Monday, January 28, 2008

Move on Down, Move on Down the Road...

So, yeah, we're moving. On the one hand it's gonna be a big old hassle, but on the other hand I think it's the right decision for us.

Without going into a lot of details, the last couple of years have been hard on us financially. But now I feel like we're making a step in the right direction. Where we are is not how I pictured our lives at this point, but hey, you gotta roll with the punches. The best part about our current decision is that we're going to be saving a significant amount of money every month. And in a couple of years, after the kids are out of daycare, we're going to build our dream house.

But there are some other reasons I'm glad we're moving as well. We currently live in a very affluent county, the county that has been deemed as "THE" county to live in. The county with the "best" schools. But really? This is the "white flight" county. Everyone has fled the neighboring county, which has a high number of housing projects and a lot of poverty. The schools here are good, but as far as test scores, etc. go, I'm not sure they're any better than some of the good schools in the poor county. But here they're almost 100% white. Which everybody assumes makes them "safe."

But you know what? This world isn't all white. And I was never sure that I wanted my kids to go to a school with so little diversity. In Bubba's life so far he has been good friends with some African-American kids, some Hispanic kids, a Filipino kid, a French kid, a Brazilian kid and an Indian kid. And I want that to continue. Though the county to which we are moving is not quite as diverse as I would like, it is certainly more diverse than the county in which we currently live.

And did I mention that this county is affluent? It is not unusual for homes here to sell for upwards of $400,000. I know that doesn't sound like much to some of you big city folk, but around these parts? That's a lot of money. Especially since the University is the largest local employer and they are notorious for underpaying their employees. Believe me, I know.

And if we're going to be honest here -- and we are -- I often find myself feeling "less than" when talking to people that we've met since we moved here. It's sort of like being the poor relation, you know? Stay at home moms abound. Don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking stay at home moms -- I used to be one of them. But the clothes these moms wear cost more than anything in my closet. They always look so put together and their children are always in neatest, crispest, CLEANEST clothes. And their houses are ginormous!!

And I don't like feeling less than. I know this is strictly MY problem -- these are MY issues. I'd be lying if I said I don't like STUFF -- nice stuff, unfortunately -- and perhaps it's just a bit of sour grapes on my part that I feel I don't fit in here. But I also feel that there's a level of superficiality that I have NO INTEREST in trying compete with.

So I'm glad we're moving to a place where we'll -- I mean I'll -- be more comfortable.

13 comments:

Karen said...

Yeah for moving to a place where you don't have to measure up, and the kids can be friends with anyone!

Lulu said...

As long as it's not too far so that we can still meet at Applebee's, it's fine with me! That is, if we ever get around to actually meeting at Applebee's!!

Seriously, I'm glad that you are glad that you are moving!

AndreAnna said...

I'm glad you'll be moving somewhere you think you'll feel better.

I grew up in a very tiny apartment in a very urban area across the bay from Manhattan. I had friends of all colors and creeds. Now, in my neighborhood and in all the schools, it seems there are only white kids. And that makes me sad. Sad that my child will grow up in such a cookie cutter world. But, when you have good parents, like our kids do, they will grow up knowing and embracing differences and eager to learn and befriend them. So, don't worry.

And just be glad you don't live in Jersey. My little Cape Cod house costs us almost 400,000 and it is by no means ginormous - maybe 1800 sq. feet. It's just the market in this area, and my husband and I both work our asses to the bone to raise our family here, and manage a 3K/month mortgage.

Sometimes, I wish it were 1960 again.

Madame Queen said...

AndreAnna -- OMG! I almost swallowed my tongue at your mortgage! The $400K houses here? Usually around 5000 sq. ft.

ImpostorMom said...

We have friends that live in that county you are fleeing and they are so freakin' snobby now. The weird thing is that they've lived in that county for quite a while but didn't get snobby until they're recent move to a bigger home.

It's mainly the hubby in that couple that has made lots of comments. Many about kids in daycare. (He's a stay at home dad) Most of the time I want to say, "yeah well we can't all have sugar-mamas." :P

Colleen said...

I hear ya!!!
We bought our house when the market was at the top of it's swing...so we made off like bandits on our townhouse (the darn thing nearly doubled in value in 3 years) and plunked that cash down on an over-priced 2800 sq foot colonial in the next neighborhood over (oh, but it's like 99% our dream house). We're in a county like you, where it's almost all white, there's all these pristine fancy SAHMs in houses similar to mine. Even on one income, they have the money to buy very nice clothes/shoes/cars, and pay for expensive renovations to their homes, etc. It's very daunting and a little intimidating to a working-like-a-dog mom who wears stuff on sale from Target, and drives a beat-up old cavalier that barely fits the two car seats. I'd love our neighborhood to be more diverse...I grew up a minority in my neighborhood and schools. I learned to understand others from diverse backgrounds and see that they are exactly the same as me.

Burgh Baby's Mom said...

Good luck with the move. It sounds like it will be worth all of the effort, which is saying a lot.

Burgh Baby's Mom said...

Good luck with the move. It sounds like it will be worth all of the effort, which is saying a lot.

Laurel said...

You know what they say about real estate: Location, location, location. My dream house could never be dreamy unless I loved my neighborhood, too. Truly that does make all the difference. Good luck!

Tootsie Farklepants said...

When we bought our house 10+ years ago it was considered an affordable place to buy a home. Now? We couldn't afford to live in our neighborhood if we were buying today.

Good luck!

Fannie Mae said...

For a second I thought we lived in the same damn county! But we don't have a University as the major employer, so no. But it's interesting that these kinds of suburbs have popped up all over. I guess we lucked out living just a hair's breathe from the next county over and our kids went to a catholic school that accepted students from over yonder. They had a much more diverse school setting than if we had gone public. Weird right?

Esme said...

Much better to live in a place that's confortable for you -- there's no point to having a lower quality of life in order to live in an "it" place, you know?

As for house prices... I don't think I can think about the housing prices in my area without having a coronary...

Susan at One-Woman Show said...

This sounds like the right move (literally and figuratively) for you and your family -- new beginnings in a place that is a better fit for you.

And while I spent my formative years growing up in northern NJ and know exactly what andreanna is talking about with home prices there, $400K is still a lot of moola, no matter where we are -- or what your current neighbors may make you think!