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Back to the Basement

You may have heard the saying, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making plans.” This could not be more true than when we decided to sell the townhouse.

We had decided to stay. We could likely get 3 to 5 more years from the space. Our little ones were growing up. More space would be ideal, but this was enough. Interest rates were low in the summer of 2021, but we didn’t want to refinance since we wouldn’t be here long-term. Then it happened.

One afternoon, I woke up from a nap and started scrolling through Facebook. Our son’s daycare teacher posted a listing for her brother’s house. 4 bedrooms, with a basement and a fenced-in yard. Our toddler loved to be outside. With the lack of a fenced-in yard (and no way to achieve it), this had been added to the want list. It was the perfect house. I told my husband let’s just go look. That is what started it all. We did look, and we loved it. However, it was in the next school district. A change we were not willing to make.

Regardless of what we decided, we kept looking. Just within our district this time. Interest rates were so low. We could sell high right now. If we found something, we were going to go for it. After looking a lot, we found a house in town. It wasn’t perfect, but it had 4 bedrooms, a fenced-in yard, a basement, and a huge 3 car garage. We offered just above asking, and our townhouse went live on the market. The seller did not immediately accept. They wanted to wait a few days and see if any other offers came in, which was understandable.

That very weekend, we had a family get-together at my mother-in-law's. We hadn’t told anyone what we were doing. It just so happens she took this opportunity to ask us what we thought about buying their house in two years when my youngest sister-in-law went to college. What timing! One more weekend and the answer would have had to be no. Their home was much larger than anything we had been looking at, but we could afford it. They wanted to downsize, but we’re unwilling to give up the space entirely. It was the family gathering place, and getting the entire family together is not something they were willing to loose. We pulled our offer and our house off the market. This would eventually be our forever home.

My anxiety was in overdrive. It was a lot of house, and we could afford it now, but who knew what life would look like in a few years. Then the idea hit me. We would buy the house now. They could stay until they build their new home, and we would get a rental. We pay the mortgage, and they pay the rent. After looking around for rentals (it turns out others had the same idea), we came to a different plan. We'd move back into the basement apartment until they finish building.

My sister-in-law was more than okay with finishing out her senior year in a new home. She was very excited to help design it. We built an extra bedroom for our youngest. The older children took bedrooms in the main part of the house. The girls still shared a room for now, and our son got his own. This still left room for my sister-in-law and an exercise room. 

We bought at a low-interest rate and sold high on our townhome. We could pay closing costs, pay off a bit of debt I had accumulated when I was a single mom, and start savings for redecorating when we took over the main part of the house. We packed up our home. Moving most of our items to a storage unit and only bringing the basics of what we would need for the next year. The adventure began.


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