December 2016 is fast approaching. The far door at the end of an eight-year hallway that has been my service in the United States Air Force.
- University choice. I had been trying to decide between attending Wright State University, a public school, or University of Dayton, a private school. The later was 2.3 times as expensive as the former. I visited both universities to speak with their Engineering departments. My experience at WSU was abysmal, they couldn’t find records of me (even though I was accepted) and I have had to repeatedly contact them to get an answer about what they will accept from my transcripts from previous universities. UD was delightful, I never once had to contact them because they were extremely proactive in reaching out to me and spending a lot of one-on-one time explaining the program and getting me information. In the end I have decided to begin at WSU because it is a far more practical choice economically. If it goes well, I’ll stick with it. If not, I will reconsider UD.
- Money. With the prospect of being back at school for the next 3-4 years, finances will be extremely tight for us. I’m leaving a roughly $60k/year secure position in USAF, for a live-by-the-seat-of-
scholarships/grants/part-time work life. Emily and I have discussed many options in terms of working etc. We are going to try and manage the next few years with finances we have in hand, a meager income from the USAF Reserve, and the afore mentioned scholarships and grants/part-time work. If it came down to it I could probably manage to go to school full time and hold a full time job, but I’ve done that on a few occasions in the USAF and both sectors suffered as a result. We want these core years for our kids to be filled more with family-time than finances. Wise? Depends on what you value I suppose.
- Home. This has been a very difficult area for us. There are so many factors that are not binary in this decision. Cost, size, safety, distance, location, amenities, market.
- COST: Initially we were being a bit silly and looking at $180-215k which after reconsidering our budget was way too high for us while I’m in school. We also were looking at using our profits from the sale of our current house to pay cash for something between $20-50k (see item c./g.). Our current realistic range is $0-150k, sweet spot seems to be $100 +/- 20k.
- SIZE: Let’s see, there’s me, Emily…1,2,3,4,5 kids. That’s sevenish people. We currently live in a 3-bedroom house. Three girls in one room, two boys in the second room, and a mixed gender married couple in the third. Ideal? Nope. Emily would really like an office/craft room. I REALLY want a study where I can close some heavy wooden doors, smoke my pipe and read. Kids would be allowed to lay on the floor so long as they observe a rule of silence. Oh, and also fetch my scotch. I’m flexible. Maybe next year in Jerusalem. Basically, we would be fine with a 3-bedroom, so long as it has a basement that I can put some walls up in and isolate the children when “necessary”.
- SAFETY: People seem to really like not living in Dayton proper, because of the crime. We currently live in North Charleston S.C. Same crime rate as Dayton, much lower population but spread out more.So lots of people don’t live in Dayton, which in turns means there are lots of really nice pre-war homes at an incredibly affordable price. Complete with crimey neighborhoods that “nobody” wants to live in. There is too much commentary for me to contain here, but this whole issue really saddens me. Of course, there is the whole racially segregated paradigm of west-Dayton/east-Dayton. West Dayton is mostly Black. Not higher crime, but it is perceived that way. I do not feel “called” to intentionally move to a high crime neighborhood, but I find no justification in the scripture for seeking to avoid these kind of environments. Please, I am always open to biblical reasoning! If a compelling case can be made in defense of not living amongst the poor and obviously lost, and seeking safety and comfort, please share it with me. I do not claim to be righteous. I have not taken any effort in the past 5 years of living in our shady neighbor to reach out or be a light. That is sin. But I cannot understand a Christian making a case for idealized comfort. I believe we are to spread light where ever we are, poor or rich, city and country. Like I said, I am not actively looking to live in a shitty neighborhood. I just find the arguments, from a Christian perspective, highly dubious.We yet to decide on a location, but we are considering many options. We have ruled out some areas do the possible danger. What is the “wise” choice? I don’t know. Again, it’s not binary. I believe G-d will protect us and guide us where ever we are, the optimization game is exhausting to me.There is so much more to say here but it needs another time.
- DISTANCE: This one is easy. I will be attending WSU and ultimately working at or near Wright-Patterson AFB. So, depending on other factors, within 20-30 minutes is ideal. Yep.
- LOCATION: Meh, I don’t want to talk about this. The distance actually clears it up.
- AMENETIES: Parks, libraries, hiking/bike trails, coffee shops, breweries, theater, music venues…all good things…all good things.
- MARKET: Is a consideration because we will probably not be able to get something we want to stay in, and whatever we get we will be in for 4-5 years minimum. While were aren’t singularly focused on it being an investment, it’s still part of the equation.
- Ok. Bye.