My brother Phillip was in town visiting for the holidays recently and as usual we got into talks of our hopes and dreams. He showed us this amazing video of a man named Slomo in San Diego who rollerblades all day and night and is living his best, and happiest life.
The conversation then shifted to financial independence. Phillip asked if we had heard of the FI movement, and the answer was yes. Back when we lived in Colorado I remember reading Mr. Money Mustache’s blog a few times, as he was located just 15 min from where we lived, and I’ve always been fascinated by personal finance. I had also just read this NY Times article on the FIRE movement (Financial Independence, Retire Early). During this conversation Zach and I became acutely aware that we have gotten too comfortable.
Throughout the years we have continued to save money, but we are also spending it at a faster rate than typical because we didn’t have anything that we were really working towards. I was actually enjoying the spending as we have always been so frugal, it felt like it was my right to buy my Madewell jeans and have a house cleaner, or else what was the point of all our savings previously? (Privileged? Umm yes)
This conversation with Phillip renewed a light in me and Zach that has been missing. Financial goals, early retirement, and… moving houses. We’ve been in our current home for 3.5 years! That’s a year and a half longer than any other home we’ve had. And as such, it has really become a place I love and feels like me. We immediately started talking about buying another home and that quickly turned into… it’s a lot more affordable to buy a home as an owner occupant. Doing this allows us to put just 5% down, rather than the hefty 20-25% down that is expected on investment properties. I was really hesitant on the idea of moving. But within about 48 hours, I was on board.
We are currently looking to buy another home in our neighborhood that we already love so much. We have decided that if we are going to move every 1-2 years, collecting more properties, it wouldn’t be fair to our kids to uproot them from their friends and school just to meet our goals. So we have a super small net cast. We are only looking at homes that feed into our kids elementary school, and we are actually really focused on staying in our same neighborhood. We are not concerned with size. We currently live in just over 1800sf, and the houses in our neighborhood range from 1100-2600sf. I think if we were to find a smaller house, it would be a fun challenge. I really want to find a nice original 1960’s fixer upper!
A lot of homes in our neighborhood sell as private sale because we just have a really special place to live. So I’m signed up in the RMLS for immediate notifications, but I’m really hoping to snag a home before it hits the market.