The conversation continues between my spouse and me regarding our living arrangement.
That’s a roundabout way of saying we talk a lot about whether we should move or stay where we are. It’s one of those discussions with a generous amount of, “on the one hand” and, “but on the other hand.”
On the one hand, after 20-plus years, this house has become quite comfortable for us. Although we could still update a bit, almost everything, aesthetically, is to our liking.
But on the other hand, we have to climb stairs to get into the house and climb more stairs to get to the bedrooms. Our knees don’t always thank us for that.
(We had a rather spirited discussion with some friends a few days ago as to the practicality of installing an in-home elevator. I would say rather confidently that is not happening.)
On the one hand, we pay handsomely to have this one-acre yard cut March through November. I feel guilty for not doing it myself and equally guilty for not doing more landscape work and gardening.
On the other hand, when the family is in town, as they were recently to celebrate the birthday of a four-year-old grandson whose sole request was to spend the better part of the day having a family baseball game, that yard was perfect, and every dollar spent to keep it mowed was money well spent.
No doubt the biggest “on the one hand” factor is the prices homes are bringing. I am told, were we to list ours and price it right, we could expect multiple offers at or above asking price within a week. Believe me, that’s tempting.
But you know the “on the other hand” to that one. If we sell, we have to pack (big negative) and move and, even more daunting, we have to find a place to go.
And oh yeah, that lofty price my current home will supposedly command? Darned if that doesn’t apply to the one I would buy next. Funny how that works.
For us to come close to replicating what we have in space and modest amenities would take every bit of the funds we would receive for selling our house, and likely more.
But why, you might be asking, do you need to replicate what you have? With just the two of you, couldn’t you downsize?
That’s an excellent question and yes, I suppose we could.
But as you might recall, our three adult children and families don’t live here. While they only infrequently visit all at once, they occasionally do, and we treasure those times.
And believe me, they fill up the space (and the yard, if we’re playing baseball.)
Even putting the family visits aside, the two of us have kind of, well, spread out. I work from home 100 percent of the time, so I have dedicated a bedroom to that. It’s also convenient to have another couple of bedrooms for occasional storage or packing for a trip.
And what about all that stuff in the basement? What am I to do with that?
OK let’s be honest, we don’t really need the space, but we like having it. Judge us if you will.
Another big “on the other hand” pertains to location. Except for a couple of years in a rental, we have lived in the heart of Brentwood since we moved here in 1997. It is hard to imagine being somewhere else.
If we want a house on one level, or at least one with a master bedroom downstairs, and don’t want to mortgage ourselves into the afterlife, we have to consider another area and perhaps another Middle Tennessee city.
When coming home from some friends’ house in another part of the county recently, my wife and I agreed we loved the neighborhood, but we both said it was “too far.”
But that is laughable. Too far from what? She is retired and I walk about 10 steps from bed to work. Can you say, “that dog won’t hunt?”
I bet they even have grocery stores and a Home Depot (my primary destinations) in other areas.
While some of our excuses for not moving are somewhat credible, others are simply excuses and nothing more. I will own that.
Right now, we don’t want to move. And I would not say we need to move. We like our house, and we like our location.
I keep telling my knees that.
Bob McKinney is a longtime Brentwood resident, happy husband and proud father, father-in-law and grandfather. Email him at [email protected].