Finding a Home(stead)

July 12, 2015 at 3:36 pm

Finding a place to call your own is quite a step in life. To me, it means you’re ready to settle in, put down some roots, and potentially create a legacy. After discussing various options with my wife, we decided now would be a good time to consider buying a home. I thought would document the reasons for a the move for posterity’s sake.

Reasons

Investment

The thing that started us down this path was a simple realization: we pay a lot out in rent, and it would be really nice to “invest” that money instead. My wife and I currently live in a nice townhouse, in a good planned development near Princeton, NJ. Though we live within our means, we still pay out quite a bit for rent. For that, we get three bedrooms (really one bedroom and two offices), access to a pool, and lots of restrictions (including a no-charcoal-grill policy).

At the time, it made sense for us to move in to the development and not worry about anything. We could concentrate on paying off our debts, saving money, and helping my mother sell her old home in Queens, NY. Now that we’re done with all of that, though, it’s time to move on. Although many don’t consider a home an investment, putting equity in our pocket is certainly better than having it leave the family entirely.

Healthy, Self-Sufficient Lifestyle

My wife and I have recently started to adopt a “healthy lifestyle”. For us, that means eating more natural foods with fewer carbs and processed junk. The first thing we realized after making these changes was that the cost of high-quality food adds up quick. Then next thing we noticed was that we really did feel a lot better, so the premium was worth it.

Aside from food, we spend a lot of time commuting. Currently, my wife is commuting two hours, one way, by public transit, daily. This just isn’t healthy for so many reasons. I am in a better position, commuting a little over an hour one-way, by car, twice a day, but this takes quite a toll on us in many ways.

We don’t eat until 8:30-9:00 PM most nights. When you go to bed at 10 PM, this is a really bad thing. Second, we don’t have time for each other. Having an hour, two if you’re lucky, to catch up with your significant other is a terrible way to live a life. I love my wife, it’s why I married her! Finally, we don’t have time for our hobbies. My wife is a bit luckier in this regard as her hobby, knitting, is portable. I have taken to listening to podcasts on my commute as no one wants to listen to a table saw going at 9:30PM.

A Base of Operations with a Sense of Permanence

Living in a development has taught me two things: I love having someone else mow the lawn / shovel snow, and I hate not having a back yard to do projects in. Even with two offices, there’s no place for a shop, garden, or sheep. Yes, you read that right: sheep.

My wife is a knitter and she loves her hobby. She wants sheep, and I want her to be happy, so we need a place for sheep. My hobby is woodworking and building things. I’ve always been limited to a corner of a garage or basement, when I’ve been lucky enough to have a place at all. So room for a shop is a must for me. Finally there’s the garden. We had one in the past, and it was a wonderful experience. Now that we are focusing on healthier eating, what better way to get the best produce at the best prices than to grow it ourselves?

So on to the home search!