How did we get this far?
Well, we started our adulthood by trying to live a lifestyle that is, honestly, out of our reach and not really satisfying for us. As a teacher (Lara) and a network manager (Andrew) in the DC Metro area we just don’t make the kind of money it takes to live in a large single family home in our chosen city. We had a medium to large house with an even larger yard that we meticulously renovated ourselves. By the time we were done with countless projects and renovations we were still not in love with the house or the location of the neighborhood (although the neighbors rocked).
We decided on a whim to move to a smaller and “in need of work home” in a different neighborhood that we thought would suit us better. We were hoping to find a less expensive home and we looked for quite a while, put in a couple bids, and were outbid both times. Well, we don’t give up easily so we began looking for properties/lots for sale. We figured we could have an inexpensive modular home put on a very expensive piece of property in the neighborhood we wanted to live in. As luck would have it we found the small property/empty lot and made an offer. It was accepted and we began the very painful and long home building process. Long story short, we had to build at least a three bedroom house just to attain the bank loan, and it took nearly a year to build.
To make this move we had to sell our renovated home to afford the settlement on the property and the contract with the builders. Long story short-we were homeless within a month. With almost all of our belongings in a storage unit and with a dog and two cats we were struggling to find a place to rent. We have wonderful friends and we opened our home to them in the past and they of course returned the favor. We stayed for 6 weeks, paid rent, and happily became even better friends by the end of our time there. As we were living with our friends, in two very small bedrooms, sharing the kitchen and living room, we discovered that we didn’t feel like we were missing all of our “stuff.” Hmmm, less is more?
We were then lucky to meet another woman through my yoga community who was renting her 500 square foot condo and didn’t mind pets! We were thrilled and moved into a one bedroom condo with low rent (for the DC area) and a nice location. We again were very happy; we didn’t miss our “stuff,” and we actually came to enjoy cleaning day… it took less than an hour to clean the entire apartment top to bottom! Our eyes were open to the possibility of living with a lot less.
Our home was finally finished in December of 2011 and we moved into our 1,400 square foot, three bedroom, two bath home. Wow was it big! We did need the house space for one year, as a nephew lived with us… but after he moved out the house seemed ridiculous! That’s how we finally decided we needed to downsize, but apartment/condo living is not really our thing as we now have two 50 pound dogs and the idea of hallways and elevators to get them out for a walk is not appealing. We loved the first floor walk-out condo. So we decided an RV might be a good option; if only we didn’t need to stay in VA where I (Lara) have my teaching career. Andrew wanted to know… might I want to quit?!?