Getting Real with Shadra Bruce

It’s a bill of goods we all get sold. Home ownership is the height of the American dream. Once you own a home you have security and a place to call your own. You’ve made it.

Well, I own a very beautiful home that has provided my family with wonderful memories and space to grow in. It’s a 200-year old home originally built by a former mayor of our town who went on to be a New York senator. I have loved the home since the first time I visited Bath, New York, and bought it sight-unseen when it went on the market while we were living in Idaho and knew we would be moving back.

But I don’t like owning a home.

It’s a beautiful home with a wide, majestic entryway, 12-foot tall ceilings, and enough space that even the three generations of us currently living here have plenty of space.

There are so many responsibilities that come with home ownership that I just don’t like. Like yard work. The 1/3-acre lot is great for the kids and grandkids to run around in, but it’s also so much mowing and so many weeds. And the perimeter half-mile of sidewalk has to be shoveled so often thanks to our New York winters.

But more than just the upkeep, owning a home means having to stay in the same place. As someone who has moved 25 times in 48 years, I get a little antsy when I’m in the same place for too long. We’ve owned this home since April 2008, and other than renting it out for the two-year Utah nightmare experiment, we’ve lived in this house. I do love it. I love the space, the layout, the front porch, the lilacs I planted that bloom so well every year…but I don’t like being in the same place for so long. We’ve been back since December 2015 and I’m feeling tied down.

Our youngest child will be leaving for college; our daughter and her husband and two kids are eventually going to find their way to England – and then what? Keep being stuck in this great big beautiful house in this tiny little town that doesn’t even have a bowling alley or movie theater?

I can’t see that being the right future for me or my husband. For one thing, if the grandkids are in England, you can bet I am going to want to be there as often as possible. And traveling full-time has a lot appeal, even if we stop here and there for months at a time to do some in-depth exploring.

This home has been good to us and for our family, but it’s time to be brave and let go of home ownership.

Anyone looking to buy a house?