Many of us have heard the famous quote often attributed to Dave Ramsey, “Stop keeping up with the Joneses. They’re broke.” It is supposed to be inspirational and remind us that often the grass only looks greener on the other side. But what about when it actually is?
One of the biggest struggles I have had for a long time is wanting a new house. Every time I visit a friend or neighbor, I return with “new house fever”. I am blessed to have many wonderful opportunities to network with individuals with high-salary careers through my various volunteer and charity work. The downside of this is I am constantly fighting of house envy. Normally I find one or two things in each home I visit that isn’t desirable for me (distance from my work, who wants to clean such a large home, etc). Or I tell myself that they probably are the broke Joneses.
Over the Thanksgiving weekend, I was invited to three different homes.The first one was my absolute dream home. If I were to list everything I have ever wanted in a house, it would be that one. I joked with the host that he should help me convince my husband to move. He laughed and then actually shared solid financial advice on how he was able to purchase this home and two others. Yeah, he wasn’t a broke Mr. Jones.
The next day, my best friend invited us over to her incredible home. I have seen it before but this was the first time my kids were with me. She let them play outside in her spacious backyard as we sat in lawn chairs to make sure they didn’t fall into the pool.She did not have to tell me her financial story. As a single mother, she purchased a modest home when the housing market was at it bottom. She met and married the love of her life a few years later. Together they sold both of their homes and were able to purchase the amazing home they have. Mr and Mrs. Not Broke Jones.
Then on Sunday, I picked up my daughter from a friend’s house. Her family had recently moved and I was given the tour of the new home. Once again, they had an incredible backyard with a beautiful pool. They were able to purchase this new home and are renting out their previous home. Potentially they are the broke Jones, but somehow I don’t think so!
Seeing my kids play and run around in all three backyards has ignited a fierce desire in me. I want them to have daily access to a backyard! Our backyard is parallel to a main street and I just do not feel it is safe for them out there. Also no matter what we have tired, grass refuses to grow. Literally the grass IS greener (and alive) on the other side. This whole year I have been focused completely on paying of my current mortgage. The honest truth is, I don’t want to live in this house forever. Try as I might, I don’t think I will be content here in the long run. Seeing these three families have wonderful homes makes me feel like it is possible and not a completely crazy dream to have. So I think I am going to go for it.
My crazy dream: 2019 – New House and rent out current home, 2022 Pay of Current home, 2034 Pay of new home. Lets do this!
I am curious what your thoughts are. Any advice for me? Am I crazy? 🙂