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Lives of Doctor Wives: My Quandary

Thursday, July 22, 2010

My Quandary

We have 2 years left of residency and 3 kids. We are renting in our current location. The lease is up October 1. I love the town I live in, love the school the kids go to, love the park outside my neighborhood. Love the beach 6 blocks away. I HATE MY STREET.

As soon as I turn into my neighborhood, my heart sinks to my feet. After all we’ve been through, Chad being a doctor now, and I, with my master’s degree and matching student loan payment, and we live on a trashy, crack whore street. (Plus, our 916 sq ft. cinderblock structure is sub-par.)

My 8 year old has already been drug from school to school in this process and I don’t want to pull him out of a school he really likes.

The houses I find that seem reasonable for our family, on non-crack whole streets, seem to be unreachably out of our price range.

Throughout this whole process I have never had to live somewhere that I really don’t feel comfortable or at home, and that I’m just plain mortified to live.

Is anyone else struggling with this type scenario? Has anyone overcome this obstacle?



Blogger Jeni said...

I would definitely choose safety first. We have three kids with one more on the way, two in school, and when we were looking for residency housing my main concerns were safety and school. I decided I would rather have a really tight budget than pay for a place in a neighborhood I didn't feel safe in. With my husband gone so much over night I needed to feel safe with my children. We ended up getting a great place for probably more than we should be paying but the pros outweigh that con for us. If I was in a place that I didn't feel safe and found a better place I'd move in a heartbeat. Usually if your kids are already established in a school, they can continue to attend that school once you move to another school boundary. We looked online in the local paper for rental listings multiple times a day. Finding the perfect place to live was such a struggle for us. I hope you find a wonderful place you feel safe in.

July 22, 2010 at 1:06 PM  
Blogger I am Laura said...

We have the same problem. Luckily we found a place to rent that is in our budget, but we were lucky. Most the places in the neighborhoods we looked at were way over our price range. We asked advise from other residents before we moved and the places they lived in were 500-1000 over our budget. I think it is almost impossible to be a stay at home mom on a residents budget. We are in the hole every month. I can't really work because I have three kids and what I would make would all go to day care so it is better for me to stay at home. I think the solution is that residents need a pay increase. I guess we have no control over that, but for a doctor and his family to have to live in a crack neighborhood really is sad. He has worked hard to get to the point he is and still cannot provide completely. I know it will all be ok in the end when we are done, but I wish we could get even just 20,000 more a year.

July 22, 2010 at 1:13 PM  
Blogger Beth Hollenbeck said...

We have a similar problem. We have juggled the idea of moving since my husbands residency is 5 years, but we BOUGHT our house :( We really considered putting it on the market with the goal to break even and with me knowing I would be doing it all on my own with a part-time job and 2 kids, but the developer went bankrupt in our new neighborhood. That left a few houses built, empty lots, no pool or other amenities...all that would have given us a nice place to call home. The reason it is not ideal is because they were literally giving lots and homes away because of the housing market and eventual bankruptcy no one disclosed to us, which led to several unwelcome neighbors with scary habits.

ANYWAY! We brainstormed and decided to install a security system. It was something that keeps me feeling safe since he is gone a lot and with even just the sign in the front yard I kind of feel like our house has a barrier and is saying "nice people, hard working family, stay away!" Unfortunately this so-called salary doesn't allow us many options and the alarm system was the best we could do. It is so difficult to not feel comfortable coming home and even more so when you have children to consider in all of the decisions. I hope you find something that provides you comfort for the next two years :)

July 22, 2010 at 2:45 PM  
Blogger Melisa said...

Oh, girl! You know I am there with you! And Philly, like FL, has a RIDICULOUS cost of living. Ugh. I love the town I am in, and I love my kids' school. But I.HATE.THIS.HOUSE. A lot. A lot lot. But now I feel stuck. We already go in the red every month to live in this dive. And I really don't want to move my kids to a new school yet again, but we can't afford any other place in this school district. So discouraging. We've been doing balance transfers from credit cards. You can get 10%. Not great, but where else can we get money?! I miss med school when we could just ask for another loan. Sigh...

July 22, 2010 at 9:17 PM  
Blogger Kathi the wingspouse said...

If your gut is telling you it's not safe, it's not safe. Find a modest place that is in a better neighborhood EVEN IF you have to homeschool for a few years. If you're not afraid to share a home, look for an elderly person who needs help cooking and cleaning. They will have a nice home and be a wonderful help keeping an eye on the children.

We had the reverse of this problem. My hsuband took a job as my kids were in 1st, 3rd and 5th grades. His hospital had this rule that he had to be within 30 minutes of the hospital for call but the CEO additionally required all employees (except herself) to live in the city to support the community. My boys were scared to go to school. Bullies threatened them daily, fights broke out regularly on the playground, and the Vprincipal was partial to black students and believed that rough play and threats were every day and white kids got picked on because they couldn't relate.

Even though our kids had attended 3 schools by the 5th grade, we moved them again. They still talk about how afraid they were back then and I live with that guilty to this day.

July 22, 2010 at 11:10 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Dawkter said...

Are either of your loans FEDERAL? If so I hope you are signed up for Income Based Repayment! If not you really need to look into it - ibrinfo.org
As long as you are SAFE where you live I would try not to worry about it. Hopefully very soon you will live in a home and neighborhood you and your family deserves! I'm sorry you don't like your neighborhood!

July 23, 2010 at 9:57 AM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

hi! i emailed you my comments...
hang in there!

July 23, 2010 at 11:34 AM  
Blogger Elissa said...

Aww...Stacie! I feel for you! I know that you are in this tight situation and it isn't easy. Luckily you know I live where the cost of living is very reasonable...but we picked a place like this so I could stay home and raise the kids (we moved here from NJ, and that place was not an option for residency because of the price to housing). I guess just take everyone's advice and see if it will work for you guys. I will tell you this...we go into the red every month! We still have this year and 2 yrs of fellowship left before we can start really paying off the credit cards, aghhh!! I am praying that hubby can moonlight a little in fellowship, but I think it is discouraged. Saying a prayer for you dear.

July 28, 2010 at 12:13 AM  

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