Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The flip side

More than one person that I know "in real life" has commented recently to me recently that they could see themselves making a similar move to a granny flat/share accommodation/downsized home after reading about our experiences.
For the most part, I am loving granny flat living, and can see us doing this for a while longer. The fact that my bank account is getting fatter and fatter every pay as we accumulate the money we would have been spending on rent/mortgage payments plus assorted bills is the icing on the cake.
But it's not all giggles and fun. There's plenty of drawbacks to granny flat living, and since I try to write about making the most of our money, it's probably only fair that I show the flip side of this little adventure.

Cons to granny flat living:

It's hot and stuffy. Unbelievably. This is essentially just a big sardine can, and by 11am each day I am sweating. It just can't compete with an insulated home for holding a reasonable temperature. We're combating the heat with an air cooler borrowed from Husbands work, and I guess if we were living here longer we could install an air conditioner. Lolly has her own ways for beating the heat, and has really taken a fancy to the new air cooler too. She likes to lie on the tiles in front of it and feel the cool air on her body.

You could be forgiven for thinking I
never dress the kid since she is always
in a nappy in photos these days

Visitors. I'm an antisocial soul, partly because I'm a shocking housekeeper, and partly because I just like quiet me time. In my own home we've kind of discouraged spontaneous visitors over the years, we are definitely a call first kind of family which allows for plenty of time to rush around and tidy up before a visit. Living in the granny flat out back of the in-laws house kind of means I am onsite for the many visitors they have. And coming from a simply enormous family made up of hundreds of "close" relatives" there seems to be a pretty steady trickle of visitors. I feel churlish not saying hello since most people are genuinely interested in the babies, my health etc. It's not even like it takes that long to say hello. I'm just an antisocial cow. I'm happy to own that one.

Togetherness. Speaking of quiet me time, when we are all home, there is no getting away from one another in this 3 roomed dwelling. If one or more of us is having a tanty, we are stuck within eyeline and hearing distance. This does not help resolve conflict! Miss 12 and I are clashing big time at the moment, and if Lolly is chucking one of her mother of all tantrums, it's almost a sure thing that she will wake up Sebastian now that we have no quiet zones.

Bathrooms. Maddy (12) has never really known what it is to share a bathroom! We've always had an ensuite, and a separete toilet/bathroom arranagement, meaning that there's never really a line up for a toilet or shower. It's funny watching her jiggle and dance outside the bathroom now waiting for a toilet, and even funnier to see her reaction when her sister decides to join her in the shower. Yeah, 1st world problem I know, and not one that bothers me so much.

Limited space. 3/4 of our stuff is in storage. So far we haven't noticed too much stuff that we wish we had that we don't, but every now and then.....like yesterday I was thinking it would be great to make waffles...but the waffle maker like all the other random appliances are in storage. We really are living only with the essentials here in the granny flat.

But honestly? It's still a good experiance living here. Mostly I LIKE living in close contact with everyone. I enjoy having family so close, and I LOVE saving so much money. I also think it's good for Maddy to understand what it is to live in different circumstances. We've always lived in our own home with plenty of living area's and separate rooms and bathrooms for everyone. So this should help her to understand just how lucky we are in what we have.

Have I convinced you? Would you pack the kids into a smaller space to save some money, or its just not worth it?

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