Hey, I have a backlog of stuff piling up, blogs that need writing, things that need saying, people that need responding to, but I’ve kind of retreated for a couple of days because I’m panicking a bit. It’s time for us to decide if we want to renew the lease on our apartment for another year, and any big decision carries pros and cons and annoyances.
My husband and I eventually want to settle in New England (our goal since we got married in 2004), and where we currently are was just supposed to be a brief stopping point on our way from the west coast to New England. The rest at my husband’s hometown has now turned into almost four years. Our management company wants to raise our rent a little bit, which we don’t like on principle and because it’s extra per month when things are all ready tight. We want a decent house on a decent lot (acreage, if possible), and we REALLY don’t want to move again or buy until we decide that’s where we’re setting up homebase for at least the next decade or so. If we were able to get that HERE instead of New England, or in some other state, then that would be fine, but it’s a big commitment no matter how you look at it.
Here are the options as I see them:
- We suck it up and sign a new lease and pay the extra per month and promise that we’ll get our act together one way or another by next year.
- We try to negotiate with our management office. We tell them how ridiculous it is that they are asking more out of people that they already know pay on time and are good tenants, and we say “We want to pay less per month OR we will pay the price per month you’re asking to include the 90 day lease-breaker clause in case we buy a house or move out of the area (that particular clause is $25 per month all by itself – hooray for nickel and diming the tenants!). The problem with this option is that if they come back and say “get the hell out”, our stubbornness will force us to get the hell out.
- We go to our credit union and see what kind of mortgage we could get right now with my current salary. Or we see if anyone will offer owner financing. And we bite the bullet and buy a house and admit we’re staying here for the long-term. The problem with this is that in order to get the type of house and/or land that we want, we will have to buy out in the country. So I will probably have a 30 minute commute each way in good weather, which will drastically increase the amount of gas we have to buy, not to mention complicate things in that we are currently a one car household, so if my husband wanted to do anything with my son (run errands, go to the playground or the zoo, etc), they would have to drop me off at work and be gone all day and pick me up, missing nap time, etc. Maybe one of us will find a better job or I’ll get a new position in my current company soon and we could afford a second car, but that would also double the cost of our auto insurance. The plan would be to have us both freelancing by the time I have our next child, but there are no guarantees that we will achieve that goal, and one of us might be stuck doing a long commute for the next decade. Also, if we bought out in the country, we will have a more difficult time selling if we ever choose to sell.
- We pay to go month-to-month or for the 90 day clause in the contract and do everything in our power to get to New England (or a handful of other locations at the behest of our friends – VA, a couple of other cities within an hour or so of where we currently are) asap. This would include contacting every relative and friend we can think of that has contacts and trolling every college and government institution and Craigslist and hoping that a connection would open up that would at least get us an interview somewhere. Then we move and try to rent for a year before buying, or rent-to-own, etc. The problem with this option is that it will very much strain our finances and our time resources.
So, being a person of action, I started doing some of #4 while my husband researched our negotiating options/rights as tenants. But I am also freaking out a bit.
When I get stressed, I shut down and close off from MYSELF. Everything that could possibly help, I avoid doing. I try to do morning pages at least five times a week, and when I stress, I can’t bring myself to do them. I started journaling a couple of weeks ago at night, quickly before bed, and I can’t bring myself to do that either. I can’t meditate because I can’t calm down enough. I eat junk food, which makes me feel bloated and not want to work out and makes my face break out, then I feel ugly because of the bloat and breakout, and I have no energy, which makes me want to then eat more junk food. It’s a HORRIBLE cycle. It’s like I have to separate myself from my fears and my feelings, because if even touch it a little bit, the floodgates will come pouring out and I’ll be a wreck.
And of course if I don’t deal with this soon, when I have my hormonal surges at the end of next week, my poor husband is in for it.
SO this weekend, I need to force some introspection. My husband and I need to decide what we want for the next stage of our life and the best way to get there. (I mean, I KNOW what I want – someone to hand us acreage with a nice house and the means to make a go of our small business, but that’s not going to happen!) And I need to get this stress out of my life. Begone!