the american dream

I think the majority of people my age have grown up with the idea of owning our own homes as part of the “American Dream” it’s something to strive for, it’s something that is a good investment, it’s somewhat of a status symbol. It’s important, plain and simple and it’s a sign that you’ve grown up, become an adult, arrived.

I’ve never been that person. I have always been a renter. I have always wanted the option of getting the hell out of dodge, if I wanted, probably because I am so very miserable here in Houston (WHEN WILL THE ALLERGIES END) but also because I wanted the headaches to be someone else’s. I wanted the $1249 water main break to be someone else’s problem. The replacing of a toilet wax seal because the toilet leaked all over our floor. The replacing of very pricey appliances. The $3500 Pergo floors. The very expensive A/C repair. The future roof replacing. The very near future siding replacing. The ENTIRE FENCE REPLACING. The very expensive tree trimming. The reno of the guest bathroom. The reno of the kitchen. The leaking of the shower into the wall and under our floors. The destruction of baseboards and carpets. The reno of the master bathroom. I want all these things to be coming out of someone else’s pocket and weighing on someone else’s mind.

But for the past 5 or maybe 6? I don’t know now…these problems have been our problems and this house has been our house and we have very diligently paid our dues. We have made smart upgrade choices, trying not to over-upgrade our smallish starter home. We have replaced things that needed replacing. We have fixed things that needed fixing. We have lamented things that our inspection should’ve caught but didn’t. We have maintained our termite warranty. The roses have flourished in my care. The carolina jessamine is already beyond the second set of trellis I added to help support it.

And then this weekend my husband opened a piece of mail that essentially made all that work worthless. One piece of mail that cut $21,000 out from under us. ONE PIECE OF MAIL=$21,000. Just like that we were told that about 30% of the houses in Houston were considered “over market value” and lucky for us, we/our area made that cut…we are now paying on a mortgage for a house that is completely not worth what we pay for it every month. We already were paying more for it than it was worth…so this is just MORE OUT OF THAT BUCKET. And yes, people will say but the market could change. And yes, people will say a house is a long term investment…your money could come back to you. Here is the problem. I WANT OUT OF THIS PLACE. I need to move somewhere that I can BREATHE. I haven’t been able to breathe out of my nose IN YEARS. YEARS.

I have had one sinus surgery already. I take multiple medications daily. I have a headache almost every day of my damn life even with the meds. My son is about to graduate high school in ONE YEAR. I HAD A LIGHT AT THE END OF MY TUNNEL and of course it’s a damn train. Because OF COURSE IT IS.

And beyond that, I can already see this neighborhood is not what it was 10 years ago (I have lived in this subdivision for 15 years almost) there are more apartments, there are more dollar stores, there are more thrift centers and Fallas Parades and all the “high dollar” places and restaurants have moved further down and further away. My son’s school applied for and won Title 1 status from the state (which means a certain percentage of its students are living at or below poverty) I can only see my property values going further down from here. FURTHER DOWN.

This is not my beautiful house.

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