Sure, living in a 400 square foot cottage with a husband, a dog and cat isn’t always easy, but the cost savings definitely outweighed the drawbacks. Saving so much money on rent definitely contributed to how quickly I was able to pay off debt (we only paid utilities and a small fee to cover wear and tear). My husband and I knew that we didn’t want to live at the cottage forever, but the savings were so compelling that we weren’t in any hurry to leave.
Then, about a month ago, everything changed. My husband’s step father mentioned that he was thinking of putting the house on the market, and offered it to us first, if we were interested in buying it.
When my husband told me this news for the first time, immediately a million thoughts started to race through my mind. Buying this cottage seemed to make sense for a bunch of reasons, and for about two weeks I was seriously, seriously considering it.
Why I Almost Bought a House
The first and most compelling reason that I actually considered buying the house was because of the price. We were already saving a ton by house sitting, and the purchase price was so affordable that if we were to take on a small mortgage, we’d be able to continue those savings. The idea of having a really cheap place to live in my home town was really appealing, even if we ended up moving on to a bigger city down the road, and just kept it as a cottage.
Why I Decided Not to Buy a House
The more I thought about it though, the more I realized that buying the cottage probably wasn’t the best idea. First of all, the cottage needs a lot of work. It’s quite rustic, and if I was going to live there for a long period of time, I’d want to invest a significant amount of cash into sprucing that up. That immediately makes it not so affordable.
Spending the extra money on renovations also means that we’d have to delay doing some other things on my list, namely, travelling. I really want to travel in 2014, and buying and then renovating the cottage would take that option off the table. There just wouldn’t be enough money to go around for mortgage payments, renovations, retirement savings, car insurance, and travel too.
Plus, it’s a one bedroom. While that suits us just fine right now, if we ever decided to move (which we probably would), it would take a long time to sell because that’s just how real estate works in my small town. It could take years to find a buyer. We could probably rent it in the mean time, but that would definitely be a hassle, which makes it a con.
Finally – and this is probably the nail in the coffin for me – we’re not sure that we want to stay in my small town forever. We might want to move on in the next few years, and having a property to deal with will make that harder.
So We Didn’t Buy the House…
After seriously talking about it for about two weeks, running the numbers incessantly, and dithering back and both on just about every detail, we decided that we’re just not ready to be homeowners yet. There’s too much else we want to do, the property isn’t the right one for us, and now is not the time.
So we declined buying the cottage, which means that we need to find a new place to live! That’s right, my time as a permanent house sitter has come to an end, and we’ll soon be moving on to a more traditional rental situation. I’ll sure miss the cottage, it was a great place for me to save some money and pay off debt.
That said, I’m excited for this new change. I’m excited for a new space, and I’m excited to live somewhere different.
Want to know where I’m going to be moving? Tune in to my next post.