Albuquerque, NM

There Is a Big, Beautiful House I've Been Dreaming about in Nob Hill: I Wouldn't Buy It Even If I Had the Money

Daniella Cressman
Sean Mungur

On some days, I travel to my local coffee shop, driving past the homeless as my heart sinks, before sitting down and typing away for an afternoon.

Right next to the coffee shop, there is a very nice house: It has a spiral staircase and a decent yard for the city of Albuquerque.

It’s located next to all of my favorite restaurants.

It’s also $500,000.

Do you know how many other things I could do with that money if I had it?

I could travel the world more than once while staying in the most luxurious of hotels.

I could go to numerous concerts.

I could go on an expedition with NOLS, although I’d honestly rather live the more glamorous life and spend my days sipping wine somewhere in Florence.

I could move to New York City and live in a location that would feed me as a creative on an entirely new level.

I realized this morning that purchasing a home would ultimately be for everyone except myself.

It would be nice to impress my friends or colleagues if they decided to visit, but that would be so short-lived, and they would still probably have plenty of judgments about me and my nice house, whether they were positive or negative.

People always do.

Then, I’d be stuck in my enormous house, stressing about paying the $2,000 per month mortgage instead of actually enjoying my life, and probably having to clean it myself or hire someone else to, which would ultimately just drain my bank account so that I could show off while living in a place I don’t really care to reside in anyway.

I would grow to resent the stress of everything, I believe, and I would find myself crestfallen if those who were close to my were unimpressed by my elaborate dwelling.

Plus, I only spend a small amount of time at home when I’m the happiest: I would enjoy live music, restaurants, co-working spaces, and coffee shops far more.

Not to mention, I cherish the opportunity to travel, so it would be best to keep my housing costs relatively low — even if I was earning more! — and simply opt for an apartment: It’s far less permanent and provides me with a lot more freedom.

Additionally, I don’t want children, so there’s really no reason to have a larger space, especially because housework takes too long and I’d rather just write all day.

Who wants to be lonely in a huge house cleaning it up all day long?!

Less Life, More Stuff, More Status, and More Stress

These days, I don’t care that much about status or material items.

To be honest, I never really have for the most part: There are areas in which I indulge — I love having soft clothing that’s organic and fancy Egyptian cotton sheets and I would also like to invest in an extremely comfortable bed.

Otherwise, I would prefer to spend my hard-earned cash on experiences, including eating out — I love eating out! — spending time at concerts, reading, honing my craft, and perhaps receiving a weekly massage, not to mention traveling.

That’s what earning a sufficient level of income is about for me: freedom.

This is why I chose not to pursue a career in accounting: I prefer to be in my own world creating; I don’t want to spend tedious hours crunching numbers in an office.

At a certain point, money can buy a metaphorical cage that keeps you trapped on the hamster wheel of trying to keep up with the Joneses, or it can be your ticket to freedom!

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather do what I want when I want, how I want, without anyone else’s input unless they are a trusted source whom I choose to put my faith in.

More Stuff, Less Life

A certain amount of items can foster liberation: Having a high-quality mattress allows you to get better sleep and create an atmosphere of luxury in the bedroom, having a few inordinately expensive clothes that have been ethically crafted can make your laundry duties more efficient and help you feel good no matter what you throw on in the morning, and having a solid pair of shoes does support your feet more than the cheap ones ever would.

If you travel a lot, a backpack could be a wise investment.

If you are starting a business and need a good camera or a gorgeous, top-of-the-line computer would be quite reasonable, especially if this leads to more productivity and inspiration for you to create art.

On the other hand, it’s really not that necessary to purchase more clothes than you need or live in an enormous house if you’re only one person instead of doing what you actually want to do with your life.

I mean, if the house makes you happy and you live there all the time, it makes sense.

Otherwise, it just seems extremely isolating.

More Status= More Stress

I cannot help but conclude that most people would not have an enormous dwelling with all of the bells and whistles if they didn’t have the opportunity to constantly show off their dwelling to their neighbors.

Honestly, what is the point?

  • They pay a ridiculous amount of money for their house every single month!
  • They have to make sure they work inordinately long hours in order to pay off their elaborate dwelling for years on end.
  • They’re stuck in one place for around thirty years.

I may be coming off as overly judgy and skeptical towards people who choose to purchase elaborate homes, but I just find them to be ridiculously overpriced unless the buyer is a millionaire, and even then I think rich folks are still charged way too much for houses…

I can understand wanting more room if a couple is raising a family, or spending a lot and buying a house out-right if a person can, but even then, that money could be spent on so many extremely valuable experiences that would probably make that individual a lot happier!

Half the time, I think people just buy houses to show off to everyone else.

This seems particularly cruel considering that there are often quite a few homeless people in the area, and many others struggling to pay their bills each month.

$500,000 could help so many people, and, if I had this money in my account, I could still live quite comfortably while not being on the top of the totem pole.

I could pay for food for others and help them get by on this crazy planet.

On top of this, more status only really means more stress: More sleepless nights spent working to make sure you can afford your ridiculous mortgage payment, more skipped workout sessions, less time to spend with your friends and family or a significant other. Less time to spend with a pet, less time spent participating in activities you actually enjoy and meeting new people…

I’d rather live in a humble abode and enjoy every precious moment of life while I can.

Who cares what the neighbors might think? They’ll judge me no matter what I do.

That’s how people are.

I’d rather just walk to the beat of my own drum.

The Takeaway: Don’t buy a $500,000+ house to impress other people.

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Canadian-American author writing about local politics, personal finance, & dining in Albuquerque.

Albuquerque, NM

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