The hunt for a home

My family and I are rapidly approaching the one year mark of our move back to Michigan out of Wisconsin. When we moved across the lake, we ended up renting in a small modular home in a trailer park.

And the lease is for two years.

In the past few months, we’ve been watching some of the houses that are going on, and off, the market. We’re watching some of the houses shed some of the price and cost.

We won’t be able to afford a huge home. And it seems that bang for our buck won’t be that great. When we moved to Ludington, it was to aid with some of the mileage that my wife put in on her daily commutes to work in the past – which took an hour one way and was roughly 35-40 miles – for the past 10 years. Now, it’s just four miles and takes about 10 minutes.

Where we’re caught is we seemingly can’t find an affordable home with three bedrooms with a solid amount of square footage. We were spoiled in our previous home in Wisconsin. We had a three-room split-level townhouse and paid $765 a month and it had a garage that was attached – two cars, even. It was in a great neighborhood with a gas fireplace and central air.

We moved here and rushed into this place and because of my distaste for it, it doesn’t feel like home. Half of our belongings are in storage.

Then comes our problem – finding an affordable new home in one year where all of our belongings are in one spot. We’re hampered by lack of savings and if we do save as much as we can, we may not hit the 20 percent threshold necessary to get a true mortgage loan. And we’re having to spend on needs – car repairs and medical bills. And, it appears that the homes that are on the market and within a price range that is comfortable for us are either trailers, foreclosed homes or too small for my family that are not infants but a teenager and a boy who’s not that far away, either.

It can be frustrating at times. As much as we’d like to leap at one opportunity or another, patience is the key. There’s pressure, too, to hit a home run on this next home only because we have to find a place that will meet a variety of needs. It has to meet the needs of my kids who are growing up and it has to meet the needs of a lifetime with my wife. There’s pressure to make this home our last and final stop.

What hurts more is the lack of a variety of housing – it’s either gorgeous homes or trailers. There are not those mid-level duplexes or townhouses that I’ve seen in other communities. It’s either one, or the other.

But, the search continues. We’re hopeful that this time next year, we’re able to give notice to our landlords on leaving our current home and perhaps, we’ll have a long, long-term home in place and ready to go.

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