12 January 2012
The six year housing study
In our first apartment we battled sweaty windows and black mold, but enjoyed a loft which could only be accessed via a ladder and amazing views of Lake Washington from our large covered deck. We delighted in the cheap rent and proximity to restaurants and stores.
In a desperate attempt to find a place to live, we made the jump across the water and found a town home with dueling master suites and three bathrooms. Although this place was brand new; its sage walls and matching carpet made it feel more like a cave than a home. We had a tiny deck, no view and usually opted to not be home. For some reason this place never quite felt like home and within thirteen months, we were off to better things.
We struck gold when we found a top floor, light filled condo with an amazing rooftop deck and views of Mt. Rainier, downtown and the Puget Sound. We enjoyed our unit, our floor and although living in a place with an elevator required an extra dose of patience, we appreciated our kind neighbors and the safety and security which comes from living in a lock out building.
In our most recent search for housing, I stumbled upon a 100 year old craftsman home with a large covered porch, big back deck and views of the Puget Sound and Cascade mountains from the master suite. I have always wanted to live in an old home with a covered porch and am currently saving my pennies to buy large rugs and drapes.
In all these moves the past few years, I have learned that if you give us a week or two we can make any place feel like a home. We can find kind people, new friends and fun at every turn. Moving from a condo to a home has been interesting to hear people's reactions. Phrases such as "you are moving up in the world", "you have made it", and "you must be so happy to finally be in a house" are common occurrences. In an effort to avoid sounding ungrateful I just smile. In actuality, I firmly believe that where I live or how much I spend to live there will never determine my happiness, my perceptions or how successful an individual I am. As much as society and others try to convince me that buying a house is the American dream, I am uncertain if it is really my dream. I may just be as content to live in a condo, an apartment or a town home. Give me a year or two here and I will let you know.