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We were moving from Richmond, VA to Raleigh, NC – and we were going to need somewhere new to live at.
Amanda and I had taken a number of trips to Raleigh in the Spring of 2011 to figure out where we were going to live at.  We were moving there because I would soon begin my Ph.D. work at Southeastern Seminary.

We took so many tours of so many places that you would find it very difficult to keep track of them all, but in the end, Amanda and I just couldn’t seem to come to an agreement on where we wanted to end up.

We looked at renting, but I did NOT want to pay $800 to $1,000 a month in rent. “Babe! That’s a house payment,” I declared.  So  I decided I wanted to buy – rather than waste that much in rent with nothing to show for it.

Amanda and I had decided we would buy a home instead – so we started looking at townhomes in a fantastic community built by Centex.  It was called “Highland Creek.”

We saw the community and were immediately sold, but we had different ideas on what kind of house we would buy.

I fell in love with a property called “The Pinehurst.”

From the moment I walked in – I envisioned life happening there.

The kitchen was open to the entire floor with a great island that was adjacent to the dining area.

The family room had a 20 foot ceiling at its peak that was attached to the master bedroom.

The master bedroom had all the conveniences of a resort hotel room – but it was on the first floor so even grandparents could visit without fear of climbing up and down the stairs.

And the upstairs had two additional bedrooms and a generous sized loft. I envisioned an office / mancave / bedroom for the larger bedroom upstairs.

This property was $1,100 a month so it was still about what we were going to pay in rent around here.

Amanda thought it was too much though.  So she kept pressing practicality.  She thought we should get “The Merritt.”

“The Merritt” had a smaller living space downstairs – with a much smaller dining area attached to the kitchen.

The kitchen had more cabinets and more counter space than “The Pinehurst,” but it was more secluded too.

But the master bedroom in “The Merritt” dwarfed the master bedroom in “The Pinehurst.”

And “The Merritt” also featured a larger master bathroom and closet. It even had a separate room for the toilet in the bathroom – just in case Amanda and I ate Papa Murphy’s again and needed to seclude ourselves while the other was showering.

This smaller property was $900 a month .  Although it was smaller – it definitely had a lot of perks.

So for months Amanda and I debate back and forth about what townhome we would get: The larger Pinehurst or the more practical Merritt.  Yes. It sounds like an episode of House Hunters.

“Ben!  Why do you think we should get ‘The Pinehurst.,’ when it’s $300 more for a smaller master closet and a smaller master bedroom?”  She made this case often.

“Amanda!  Are you serious?  There is far more space for us to have a family in ‘The Pinehurst.’  Don’t you want our kids to have space to play in our house at all?”  My case often appealed to her maternal aspirations – which we both presume is still a few years out.

We even drug our parents down there to get their opinions.  Then we drug our best friends down there to get their’s, as well.

We toured the townhomes at least 15 different times.

So what did we decide?

Did we get the smaller, budget friendly ‘Merritt?’  Or the larger, fancier “Pinehurst?’


After months of arguing back and forth over the pros and cons of these properties, Amanda and I get to Raleigh and are told that we do not have a sufficient credit history to buy ANY PROPERTY IN RALEIGH.

We end up renting – which is exactly what I said I would not do.

Sometimes the dream of what we think we deserve is so grand that we refuse to accept what we are actually able to attain.  Amanda and I expected that we would both have great jobs and the credibility to afford and purchase a home very easily.  Boy, were we ever wrong.  I went weeks before I found any kind of job – and with all the fees we would have been hit with, we would have been in bankruptcy as fast as we signed our names on the line.

Don’t ever dream yourself into failure, friends.  It’s rather easy to do it – when you dream too big too fast.

This is the 4th dumbest argument we ever had – because we wasted hours and hours and hours of our lives, our families lives, and our friends lives trying to decide.  We argued over this for months, and – in the end – neither one of us had our way.

But in the future – I will be telling you all why it was all God’s plan for us to not buy at Centex, because something much greater is being offered to us.  That’s another blog for another day.

But for now – that’s the 4th dumbest argument we have ever had.  And they only get dumber from here.

<……. BACK TO DUMB ARGUMENT #5                                                                         FORWARD TO DUMB ARGUMENT #3…………………>



  1. Hahaha… yeah, been there. Figuratively, y’understand. Not to Raleigh. But dreamed and moped and carried on, then found that God had something else in mind entirely! LOL What a waste of energy!

  2. By the way, these dumb arguments, are they in no particular order, or are they like a chart countdown, with the biggest or dumbest at the number 1 spot?

  3. Well, I can certainly agree with you about the pitfalls of dreaming into failure. I have many decades of learning that sometimes a big disappointment later reveals itself as a very positive turn in events…just down the line. But I do need to know what to do now with the envy that has built up after reading your post and enjoying the photos!? Such beautiful properties…our property values in Southern California are so inflated that young families aren’t even considering buying, and if they do, they don’t look like these lovely spaces. Being content–there’s another whole argument we sometimes have with ourselves! 🙂 Debra

    • lol I’m glad you can empathize with me on this one. It’s crazy how one of our biggest virtues has to kept in check! 🙂

      And I hate to hear that California is in that kind of situation. It makes me a bit more appreciative that I at least had the potential to look at some of those properties at all. I do want to head out to Cali though. So I envy you on that one. 😉

  4. Buying is not all its cracked up to be. You don’t have the luxury of calling your landlord when the drain pipe in the slab busts… like is happening now at my house. Plus with today’s market there is no guarantee you wont be upside down in your mortgage within the first year. Although rates are lower than ever, so if you have the money and the stability its a great time to buy.




  8. Pingback: THE BIG ANNOUNCEMENT COMETH… | Rev. Ben Knots

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