So it's been a very long time since I last scribbled anything down here. Since then a lot has happened, mainly DH and I moving out of our townhouse. We did this for a number of reasons, the foremost being that we are not handy and addressing the seemingly never ending problems in the townhouse was robbing us blind and causing a lot of stress.
We had also been clearing out a lot of clutter and had long felt we had too much space anyway. Since we weren't planning on having any more kids and overnight visitors were exceedingly rare, when we came across a nicely updated two-bedroom condo just a few miles we decided to take the plunge and go for it.
Selling and buying homes and moving between them at the same time was an incredibly stressful process. I can see why people tend to shy away from the idea of moving even when it would best serve their financial interests.
The new place is just a few miles away, which increased our commute slightly, but I feel this is more than compensated for by the reduction in several other costs, including mortgage, utilities, yard maintenance, and overall home upkeep as the apartment had been nicely updated by a flipper and doesn't need much spending on improvements anytime soon. And the commute only increased by a few minutes.
It's been freeing. After getting over first few months of the initial stress and adjustment of settling in we both feel happier with the overall decision and setup than we have in years. We had remembered something - big fancy houses just weren't us.
In Texas we were perfectly content in an efficiency apartment, zooming off all over the state for sightseeing adventures every weekend. When we moved to the DC area we found ourselves with new civilian careers and excited about our DC money and somehow got sucked into that mindset that real estate is always a good investment and that bigger is always better. We still always felt like we had much more house than we needed, even after kiddo came along.
So the new place is much more us (petite little easy-to-clean space, big communal yard managed for us along with water and gas covered by a very reasonable HOA fee for the area, lower mortgage freeing up more cash, and far less maintenance and improvements to worry about freeing up all the more cash). We're both feeling a lot more mellow about sticking around in the area a while longer, and last but not least we are saving quite a bit more money.