My family and I used to live in Copperfield area for about 13 years and then we moved to Katy a year and a half ago. The Copperfield house we lived in had four bedrooms with two and a half bathrooms but the one we are living in now has four bedrooms with a study and three and a half bathrooms. The Copperfield home was about 13 miles from church but the Katy home is about 23 miles.
Why did I decide to move? And why did I move to a house that is further from church and bigger than the previous one?
The main reason why I decided to move was because I was done with my 15 year mortgage payment in 13 years and needed to carry another mortgage for tax benefit, because, by law, the housing allowance for clergy is non-taxable income for Federal Income Tax purposes (but not for SS tax). Tax evasion is wrong but tax saving is wise. As Lynette and I have tried to be very generous and sacrificial with our finances when it comes to giving to God and His kingdom work, God’s word found in Matthew 6:33 has proven to be true in our lives helping us to finish our first mortgage in just 13 years.
Then, why did I move to Katy? It was because of my children’s education. Since I had to move to another house to carry a mortgage, I had to choose a place where we will live for the next eight to ten years if not longer. The quality of education of the high school Enoch was attending in Copperfield was declining and I wanted to put my children in a more competitive high school. I personally believe that the earlier you face and learn to manage the challenges and difficulties of this world, in a competitive high school setting, the better you will cope with the harsh realities of college campus and academic life. I considered both Katy and Memorial areas, and if possible, I wanted my children to attend Memorial High School because it is one of the top public high schools in the Houston area. However, after looking at a few houses in the area I quickly realized that it was beyond our means. I don’t do or buy anything that will jeopardize my giving back to God. If I buy something at the expense of compromising my giving that is above and beyond tithing, then I have made a totally disastrous financial decision. So, I bought a house in Katy. By the way, unless God calls you to drastically downsize your lifestyle and live among the poor to minister to them, it is a right thing for parents to want to provide good things for their children. God hasn’t called me to sell everything and live among the poor as of yet. These days I see my children studying harder just to get the same grades they used to get in the previous school district and this confirms that I have made the right decision for my children.
What about three full bathrooms? Why did I buy a much bigger house than before? It wasn’t because of us, but because of my father who has been living alone in Chicago since my mother passed away, a little more than two years ago. When my wife and I started to look at houses in Katy, we saw a fairly new, beautiful and immaculately, well-taken care of one-story house with four bedrooms and two and a half bathrooms. We both loved the house and wanted to buy it because it was just right for our family. Then, we started to think about my father who just lost his wife of over 50 years and was going through a grieving process. We didn’t want him to be stuck in Chicago, but be able move around among his five children living in NJ, GA and TX. And we realized that in order for him to come and stay with us occasionally, we needed to have a bigger space with one extra bathroom, because it will be very difficult for my three growing boys to share one bathroom with him. We gave up what we truly wanted for the sake of honoring our parents.
Ever since college, I have always lived away from my parents in different cities for the sake of doing God’s work. As a result, I wasn’t able to spend time with them the way many of you have been able to and fulfill my responsibility as the first son of the family by taking care of them as they were getting older. Now that my mother has passed away, I can’t spend time with her even if I wanted to. But my father is still alive and if and when he comes down here to visit I want his stay with us to be as comfortable as possible. Even then, Caleb will have to give up his own room to make this happen. That’s the least I thought I can do for my father. And that’s why I bought a house with three full bathrooms in Katy that happens to be bigger but a little further and much older than the one we desired in Green Trail subdivision.
Lynette enjoys having you come over to our house. So, she randomly picks house churches and hosts them at our place. But some of you who have been to our place realize that my house is big and wonder why I live in this kind of place. I hope this answers your question.
Do I still believe in downward mobility? Of course, I do. I still have two cars that are more than 10 years old with more than 160,000 miles. I still eat $2-3 lunch. When I go to H-Mart and have $4.99 lunch special, it’s a special treat for me. I need to be saving for my children’s college tuition!
So, if you are in debt, sell all you can to pay off the debt as soon as possible. If you are not tithing, downsize your lifestyle so that you can tithe and honor God with your finances. This will help you experience financial freedom.
By the way, my house came with a swimming pool. Unfortunately, I think it came a little too late for my children. They don’t seem to enjoy it as much as they would have about five years ago.
No Comments to "Why I Bought a House with Three Full Bathrooms in Katy"