Do you rent or own your home? We rented for years and loved the freedom of it, but when rents way outstripped the costs of buying a few years ago, we bought a place. Paying the bank didn't feel much different than paying the old landlord, but our housings costs did go up; requiring more work and other kinds of belt-tightening decisions that sit right in the middle of this lifestylism exploration.
It feels like we're experimenting with a bit of lifestylism ourselves this week, putting our townhouse in Summerland, BC up for sale. I suppose by Vancouver (or other big-city) standards, the price would probably seem very affordable, but real estate has boomed here the last two years (without wages going up) and we're "getting out" of the market with only minor trepidation. We can't afford to buy anything else (since this is just about as cheap a home as anyone could buy in our area), so we're planning to rent for a while and figure out our options.
Since housing costs make up such a high proportion (and rising) of our incomes, these kinds of decisions weigh heavily, and they're part of the complex stew of options surrounding how we really want to live. We're opting for the relative security of paying off debts, upgrading our dying car, and the potential freedom to travel or live somewhere new for a while: perhaps this heavenly spot in PEI or something more adventurous like helping out at an orphanage in Ecuador for a few months (run by family friends we've supported for years and would love to see in person).
We feel like we're running counter to the American Dream right now, and it's quite liberating. Anyway, if you or someone you know is looking for a move to (or investment property in) British Columbia's sunny Okanagan, in a quiet lakeside town surrounded by mountains, head on over to http://summerlandtownhouse.com and we'll get things hooked up.