To Buy or Not to Buy
My wife and I have lived in the same apartment since before we were married…long before our beautiful daughter Meghan came along. When we received the news that we were expecting a little bundle of joy, we didn't panic over space. We were far too ecstatic over having our first child to worry about something so silly as where all of us would fit. We simply added a wall and converted our one large bedroom into two small ones. One room would be for us, the other room for Meg. No problem. Well, that was nearly seven years ago. And guess what? Houston, we have a problem! What was once a “cozy” little apartment seems so small these days that you have to go outside just to change your mind. First of all, Meghan's toys have gotten bigger as she has gotten older. And it doesn't help that our lack of space forces her to treat every room in the house as her own personal toy box. Second, the three of us are constantly on top of each other, which makes for very tense days. There is no denying it. The time has officially come to get a bigger place. The problem is: Do we pack up and move on to a bigger apartment, or do we take the big plunge and buy a house? This seems to be the question that plagues a lot of married couples and families these days.
I was just 19 years old went I decided to move out of my parents' place in Astoria, Queens, and get my very first apartment. I won't bother dating myself with how many years ago that was. But let's just say it was a loooong time ago. After all the years of paying rent to someone else and being out on my own with nothing to show for it, wouldn't it be great to finally have a place to actually call my own? I must admit, the thought of living in a big house, our big house, is more enticing to me than you can possibly imagine. Plenty of closet space for mommy, a basement “man-cave” for daddy, a yard for Meghan to play around and grow up in, and maybe even a puppy. Is that awesome or what? But in the minus column, we are in a recession right now. The thought that if either Lori or I should suddenly lose our jobs and we wouldn't be able to pay our mortgage terrifies me. Not to mention the fact that becoming owners also brings water and heating bills, property taxes and all of the wonderful maintenance chores and repairs that would normally fall on a landlord's shoulders. Taking all of that into account, finding a bigger apartment, even an overpriced one, doesn't seem terrible. And so, the burning question for the family that desperately needs more space becomes— to buy or not to buy?