The Recessionista #1-- Lowering My Standards

Lately, I've noticed that I'm no longer stressing about the upcoming change in our circumstances. My DH has been out of work long enough that I no longer believe it's possible to hang on much longer to our beloved home. I will shed a few tears when I move out, mostly as mourning for the dreams of home ownership, once more broken in the mud.

However, I cannot say I'm terribly sorry to have the burden removed. The mortgage payment was a crushing burden of about $1300 a month, even before the mortgage company began tacking on $250 a month in late fees. When I see I could rent a 3 bedroom, 2 bath manufactured home for about $700-$800, you can imagine how I long to jump on lowering my sights.

I don't think it's sour grapes, though some might accuse me of that excuse. Look at it from my perspective. I'm the one who has to listen to DH and Dante bicker and bitch about mowing the lawn and edging the walk. Admittedly, our present home sits on almost a full acre. It's hot, hard work that takes hours and hours just from the sheer volume of land. What were we thinking?

Okay, I know what I was thinking. I thought about having a rose garden and a vegetable garden, and maybe a few herbs to cook with. I think from now on I'll stick to container gardening and stop with the notion that I absolutely must have a full 16-square-foot garden. (Yeah, Square Foot Gardening does allow for patio gardens. Really. You don't have to have a neat 4'x4' square.) Herbs in containers can come inside in the winter. This is Florida, for gosh sake. You cover your plants during a freeze warning, and the next day they're fine.

You know what I get for the "security" of a cement block house in a rapidly deteriorating neighborhood? I get neighbors who play loud music (they call that music?) with the bass turned up so loud my house vibrates. I get elevated crime reports. I have to wince when I drive by neglected and abandoned houses because we, the lower "working" poor are the ones who lost their jobs. There are so many yellow foreclosure notices in this neighborhood, you almost expect to see U-Haul trucks every weekend while another family abandons hope and home. Those who try to maintain respectability and dignity are fast becoming outnumbered by those who have given up the fight.

I'm beginning to look forward to the idea of a property manager overseeing the appearance and upkeep of the whole property, ensuring the lawns aren't weed infested meadows, that the sidewalks are tended, etc. Heck the idea of a pool, clubhouse and dishwasher sound pretty darn good to me!

So, this is step one. I'm lowering my standards by saying I can live in a rental and I don't have to own my own home. In fact, I'm looking forward to it.


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