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My Home Made My Family Whole

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Moving sucks. You never know how much crap you’ve actually accumulated over the years until you try to cram it all in the back of a moving truck. Even if you pay someone to move your stuff for you, you still have to worry about finding a new place to live, transferring all your utilities and organizing all the craziness that comes with moving.

We’ve moved at least six times in the last 10 years — starting out on our own, we’ve moved from small houses to bigger houses and back to small ones. We’ve moved in with in-laws and moved in-laws in with us.

Our last move brought us closer to family, which is always a good thing, but after two crazy weeks of packing, loading, moving and unloading, we decided it was time for a change.

Buying Our First Home

We’ve called plenty of places home over the years, but it’s never quite the same as buying your own home. It took us nearly a decade before we finally decided shelling out an entire paycheck to rent someone else’s property wasn’t worth it anymore.

The housing market has been a rollercoaster the last few years, but after a year of house hunting, we finally found the perfect little house. It’s a three-bedroom, two-bath in a quaint neighborhood with a fenced in yard, close enough to family that it’s easy to visit, but far enough away to give us a little bit of warning before they show up at our door.

Don’t get me wrong: I love my family, but I love them more from a distance.

Anyway, in June 2016 — right after my birthday — we finally closed on our new home and got the keys to the next chapter in our lives.

Not All Sunshine

I’ll be honest — buying a home wasn’t all sunshine and roses. We jumped through all the hoops, had the property inspected and made sure everything was up to code. That didn’t stop the washing machine from tripping the circuit breaker every time it went into the spin cycle, or the air conditioner from failing utterly in the middle of July.

One of the perks of renting was that if something broke, the landlord had to fix it. We lived without air conditioning for nearly three weeks while we found an affordable replacement.

The experience made us question why we hadn’t built a new house instead of buying an existing one — we could even have gotten a warranty on a newly built home that might have saved us a lot of money — but we fell in love with the house we chose.

Still the Best Thing Ever

Even after all the trials and tribulations we’ve experienced since buying our home, it’s still turned out to be the best thing ever for us.

We’ve finally set down roots. They say home is where the heart is, but it’s hard to keep track of your heart when you’re spending $30 every 18 months to change the address on your driver’s license yet again. Now, our roots are growing strong and deep, and we love everything about it.

I love getting to decorate, paint and even remodel however I like. I don’t have to worry about whether the landlord will flip out if I punch a hole in the walls to hang a painting, or stress about painting over any drawings my kid happens to leave on the walls before we move out — because we’re not going anywhere.

Nothing’s really different about work — a career is a career, no matter where you are, but having a home I can come home to — a home we own — makes getting through the drudgery of each day a little bit easier.

When it comes down to it, buying a home made my family whole. We weren’t missing pieces, per se — we are and always have been a strong and cohesive family unit — but we were missing a stable place to call home. We needed a foundation — quite literally — to build up our walls and hold up our roof.

Now we only have to move if we want to — and even if we decide we want to go somewhere else, we always have a place we can come back to, somewhere we can call home.

We didn’t even realize what we were missing until the day we moved into our new home. It quite literally made our family whole, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

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