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Life After The Joneses Moved

The neighbors directly across the street from us moved last year in June (2010) to a much larger house.  At first, I thought it was a foolish move and that I was glad I was staying put since I had just paid off my house and I no longer have a house payment

I wish I could telly you that I’m doing great now that they are gone.  But quite the contrary is true.  You see, now I’ve changed my mind, I miss our neighbors, they were friendly, good people.  The couple that moved in are much younger than we are.  The new neighbors are in their very early 20s, and they don’t have any kids yet.  My son and daughter miss the old neighbor’s kids too, they all played so well together.

Since my neighborhood has changed, I’m feeling the urge to move to a location where there are larger houses and more land.

So what does my urge to move have to do with the Joneses

Well, I honestly don’t think I would be wanting to move as badly if they were still across the street from us.  Oh sure, I’d still complain about the small yard and the smaller rooms, but as long as I knew my almost similar neighbors were in the same boat, I don’t think I would mind.  In fact, I’m sure I would be pretty content knowing that I no longer any debt.

So now I understand why the average person want to keep up with the Joneses, after all nobody likes being left behind.

So what am I going to do about it?

Nothing for now.  I like not having a mortgage payment to pay each month!  Besides, my kids are still happy with the neighborhood, even without the Joneses kids to play with.  But they are missed!


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32 Responses to Life After The Joneses Moved

  1. We recently lost DS’s favorite neighborhood playmate. But he moved to Florida when his mom finished her PhD, so we can’t follow him to a different neighborhood!

    Are there any other kids in the neighborhood? We’ve been scouting out all the 4 and 5 year olds looking for a replacement.

    • Luckily yes, there are at least a couple of kids the same age for both of our kids.

      My son’s protests about the idea of moving is one of the biggest reasons that we are still here…

  2. I can’t definitely understand this feeling. It sure is nice to have a paid off house, but once you do I can imagine the itch to move into something bigger or nice would come quickly if you didn’t already have your “dream home”.

    Having a lot of people in the same age group move out of your neighbourhood would also increase the desire even further as you have said.

    When we pay off our house in the next year or two, we will probably be looking to upgrade if everything is stable and we can afford it.

  3. MR, I have been sensing for awhile now that you seem to want to move, but you love being debt-free. Quite a conundrum!

    Have you considered just keeping your eye open for foreclosures/short sales that maybe wouldn’t cause much of a mortgage payment? I wouldn’t move because the Joneses moved as people come and go all the time and you cannot control it. However, you don’t seem content with where you live. Is it that you really dislike the house/yard, or you want to make that one more move into a house you could live in forever?

    (Or maybe I am totally wrong…)

    • The house I’m in now is the first house that I owned. We had our house built new, so I thought I was getting my conservative dream house. But after living there for 10+ years, I realize some polishing that could happen to make our housing experience really shine.

      Overall, it’s a great house… it’s just that I could do better.

      So the next house I do get most likely will be the one I’m at forever (unless I can convince my wife to move to a warmer state)…

  4. Yes MR, you mentioned your desire to move on several prior occasions, but this is the first time that I heard that the Joneses may have something to do with it. I do understand. My neighbors are just a few years older than us, and a while ago, they were talking about moving. It bothered us because we liked them so much, and we did feel that we were being “left behind,” yet we wanted what was best for them. It will be interesting to see how this unfolds!

    • I was surprised that I miss them.

      I’ve been thinking of moving to a slightly larger house with a much bigger yard for years, but I’ve been pretty content living where I live too. But since the Joneses has moved, my feeling about moving has intensified.

      Sounds like you are going to experience a similar experience. I hope if they do you get some great new neighbors that you can relate to!

  5. We lost our favorite neighbors too and I haven’t even met the new people. They are not young but they are never home and don’t have kids.

    I think if I were you, I’d set a goal for myself to upgrade to a better place in a year or two but to pay with cash. My husband keeps telling me he wants to move to a better school system once our kids hit middle school. I’d like to have a good chunk of cash saved so that I can offset the higher expenses of living the next town over. I don’t know if we can save up all the difference, but I really don’t want to take on a super sized mortgage ever again.

    Figure out how much house you need and then calculate out the interest payments the first 2 years..then figure out what they would be if you waited 2 years to move. I bet it would motivate you to stay. No one says you have to be in your home forever, but you now have the chance to save up for the next and better place without having to throw tens of thousands a year at interest payments or rent. You should be able to reach your goal much much quicker if you just hold out a year or two. And if it makes you feel any better, 2100 sqft isn’t that small (my house is 1700 and i have 2 kids) .

    • I’ve played around with the numbers and I would definitely wait a year or 2 more. I have a plan around financing that would include a mortgage because of the tax benefits. I would try to grow the money from my current house so that eventually the payments from that money invested would help with the payments on a new house.

      The size of my house doesn’t bother me as much as the lack of a decent yard does.

      I’m one of those measure twice, cut one kind of guys, so I’ll do some number crunching analysis before I take any plunge.

      Thank for the great comment, it helps as the idea swirls around in my head 🙂

    • The Jonses are just the tip of the iceberg as to why I want to move.

      I will suggest your idea to my wife though since she see the Joneses every so often at school.

    • True, but I definitely understand why people like to keep up with the Joneses now. That was the basis of my post.

      Anyway to all those house jumpers out there that have upgraded… I now understand 🙂

  6. Since you aren’t desparate to move, why not look for desparate sellers and try to upgrade on the house? If you check out Trulia (be careful VERY addicting site) you can see which sellers have dropped their prices and by how much and for how long

    • Hmm, this sounds like great advice! I’ve use Trulia in the past just poking around being curious (it is addicting), but I haven’t ever searched with intent.

      Great idea Evan, I’ll start to check it out!

    • Oh no, as “Kris” and “Roshawn @ Watson Inc” said above I have been thinking about moving for a few years now.

      But the characteristic of the neighborhood can hinge on a few great neighbors. If those key elements change, sometimes it’s not a bad idea to move somewhere that the characteristics could be great again.

  7. Very interesting article because when I was about 10 years old I moved from the suburbs to an apartment in the city. Even though I missed hanging out with my neighbors and the kid’s down the block from me, I came to like apartment lifestyle much more. That’s probably why I now attend school in the city. Neighbors are always a delicacy, but their also much like roommates. You didn’t choose your house because they were living there, you chose to live there because of the location,price…
    If the neighborhood’s changing in a way in which you don’t agree, perhaps move in a timely matter.

  8. This sounds like a case of “the grass is always greener” type of thing. The younger couple sounds like they wont be there for a while (but they could have just stretched to buy that house and will start a family in it). Who knows. Maybe now that you dont have a house payment you can save up a bit and buy a house with some land in cash?
    Good luck

  9. That is quite interesting that their move has caused you to want to move to a mega-mansion. I guess it’s just our inherent desires huh?

    If you’re happy, you’re happy! That’s the most important thing! I’m so happy that my friend is bidding on a $10 million house!

    • I really don’t mind my house size, I would go for a 2,600 sq ft house instead of my 2,100 sq ft house. Mainly I would like some land… I was raised with 1 acre butted against woods in the two houses that I primarily grew up in and I miss that.

      That’s pretty sweet for your friend. I couldn’t imagine having that kind of money…

  10. We also started to get the moving itch when our favorite neighbors moved. Like you, we also enjoy living someplace we can well afford and allows us to save, and are putting up with the cramped space for now.

    Congrats on not having a mortgage. That’s something we aspire to, but it will be awhile for us, especially if we move!

  11. I just moved so I’m not looking too forward to moving again! I’m in a dense area with thousands of people around so it’s pretty impersonal, but when I was young I also had those trees and nature around… that’s not too far from us now, either, but maybe someday I would like to have a place in a quieter area with some land and space!