Like many couples at our stage of life, my wife and I spend a fair amount of time discussing our living situation – whether we want to stay in our house or “downsize.”
We are fortunate that our home has seen considerable appreciation since we bought it more than 15 years ago. And right now, it seems that might even get better. A recent headline in this publication read, “Williamson real estate supply can’t meet demand, so prices rise.”
That would be Williamson County, where we are fortunate enough to live.
When my wife or I see or hear information like this, one of us inevitably says something along the lines of, “Gosh, maybe this is the time to sell. The seller’s market can’t last forever.”
To which one of us will inevitably reply with this all important question:
“But where will we go?!”
As a creature of habit, I would like to stay in Williamson County, preferably in Brentwood, which we have called home for 19 years.
We currently have about 3,500 square feet and one of those signature Brentwood 1-acre yards.
We could go down at least 1,000 square feet and we would, sure as I’m sitting here fretting over every inch of that yard and feeling guilty about how I don’t devote enough attention to it, love to reduce our lot size by 50 percent or more.
My ideal house would be one level on a flat lot that is a half acre or less. I would be willing to go with a two story if the master bedroom is downstairs.
Our current house is two story and all the bedrooms are upstairs. In addition, our garage is on the basement level, so we have to climb stairs to get in the house.
This is not a problem today and hopefully it won’t be any time soon, but if we are going to stay in this future house for a while, we need to think about future knees that may not be as conducive to step-climbing as today’s knees.
There are neighborhoods in Brentwood that have houses like the one I have described, but without the smaller lot. Should I have to start compromising in order to stay in this city, I would entertain conceding the 1-acre standard and keeping the yard guy.
But according to my non-scientific study, the houses that meet this description in Brentwood these days are scarcely on the market before they sell for the asking price or above. And the per-square foot price tag boggles the mind. I am not too excited about taking on a bigger mortgage, or shelling out a significant amount of cash, at this point in my life.
Then there is this: we really like our house. We have a great open floorplan downstairs, and about a year ago I bought a baby grand piano that fits perfectly in the living room that opens to the family room. Who knows if I can find that space configuration in another house?
Over time we have done renovation and remodeling so that much of the house is now customized to our tastes and preferences. We still have a few items on our wish list (and some of them are on more of a must-do list) and I guess, if we stay, we will start addressing those soon.
Whether we decide to move or not (and through writing this, I’ve about talked myself out of it for now), we have to start getting rid of some stuff.
Our basement and garage are full of the unwanted and unneeded, and there are closets in bedrooms formerly occupied by our children that could be cleared of clothing and many other no-longer-in-use items.
And as I approach the winter months, with the end of football season on the horizon and post-season baseball coming to a close in the next couple of weeks (meaning I won’t have as many pressing matters filling my time), it’s a good time to think about tackling some of that.
And who knows? By spring, things might be so neat and tidy that we’ll decide it’s a good time to sell.
Bob McKinney is a longtime Brentwood resident, husband of one, father of two and father-in-law of three. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.