We're moving. Soon. The problem is... I haven't yet found a new house to move into. Okay, so there have been some hiccups along the way preventing me from taking action on this sooner (aren't there always?), but now that I have started looking it is interesting to see the life lessons that I am getting.
To start with, we are downsizing. We don't need a large house anymore (kids are 'mostly' gone!) and, quite honestly, I would rather travel the world with my money than sit in something my money pays for. I don't consider myself particularly materialistic, so I figured that the downsizing 'thing' would be a snap. However, it is amazing how much 'stuff' you accumulate over the years that becomes labelled 'necessary' to and for the way you live. Sheer number of books alone requires more shelving than I will ultimately have.
I started the house-search with few requirements. I, mistakenly, believed that I would be an 'easy' client to please. Once out looking though, it quickly became apparent that instead of my adapting to fit the house, I am going to require adaptations be made to the house, to fit the way I live.
For instance, I do not and will not require both an eat-in kitchen and a dining room. One or the other will need to go to give me more usable space. Kitchens are make or break areas for me. If it doesn't at least have the potential to be a kitchen that is functional for me... I'm done. Don't even show me the rest of the house because I won't get past it.
What I am discovering is that in order for any new house I purchase to become my 'home', I will need to make some changes to the house that allow it to work to fit the way I live. I am unwilling to modify the way I live to fit the house.
This is a lesson hard-won over my lifetime; having often found myself over the years compromising my choices on behalf of others. Typically, these 'compromises' made the other party far happier than they ever made me. Perhaps I'm unwilling to compromise my wants in purchasing a house because I have money on the line, but it's sad to recognise that all of my compromises in the past also came with a price. One which I'm not sure that I was clear on having paid.
My lesson through all of this? Ensure that you are clear about exactly what you are getting from your exchanges with others AND what the cost to you is. Don't ever say yes unless it is a price you are willing to pay. I know that I have been guilty of over-paying in the past. If this experience has taught me anything it has highlighted for me an unwillingness to continue to pay for something that I am not getting an equitable return from. Certainly not in business and not in my personal life anymore either.
Will I find the perfect house? No. But really, I'm not looking for perfection. I simply want a house that has the potential to become my home. As long as it has the ability to change to fit my lifestyle I'm willing to sign.