We had been house-hunting for five months and were denied multiple homes. Time was running out to stay at the house were living in. Winter was settling in, and no new homes were coming on the market. Despite continually singing “There’s a Place for Us” from West Side Story, no home emerged to beckon us. We finally realized that we would just have to move and begin renting again.
Unfortunately, renting any two-bedroom apartment in our area was going to cost us about double what we planned on spending for a mortgage. After searching local ads for a couple of weeks, we called up a friend’s old landlord to see if he had anything available.
He did! He was renting a 2-3 bedroom trailer behind his property for a ridiculously low monthly price tag. There was no yearly agreement- the landlord only required 30 days’ notice if we wanted to move. It was just 5 minutes from my husband’s job. It was going to be pretty cramped, we had to get rid of our cats, and we had to get used to living in what we affectionately called a “tin can,” but it met our needs and we knew we’d save money living there. We toured the place on January 1st, 2012, and had signed our agreement and begun moving in by January 8th, 2012.
Home, sweet home.
Though the trailer itself wasn’t the prettiest thing, the backyard made up for any lack of aesthetics in the building. A gloriously broad, open field stretched out for acres behind the home. It was a natural playground for a boy just learning to walk. Here’s J exploring the field in the first couple of months living there:
Not one month after moving in, our realtor called us to let us know the old schoolhouse that we had looked into previously had come back on the market. We laughed; we had joked that we just knew a house would come up as soon as we moved. However, it quickly became apparent that the house probably had major septic issues- and the bank was denying inspections (illegally?) and only accepting cash offers. Suspicious of more problems, we decided to drop it.
And that was it. Sure, we continued to look casually at online listings from time to time, but we gradually came to the conclusion that we would continue to rent. Maybe for a few more months, maybe for a few more years.
Contentment wasn’t automatic. Sometimes I still resented the tininess of our brown-paneled quarters. Sometimes the lack of insulation made winter and summer temperatures nearly unbearable (ice inside the bedroom, anyone?). I got frustrated with leak problems in the bathroom that were rotting our floor. It was close to impossible to host more than two people in our tiny living room. I won’t talk about the mouse problems. Yes, the trailer had its challenges.
But little by little, we began to find peace right where we were at. We stopped looking for the next step.
We let go.
We decided that renting a tiny place at a tiny price tag came with big advantages, and hoped that our patience would pay off after time. And we were happy there at our tiny house in the field.
Little did we know, there would be a next step- just not at the time we had planned it. Come back next week to read Part 4!