Today is the ninth anniversary since we closed on our first house. We were supposed to be here for 2, maybe 3, years. But here we are almost a decade later, stuck in a starter house we probably should never have bought in the first place. Why?
Having a house–well this house anyway–is exhausting. The house is old, it has a Michigan basement, it has a shared driveway in need of replacement, the list goes on. It’s exhausting to think about, exhausting to work through the neverending lists, exhausting to skimp and save to finance that work. We haven’t so much acquired a house as been sentenced to live in it.
As we mark this anniversary and reflect on the many things learned through home ownership, one constant has entered our conversations. Resentment. We resent this house more than anything in our lives. We have to be careful that we don’t turn that resentment on each other, something else we didn’t plan on having to do. We resent the bankers who’ve not paid any price for effectively killing the financial mobility of millions of people, something they did through fraud.
There is no silver lining in this house, at least not for us. As we continue to squirrel away money to cover the cash we’ll inevitably have to bring to the table when we sell (20% underwater!), every dime is something in our life we can’t do. Every dime is also another added to the lesson we learned the best: everyone in the financial sector is making money by taking yours, especially when buying a house.