For about the last two years, R and I have been weighing our first real-estate purchase.  Back in the NW, we came frighteningly close to spending multiple hundreds of thousands of our hard-earned dollars on a beautiful 1906 craftsman that turned out to have major electrical problems and therefore failed our inspection.

I remember, at the time, feeling so let down and disappointed.  My imagination had run wild with ideas about this house; the decorating, hosting, raising a family….that when the deal fell through, I genuinely believed that we had lost the home we were meant to buy.  In the brilliance of hindsight, letting go of that house now feels like the most intelligent decision we ever made.  We would have been stretching ourselves to make the payment, our lives would have been tied to that house, and its geography, and – while we didn’t know this at the time – both of our jobs were in serious jeopardy. 

R was employed by a supplier within the automotive industry.  Shortly after resigning his position to join me in my hometown, said supplier eliminated more than 35 jobs of the original 75.  Of those positions, over half were a part of R’s former department.

Meanwhile, back at my former employer, the budget was in serious decline as well.  As a retail and manufacturing organization, they had done well for the past several decades.  But their products are exceptionally well made, making them a bit steep in the affordability factor.  Additionally, their main product line is used primarily in home building and remodeling – which, as we all know, is a practice many people discontinued in the midst of this economy.  I recently heard from a former coworker who told me of a round of layoffs that affected over 30% of the entire workforce.  This massive layoff included positions ranging from janitorial work to the executive team members.  Needless to say, the remaining 70% are highly fearful and uncertain of the stability of their jobs.

At the time, we also didn’t realize how strong the pull to return home would be for me.  Had we gone through with the deal, that beautiful house, which I so desparately adored, would have turned into a terrible burden.  We would have been prisoners to the investment of money and time it required.  Perhaps we would have finally given in to our joint craving for a canine companion.  And before we knew it, we would have established the NW as our home.  Which, I should probably confess, R likely may have preferred it.  But I imagine I would have resented it.

Now, back in my hometown, our sense of permanency is strong.  With R’s “green collar” job, and mine in the healthcare industry, we’re also back to feeling pretty secure.  And we’re back to discussing real-estate. 

Let’s just hope it’s not a case of history repeating.