1 Unexpected Reason Why You Don’t Want Your Dream Home Right Now

You Don't Want Your Dream Home

Last Memorial day, my family closed on our dream house. We were going to raise our family there. We were going to grow a garden in the interior courtyard. And we were never going to move unless someone kicked us out. But by Thanksgiving weekend, we had a signed contract from a buyer and a moving day set.

So what happened?!

We didn’t get an out-of-state job and we certainly weren’t on the brink of foreclosure. (We had already paid off $50,000 of our $81,400 of consumer debt by that point.)

On the contrary, we realized that owning the quintessential American dream home wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. From an outsider’s perspective, the home was perfect. It was a 2,700 square foot house with 2 master suites and a Martha Stewart-esque fireplace in the kitchen.

You Don't Want Your Dream Home

From the first night in the home, something didn’t feel right. It was too big, there was too much too clean, all the extra space felt frivolous and unnecessary and it didn’t feel like our home. But I was shocked at something I didn’t expect. Something that actually bothered me the most.

By buying our dream home in our dream neighborhood, we had moved above and beyond the price range of all the other thirty-somethings with little kids!  

Our new neighbors were perfectly nice and clean and hospitable…and significantly older than us. As we met them one by one, they all told me about their children and, yes, grandchildren our age.

At first, I thought I would adjust. But then, I began to mourn the mom life support I was missing.  I couldn’t meet any of them by the mailbox and chat about diaper deals and toddler tantrums. And none of them cared that I woke up at 4 a.m. to change wet sheets. What about the emotional cliff I was dangling over because my oldest was going to kindergarten?

I couldn’t have predicted how much this move would affect my morale as an extremely extroverted stay-at-home-mom! I was a lonely mom on a kid-free island.

Then, I realized that I took my “starter” neighborhood for granted. I had 8 little-kid moms within a quarter-mile radius. If I was having a rough day, I’d throw the kids in the wagon and I would take a walk. And sure enough, I would always run into a familiar face with someone who had a few minutes to chat.  

I tried to find friends in my new dream neighborhood. I really did. But no one seemed to enjoy their perfectly manicured half-acre yards or oak-lined streets. It was one of the hottest suburbs in our major metro area, but I dreamed of jumping into a time machine and transporting back to my smaller home on the outskirts of town.

And another thing! What really got me was the thought of my kids not growing up with other kids their age. Isn’t that childhood?

Waiting at the bus stop with friends? Playing tag in the front yard until dusk? Running through the sprinklers during the summer? (Or year round in Florida.) Biking up and down the road like a herd of wild animals?

You Don't Want Your Dream House

Those are the memories my husband and I had from our childhood neighborhoods and we weren’t ready to let those memories go for our own kids.   

I wanted to share my story to give you another perspective on that perfect dream home down the road. I know you’ve been watching it and daydreaming about how great your life would be if you just lived there.

As you know, the grass isn’t always greener. If buying your dream home means leaving behind everyone else at your stage of life, is it worth it?

So Do You Regret Moving?

You’re probably wondering if we wish we had stayed put. And the answer is no. We didn’t move only to follow a dream of owning a bigger, better home. We moved our family because we lived 2 miles outside of a great school district and we wanted to position ourselves for good public schools throughout high school.

In fact, half of our close-knit old neighborhood crew also relocated last year because of the school district situation and job opportunities elsewhere. Plus, we learned so much. We learned we could pay off $81,400 in debt if we put our minds to it. We learned that we could renovate an entire home on a shoestring budget. And best of all, we learned what we were really looking for in a neighborhood.

So no, I don’t regret moving even a little bit. The truth is, if I never knew what it was like to move into my dream house in the wrong neighborhood, I would never appreciate a good house in my dream neighborhood.

Do you appreciate your neighborhood now? Have you ever wanted to upgrade? Did you make the move? Let me know!

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  1. I love this post!!! I could relate so much. Our dream house was empty and big. It took us 2 years to grow into it. We also live in a different neighborhood than what we are used to. We lived downtown and this is definitely suburban. I have to walk 30 minutes to a sushi restaurant compare to a 5 min hop.

    But after two years, we’ve adjusted and grown into it. Definitely no hurry tho, and not what it’s cracked up to be 🙂 thanks Jane!

    • Thank you so much! Good job for sticking it out and growing into it! I felt it was important to share my story so other’s could find beauty in their own living situation instead of wishing for more. 🙂

  2. Great article. Nice to know your experience. It tells the very truth about owning a dream home in America.

    • Thank you! I know people have different dreams about what a “dream home” is, but I think the big home in an expensive neighborhood is still the mainstream dream!

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