The American Dream in Reverse

I’ve always wanted to own my own home. I have now owned two. But I no longer own a home as of today.  Neither houses were dream homes (although the first was pretty awesome) but they were mine.

The house in the snow. I won't miss that part. Goodbye Colorado home.

[Well, sort of as of today, since the money hasn’t appeared in my bank account yet. Grrrr!]

Anyway, while I know it was the best thing, having to sell the house was bittersweet. Why? Because I haven’t found a new home yet. No, I’m not homeless. We just haven’t found the place we want to settle in, the place where we will all feel comfortable living. I’m not just talking about the physical location, but the community, the town, the state or maybe even the country.

It is also bittersweet because I don’t know if or when we will ever be able to afford to buy a house again.

But, there is a positive side to this. What, I am calling “The American Dream in Reverse.” See, while we did not make as much money on the sale as we had hoped, and technically lost money (because of an evil sale that fell through last summer after the buyers insisted on fixing the house which ended up on our credit card) but we still made some money. And, once we see it, I will pay off our credit card debt and put the rest into savings.

I like a credit card balance of $0.00.

The only people we will owe money to now are Nathan’s parents, who helped us out with maintaining two homes this year while taking a huge cut in income. I’m going to write a nice big check to them as well, and then pay back in increments as we are able. Great rates (0%) and no time limit, but I want to pay them back asap.

Still, I’m not a fool, and I’m putting the majority in savings to make some interest. Perhaps we will even invest it in some way. And then, since a  major move does not seem imminent from our current location, we will save money. We are switching rentals to help with that, and moving into a place that is giving us free reign to paint and decorate as we see fit–to turn it into a comfortable home. And as we save, we will make plans.

A new American dream.

If all works well, next year we will move on. Of course, I’d prefer to move with a job in hand, but if not maybe we can just take a chance and follow our hearts. Maybe we can find a place that calls to us and simply pursue our dreams. I know it won’t be easy, and that we will never be rich, but I am beginning to realize that happiness and fulfillment are worth pursuing, even if they are not easy.

So, maybe not owning  a home will be my key to a new American Dream, one that suits us all  better than the one that has failed us so painfully.

Who knows what the future brings?

10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. jgavinallan
    Jun 17, 2011 @ 21:22:29

    You sound ready for the future. You have the freedom to do what is necessary for your family and recover from “mistakes.”
    That is what the American Dream is…you are an example of it.
    I know your life will be happy and fruitful.
    I love this post. It was so warm and touching. I really mean it. It was wonderful…

    PS: I really mean it—


  2. Julia Munroe Martin
    Jun 18, 2011 @ 06:42:39

    It really is true that the American Dream is changing… and it sounds like you are ready to take on whatever direction it takes you! Not having the house to tie you down is a wonderful feeling! We have an old house that constantly needs work, and I look forward to the day that it’s either finished or no longer ours…. so I will live vicariously through your freedom 🙂 Great post!


    • Woman Wielding Words
      Jun 18, 2011 @ 07:17:50

      Yes, but there is also a joy in having a place to call your own and infuse with your story, your style, and your dreams. We will see where the new dream leads.


  3. Christine Grote
    Jun 18, 2011 @ 13:12:24

    I recently read that from a purely economic perspective, these days it may be wiser to rent. I know it seems counter intuitive, but the article made sense when you take everything into consideration.

    You’ll find your place.


    • Lisa (Woman Wielding Words)
      Jun 18, 2011 @ 19:15:51

      I think that’s probably true, but it is hard to let go of wanting the dream home. But, more importantly I want to find the place we feel at home, more than the house.


  4. nrhatch
    Jun 18, 2011 @ 14:33:02

    We’re in the fourth place that we’ve owned.
    We’ve also lived in six different rental places over the years.

    There are benefits to both . . . especially if they are situated where you want to put down roots.


    • Lisa (Woman Wielding Words)
      Jun 18, 2011 @ 19:17:08

      My roots are still searching for sustenance, but they will find some soon I think.


  5. thepetalpusher
    Jun 18, 2011 @ 18:37:39

    I agree with the comment above: the American dream has changed. people are different, our culture has changed. Think of it as an adventure.


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