Friday, January 20, 2012

The Mortgage--Financial Fridays

It was election day, 1994. Larry and I walked home from doing our civic duty, discussing how our lives would change. With one ultrasound we’d learned that we would soon out grow our house, our car and my jeans. We began house hunting almost immediately, but we ended up moving into our new home when our twins were four days old. This wasn’t our plan, but finding and buying a house took longer than we expected and the girls came earlier than we expected. I didn’t love our new home then, and sixteen years later, I don’t love it now. I don't think it's a pretty house.

Samuel Clements, aka Mark Twain loved his home in Hartford, Ct.: It had a heart and a soul and eyes to see with; and approvals and solicitudes and deep sympathies; it was of us and we were in its confidence and lived in its grace and in the peace of its benedictions. We never came home from an absence that its face didn’t light up and speak out in eloquent welcome—and we could not enter it unmoved.

We bought our house because it is big and has a very generous kitchen, but mostly because it backs on to the school, the park and is a hop, skip and jump from the community pool and tennis courts. This house made my life easier when my circumstances were difficult. I loved that I could sit in my bedroom, nurse my girls and watch my children playing at recess on the school playground. I’ve loved having my floors and sofas covered with sleeping bags, pillows and friends. I’ve loved making Thanksgiving dinner for thirty in my kitchen. I love living here, but I still don’t love this house. I love the people who live here and the life we lead, but I could walk away from the house.

I've since decided it’s not the house that's important--it’s the life lived inside its walls and beneath its roof.

I agree with Miss Fanny Price, the heroine of Jane Austin’s Mansfield Park.
Her plants, her books, her writing desk and her works of charity and ingenuity were all within her reach…she could scarcely see an object in the room which had not an interesting remembrance connected with it.

So, when purchasing a house I think it’s important to consider the mortgage, the taxes and insurance, but I think how you live is much more important than where you live. Emily Dickinson wrote, “I live in possibilities.” And fortunately, possibilities aren’t limited to any one address or neighborhood.

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