I recently wrote a post about the top 5 things I miss about having a house. It’s only fair that I turn it around and talk about some of the things I don’t miss about having a house.
Our house sat on a little over half an acre. That may not sound like a lot to some people, but it was more property than most people we knew had. We originally wanted the big yard for our 2 dogs, and it turns out, circumstances changed and the yard was not so important after all. Our yard was very beautifully landscaped by the former owner, but things had gotten out of control due to neglect. I think she gave up on it a couple years before we bought the house, so we inherited many huge flower beds and associated vines (Trumpet Vine – DIE) and weeds that never seemed to thin out despite us covering it in weed-blocking fabric every year or two.
We don’t miss pulling weeds, trimming bushes, mowing the lawn (we had a riding mower at least), shoveling mulch, or maintaining our koi pond and hot tub. I liked the time outside doing physical work, but it turns out, I’d much rather be physical outside doing something that I actually enjoy. Plenty of people enjoy yard work – I’m not one of them.
But the weird thing is, I also don’t miss the yard itself. I haven’t had the thought that I wish I still had a yard once in the 8 months since we signed the house over. We go places that have way more wide open space than our yard provided. And – bonus points – we don’t have to maintain any of it! If or when we buy a house again, a small yard will be considered a plus, not a minus.
Some people luck out and get great neighbors. We had some amazing neighbors (Hi Don and Sue, Amy and Wade!) but we also had some bad neighbors in our 7 years in our house. The house next door became a rental and things went downhill from there, and on the other side, someone moved in who constantly burned piles of trash. Although we miss our good neighbors (and I’m so happy we stay in touch with them), we like that we can pick up and move if our neighbors in a campground become too bothersome. In 6+ months of traveling, this has only happened once, and we switched campsites. 99.9% of the time, our neighbors are awesome, and we love meeting new people.
I also recognize the value in neighbors (in a house setting) and I hope we paid our “bad neighbor” dues with our first house and next time will be better. I’d love for Calla to have some great memories playing with her neighbor kids someday, just like I did growing up.
We brought this upon ourselves, but we did so many renovations in our house. We always joke that as soon as we got it the way we wanted it, we sold it. No corner of our house went untouched (or should I say un-renovated) and looking back on it, so many of our weekends were spent doing work and going to Home Depot and Lowe’s. If going to Macy’s is torture for Tim, going to Home Depot is torture for me. Most of the renovation work was a labor of love for Tim. I must say he is very talented at renovating and is a perfectionist, paying attention to every little detail and making sure it’s done right. The people who bought our house are very lucky, no shoddy work done there!
The renovations took a lot of time (and money) and we were renovating up to and after Calla was born. We even renovated Trudy! I don’t miss renovating, and I never want to again. Ok, never say never….but seriously, we are never renovating a RV ever again! We’d rather spend our time exploring together, not renovating.
Where we lived seemed to have a lot of issues with utilities. We were paying insanely high bills for water and sewer, but many times, we wouldn’t have water at all, or we’d get automated phone messages that the water was unsafe to drink, often for days at a time. We lived in an older neighborhood that still had overhead power lines, which fall prey to storms – high winds, fallen trees, ice – our power went out a lot. I remember at one point, our water was not drinkable and our electric was out for 2-3 days. It was hot, I was pregnant, and I was annoyed! What is the purpose of having a house when you can’t even use electricity or drink the water? Now that I think about it, maybe the seed of RV-ing was there in my mind before I even realized, because I do remember wondering “WHY” in that moment.
At least with RVing, we have more control over our utilities. If the electric is broken (this has happened only twice so far) it is usually fixed in 30 minutes by the camp host. If we don’t have utilities (dry camping, boondocking) we don’t pay for them. We can use our generator for electricity if we have to. Sometimes it’s pretty freeing to be off the grid and disconnected.
Living in an RV really prevents us from accumulating stuff – especially big stuff. There is just nowhere to put it, unless something else goes. We don’t miss our “stuff”. I’ve blogged before about how we got rid of a ton of what we owned before we sold the house, and we haven’t missed any of it. Life is simpler with less belongings.
I never thought our house was crowded, in fact, quite the opposite. We had many cabinets and closets that were not anywhere close to full. Our house was only 1500 square feet, it wasn’t huge by any stretch of the imagination. Yet we had so much. I never want to deal with purging that much again, it was an undertaking that took months.
One of our core values that led us to this lifestyle is that we wanted to collect experiences over things. Don’t get us wrong, we like cool things just as much as the next person. I still enjoy trips to Target and we order on Amazon. It’s just not nearly to the degree it used to be. I’m proud to say we live extremely comfortably in a 38 foot space. There is nothing we need that we don’t already have (ok, except Calla sleeping through the night – but I’m talking tangible things).