I've been excited lately about the idea of selling our house and moving to our rental property. It would accomplish several things. First, we would be mortgage-free. Second, the earnings from our rentals would cover just about all our bills without help from our other earnings. Third, we would cut our housing footprint in half.
Wait a minute. Scratch that.
Trust me never to actually do the math until today. "What's the square footage of the houses down there?" I innocently asked my husband this morning. He thought a minute. "About 2,000 square feet."
"For both?!" My eyes just about popped out of my head.
"No - that's just one. Somewhere between 2,700 to 2,800 square feet for both of them." He takes one look at me and adds, "It sounds better when you say 'half the size' doesn't it?"
Sure does. 2,700 square feet? That's hardly smaller than this place. And it's spread over two houses. Wasn't the whole point of moving that we'd end up with half the stuff to take care of?
"I know where you're headed with this," my husband said. And we went over our reasons again for inhabiting two of the rentals instead of just one. For one thing, they share a septic field and my husband isn't convinced the field can handle our large family plus another. He also wants an office space away from the noise of the kids (we homeschool). It gives us a place to host visitors and events. We could hypothetically teach classes there and so forth. Another huge consideration is that right now each house only has one bathroom, so if we only lived in one we'd have to install another bathroom. That's a pretty big expense.
Still, I came away from that conversation in a funk; who knew it was so hard to downsize? So now I'm trying to look for the bright side.
1. We would still own less property - fewer things to maintain, repair, clean, etc.
2. Should be less driving. A lot of the miles on our van come from trips my husband makes to the rentals.
3. The rental houses are heated with electricity. Right now one of the biggest contributors to our carbon footprint is our natural gas furnace. When we move to the rentals we will save 25 - 30% on our heating bills, possibly more. AND we will cut down the carbon footprint that pertains our heating by 66%!
4. You all can come and visit. You want to see the Great White North, right? I'll throw in a lecture about following your dreams and we'll call it professional development, okay?
5. If we shut down the second house during the coldest months of the year we will save even more on bills.
6. We'll have a ton of gardening space and can grow more of our own food (plus have chickens if we care to)
I guess we're still making progress. Just not quite as much as I wanted to.