Thursday, January 19, 2012

Blessing: Our Trailer

This is a post I've been wanting to do for awhile but honestly, it's an emotional topic for me so I've put it off.

In August 2010, our family left our more-than-comfortable suburban living in Clive, IA to take new jobs in my hometown of Newell.  We took jobs without a place to live thinking, we will worry about that later.  We wanted to sell our Clive house, before we deciding what to do about housing in Newell.  After having our house on the market for 3 months, we took it off and decided to rent it out.  The market was (and is) flooded in Des Moines and we weren't interested in writing a check for someone to buy our house.

So, this left us with limited options as far as where to live in Newell.  Renting was really the only option.  Plus, we really just wanted to rent just to make sure it was going to work out. Well--finding a 3+bedroom rental in Newell is about as likely as finding a needle in a haystack.

My mom and sister kept a lookout for us on things that would come open but nothing ever did. Finally, 1 week before we were scheduled to move here, we decided to look at at 2 bedroom duplex owned by a friend of my Grandmother. We looked at it and I was totally depressed to imagine us fitting our family-of-four and plus stuff from our 2000 sq. foot house in this tiny 2 bedroom duplex.  While we were looking at it, Grandma's friend said her nephew had a 3 bedroom house trailer in town that he had recently moved out of and was wanting to sell, but would rent it out if we were desperate.

Well, desperate would have been an understatement knowing there were 7 DAYS until our Clive renters moved in.  So, off we went to look.  As she was describing it, it sounded ideal.  2 car attached garage, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths.  Perfect. We walked into the house that my grandma's friend so kindly showed us that day and I'm not going to lie....It was also depressing.  It's literally a double wide trailer house with a porch and a 2 car garage.

A few of the highlights?  The kitchen is circa 1970 with pretty brown and yellow flowered floor, orange counter tops, and 1/4 of the amount of kitchen storage that my Clive house had.

Other highlights include painted wood paneled walls, polyester curtains and yup, you guessed it....a redwood deck.  But--it was a "house" and at the right price tag of $400 a month.

So, after a few days of mind grappling disbelief that we were ACTUALLY doing this.  We were actually leaving our $200,000+ suburban house in La-La-Land to move to a double wide trailer house that was too embarrassing to take pictures of to show my friends.

But--being the frugal-loving-gal that I am, how could I refuse $400 a MONTH to live?  That's less than 1/3 of our mortgage payment we'd paid for the last 7+ years.

Seventeen months later, I'm still alive to tell you that we have survived in this trailer.  Has it been easy?  Nope. But, it's actually been good for us.  It has been a blessing in many ways.  It's allowed us to save up a quite a nice amount of money that we've now labeled, get-out-of-the-trailer-fund.

My next post about the trailer will be a post about things we have learned while living in a trailer.  It's a far stretch from my dream house, but it has taught us many valuable life lessons and for that, I'm thankful.  God works in mysterious ways and I truly believe one of the ways he's worked in our lives is to put us in a trailer house for 17 months....and counting.

Someday, we'll have a nice house again but for now, I'm trying (it's still a struggle at times) to count my blessings and be thankful for what we DO have, not to wish for what we DON'T.


Heather said...

Justin & Jill Baker sent me to your blog and I could write a very similar post. We too traded our 'dream' house for a TINY little rental. It allowed us to work through steps 1-4 very quickly, but not without whining on my part. We learned a lot and God does work in mysterious ways. Can't wait to hear more.