Friday, July 28, 2006

Make or Buy

There is not much sleep happening at the Casa de Rutledge this week. Owen & Gus both have colds again and have developed a deep cough that would make a chain smoker blush. The coughs are at their worst at night when the boys lie down to sleep as all the drainage heads down into their chests. So the boys have been waking themselves up frequently at night. And as you can imagine when the boys aren't sleeping, the parents aren't sleeping.

But there is more to our temporary insomnia than just the common cold that frequents our abode. Amy & I have decided to put our house up for sale next week and look for a house with more room. This decision to move did not come lightly as I imagine it doesn't come lightly to anyone who reaches this point. But with the two of us both being detail-oriented and conscientious sometimes to a flaw, let's just say there has been a tremendous amount of hand-wringing and deliberation on this decision.

There are so many variables that go into our decision, a big one being whether or not to finish our basement to give us the extra bedroom & space we need with the two boys. Just like the professors teach in Economics 101, at its core the decision is a simple make or buy decision. Is it cheaper for you to make something yourself or is it cheaper for you to pay someone else to make it for you? My employer IBM faced this decision for years before finally announcing it was selling off the part of the business that made PCs -- ultimately it was more cost effective to buy PCs from Lenovo than it was to continue making them internally. But a house is difficult to think of in purely economic terms. There are emotional connections with a house -- the blood, sweat and tears you put into making your house your home; the first time your kid takes a step; the fun times you have had with family and friends; and on and on. After weighing all the variables -- leaving our neighbors who are like family, resale value, cost of reinvesting in a new house, interest rates, being in a neighborhood with more kids -- we have decided to make the leap.

So next week our house goes on the market. We are taking the weekend to make one final push for some aesthetic improvements. The hard part for us has been holding off from going in to other houses we have found that we really like. The last thing we want is to find a house that we think is perfect and have to make yet another decision about whether to make an offer when we haven't sold our house yet. I don't want to imagine the insomnia that would be living at our house in that situation!

Have a good weekend. Cheers!

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