Wednesday, April 09, 2008

what I learned

Logical thinking aside, I'm still on the lookout for a new house when we move to our new city. My realtor there is fueling the fire, because she has me on an automatic update alert so I can view new properties as they come on the market. That's what I've asked her to do...and it really is fun being in the buyer position (or at least, the fantasy buyer position.)

I've given some thought to how things went when we were touring around last week, looking at neighborhoods, considering suburbs, looking at houses. And what I've learned is that I am who I am, there is no changing me. Better to realize that now than to keep going on a wild goose chase.

What I like in a house: old, charming, character. Mature trees. Pretty streets with houses that are just as pretty as the one I'm in. Newer homes on newer streets just don't hold the same appeal to me, much as I love the space in the new kitchens & baths, and especially new closets and mud rooms.

When I think about it, it makes perfect sense that I like what I do. When I was growing up, my parents kept us in the same city but moved us around a bit. Every house was old, or older. One was downright ancient (built in 1817.)

My grandparents lived in the same city and both sets lived in older homes. My dad's parents lived in a home that was a cavernous maze of bedrooms upstairs. The downstairs was just as unique, as was the property it sat on.

When my husband and I got married, we looked for an apartment in Chicago that we could call our own. We found the perfect one in the middle of Lakeview. It was old: transom windows above the doors, a little wood-burning stove, magnificent old windows, 12-foot ceilings. It was drafty and the wood floors were slightly slanted, but I loved it. After we moved out it was razed for new construction, and though we've been down the street since, I couldn't even tell you what the new place looks like, except to say that it looks just like the new one next to it.

Something else I've learned about myself when it comes to finding our next home is that I can't compromise. It's just not enough for me to like it. I must love it. My house is too much of a source of pride for me, too integral a part of myself. It's an expression of me. I have be in love with that expression. It was the same for the city apartment and the Little Cottage here. Both I have loved. Both I will remember and cherish the time I spent in them for the rest of my life.


jilly said...

My sentiments exactly! I totally agree with you regarding house pride/love!

Lori said...

Great post! I couldn't agree more with the older homes on the pretty tree-lined streets~ there is no substitute. :)
I enjoyed your before & after pictures~ amazing! Your home is lovely!!

Kim - ScrapToMyLu said...

I am just getting caught up! WOW! You're moving! I think you are such an amazing parent to be doing what you're doing. It WILL all be fine and you'll find your next cottage!

becky said...

I KNOW that you will end up in a place just as amazing as your current cottage...because you will choose a home that you LOVE, you'll add your fabulous decorating touch and you'll fill it with wonderful family memories!

bj said...

I feel just the very same way...hang in there, girl, and don't "do it" unless you absolutely LOVE it to pieces!

Shabbee Chick said...

Hey Meg!

Just wanted to be sure you got my emails!

Let me know if you didn't!

Amber ;)

LivingTheLife said...

You are a very smart young woman...stick with what you LOVE, you will never be disappointed! I love old, too...however, we are building new...b/c we have not found our forever home (we are empty nesters now) and have decided to build something that is timeless (it has taken us forever to find a builder that will stick to the timeless traditions) it will have many of the qualities of the old stuff I love so much...and if I could I would "so" buy old...we just don't have near as many selections here as in other areas of the US...and we wanted we are doing something we know will work for us.

I admire you for sticking to your beliefs in what is right for you and your family. Sometimes we all get caught up in the latest things and gadgets...but to me there is nothing more rewarding than waiting for what you want...and I know it will come to you...soon!

Best of all...your son will benefit greatly from you knowing what is right for your family! Best of luck!


paige said...

i totally agree.
such a sweet post.
still wishing you luck as you make such a tender/personal decision

christy said...

I love older houses, too. Ours will be 100 next year!

Belle-ah said...

I feel the very same way and though we have owned mostly newer homes the one I truly loved and still love was a beautiful maze of 50-70 and 100 year old additions that formed a great home. Although in our older home I didn't have some of the modern amenities I never felt lacking or less than even when friends bought gorgeous, huge, McMansions. I loved our old home.

Stitcher S said...

I agree completely! I love the space in newer homes as far as kitchens go...and I love their high ceilings but I love trees and older neighborhoods.

Merci-Notes said...

Exactly! Even though we settled on a new home (in case we moved again in two years). For me, my home is an expression of me and my love for my family. Everything I give to my home is for them... I do not mean I put an indoor hockey floor in the front livingroom! hahaha.