home is where the heart is

October 27, 2010 at 2:02 pm 1 comment

yesterday i got an email from my realtor that the buyers who looked at my house over the weekend are discussing things with their lender. we’re supposed to hear back by the end of the week and there is a good chance of an offer. my first reaction was of course excitement but soon there after it turned to panic. ive been in my house for about six years now and for the most part i like it. it’s small but more than enough for me and a 10 year old. has a pool. is on conservation area so i have no back yard neighbors. and though most of the people around me are pretty reclusive, my immediate neighbors are truly wonderful.

it’s no national secret that this is a horrible time to sell. home values have plummeted over the last few years and the florida market has been one of the hardest hit. i’m a little luckier than most in that i bought before the market skyrocketed so i’m right on the borderline of being able to break even if i can sell. i’m not over my head with my mortgage. i’ll admit i was one of the many who did a low-interest arm when i bought but within a year i saw rates going up and i refinanced quickly to stop the bleeding before it really got bad. i haven’t lost my job or hit huge financial bumps. i’m skating along as a perfectly average pay-my-mortgage-on-time-not-upside-down home owner. so why, you ask, am i trying to sell now?

first and foremost is the school district i am in. the elementary school has a pretty solid reputation and rating and we’ve been, for the most part, happy with it. we did have some serious difficulty with sab’s teacher last year who, though a decent teacher, was horrible at communicating with parents. i know i can be pretty demanding but i really don’t think it’s too much to ask be be kept informed of test grades and progress throughout the year and i had to battle to get any thing sent home. but that’s neither here nor there. sab’s teacher this year is fabulous and the school itself seems well run and is providing my daughter a solid elementary education. but my fear is next year. the middle school we are slated for is at best sub-par. a relatively new school that rezoned our area and tied us to the “wrong side of the tracks”. i’ve heard nothing good. read stats and stories that back my decision that my daughter will not go there. period.

my second reason for selling is all about me. i hate suburbia. the cookie cutter houses. neighbors with 2.5  kids, the family dog and a white picket fence. i stand out as the single mom on the block. i don’t fit into the dinner party mold or the pta carpool. i drive to the grocery store. i drive to go run. i drive to go bike. i drive i drive i drive. everywhere! i grew up in washington dc and though we lived in a neighborhood per se and not in “the city” there was still a world within a walk. ease of finding life. but where i am no one seems to care. they have no desire to venture far outside thier florida stucco walls and lawns manicured to HOA standards.

reason number three is a little more long term. a little more might never happen. i’m not shy in saying i hate florida. i’m not a beach person ~ except maybe when it comes to evening sunset walks along the water with mr. right. but that statement can simply transition into the fact that my mr. right doesn’t appear to live in the greater tampa bay area. i think florida is aesthetically hideous. i miss seasons. mountains. culture. i can go on and on about tampa and what i feel it’s lacking but i’ll sum it up only in saying that this “city” lacks a solid identity and personality. it’s a hodgepodge of nothing that i find more and more disappointing each year i’m stuck here. i don’t know if i’ll get the guts a chance to move anytime soon but right now home ownership feels like nothing more than an anchor. dead weight.

so for now, stuck here, there is a specific local area i want to be. the streets full of runners and kids on bikes. the dog park a walk away. water. shops. cafes. i’m too poor to afford much of the island and i know i’ll end up renting a hole-in-the-wall but i’ll take location over size any day! we’re hardly ever home to begin with and a little tlc can make even a tiny house a home. the houses ~ though some being replaced with pretentious mansions ~ are full of old character and charm. and the schools tied to the island ~ fabulous! the middle and high both nationally ranked.

but i am so scared that i’m not making the right decision. have i looked at all options for schools and living where i am? am i expecting a new neighborhood to fill the emptiness i sometimes feel at home? am i attempting to justify restlessness that is better quelled with simpler changes? have i really thought through all the places life will change beyond simply where we lay our heads at night? a new gymnastics studio. new neighbors. new after school. new proximity from the ex. new commute. packing. moving. life. suddenly i’m panicked of change that has yet to even be offered.

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Entry filed under: 30-something single, biking, divorce and co-parenting, fear, life, parenting, relationships, running. Tags: , , , , , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. kitkat1126  |  October 28, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    My comment didn’t go through yesterday, boo!

    Okay so the gist of what I was thinking when I first read your post:

    I have a feeling you have thought about this move a number of times before and you know deep down you’re making the right choice. Just from the past few months I can tell you are an amazing Mom and you’re sure to put Sab first. This move sounds like a great decision or Sab in terms of school. And it also sounds like a great decision in terms of *your* happiness which makes you an even more amazing Mom and role model.

    I think it’s normal to have that level of panic. It’s hard to ever be 100% sure of any decision, there are always so many options. But you said it well that you can make any place a home with a little TLC. I think you can do the same with a neighborhood – especially one with so much to offer!

    Reply

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