We have neighbors all around us – next door on both sides, across the street, and behind us. The neighbors directly behind us (their backyard meets our backyard) finally sold their house after having it on the market for about a year. Closing day is Friday and I have to admit, I’m a little nervous about the new neighbors.
The current neighbors were great. We never talked much, just a polite wave here and there. They both went to the same college as me, but were just a few years older. I’m not sure why we never really became friends. It probably had to do with the two kids under 4. I don’t know where they worked and I can’t even remember their names at the moment, so that just tells you how much we talked. When we moved in, the wife was pregnant with their first baby. Just as the little boy began to walk, they had another baby – a baby girl. Last week I watched them swinging together on their little swingset and thought “wow, they grow fast!” I think I might miss seeing them out there, playing together as a happy little family.
The only name I do remember however is Oliver. Oliver is their poodle-mix dog and when we first moved in, Oliver was not a fan of us. He barked ALL THE TIME. That lasted a few weeks and then he got used to us. Then we got a dog and Oliver barked some more, but again, he eventually got used to Champ and they became pals, chasing each other up and down the fence line. I think Champ will miss Oliver. Still, I hope the new neighbors don’t have a dog. I already have one neighbor with a dog I can’t stand and I really don’t need another. I also hope our new neighbors take care of their yard. Otherwise I think I see a privacy fence in our future. Or a “For Sale” sign in our front yard.
And of course, that got me thinking. When ARE we going to move? When we bought our house, we figured we’d live there for at least 2 years but probably no more than 5. Well, it’s been 3.5 years now and I think we’re both feeling “the itch” for something new. A change in scenery. Maybe it’s the change in seasons coupled with the neighbors moving that has us feeling this way, but whatever the reason, it’s hard to ignore. We’re so accustomed to things moving at rapid pace in our lives. In just five years since we met, we moved in together, bought new cars, got engaged, bought a house, got married, got a dog… and that was really all in the first 3 years. These last two years have largely been dedicated to vacations and paying off debt. In short, they’ve been kind of…boring. Not that there’s anything wrong with boring! And 3.5 years in a house really isn’t very long at all. But when you haven’t lived in one place longer than 12 months for the last 10 years of your life, well, it FEELS like a long time.
But the unforseen problem in our master moving plan is something that is completely out of our control: The housing market. We bought before the market tanked and even though it’s slowly getting better, I’m not positive that we would make any sort of profit off of our home if we tried to sell it now. And the one thing I’m NOT willing to do is take a loss. We just can’t afford it. So here we will stay, for now, saving up money for an eventual down payment on our future home.
Any tips for how to overcome the itch for change? Maybe I just need to redecorate.