I am an admitted house snob. I don't need a huge, fancy house, but I do need to feel proud of where I live. And I think I'm going to be embarrassed to have people over to this new house :(
So much went into this selection, and we are renting, so we are kind of at the mercy of the housing stock that is available. This is just HARD for me.
We have to move bcs dh needs to be closer to work and he has been away from us several nights a week for several months. Honestly, I don't mind this arrangement too much. Our cost of living is manageable where we are now, we get free health care, and I have made several good friends. The kids are starting to have good friends (it's taken them awhile). And it's beautiful where we live. More rural than I'd ever imagined myself, but it turns out that I pretty much love it (inconveniences aside!).
Except the schools here really are struggling, and I will be so relieved to be is a strong school system again. And that's the only thing that is making it ok.
But the house we are moving to...sigh. DH and I both have architectural backgrounds, and I think that we appreciate details and architectural interest more than most. It MATTERS to me, how the space feels. And we're moving into a raised ranch...the one house style I said I would NEVER live in (just my personal taste, no offense meant to anyone). The house has pluses...a 2 car attached garage (something we've NEVER had), 2 1/2 baths (5 of us have been managing with ONE), a beautiful little kitchen...but the house is UGLY, and the neighborhood is tacky...and I imagine people will judge me based on where I live :(
I know I have to just grow up about this, but it is something that I can't get my head around. I feel like the universe delights in making me eat my pride. I grew up so comfortably and the past several years have been such a financial struggle. I never imagined this is what my life would be :( And living in this house highlights it all I guess :(
I need a hug :(
hug!!!! Have you moved in yet? I am in a different but somewhat similar situation!! I have been living in a fantastic beautiful house for a long time. We recently moved to a different town to be both closer to dh's work, and mostly because the area where my house was is so rural and far away from others and with a little one the isolation and driving was too much. I really like the new town we are in. But we have not yet found a good house to live in in it. We have actually moved a few times and lost money in the process because each place we moved into proved to be much worse than we thought when we agreed to move in- now we are in a depressing little musty apartment with everything cheap in it and it kind of smells bad! (but it is a decent location, it is relatively clean etcetera) And we went back to the beautiful house today as we are getting it ready to rent. oh man what a contrast. So anyway- I totally feel your pain! I also grew up in nice houses- and though this is our choice- I was getting too lonely and a bit panicky with a little one and the isolation, it is stilll rough to downgrade houses after loving where you lived and to live somewhere you don't like. We are actually continuing to look for a better place. Anyway- how long of a lease do you have? Do you like the town you are now in? (or I mean moving to if you have not yet moved)
Thanks for responding. We just signed the lease today. I think that's why I'm feeling a little panicked. It's a year lease, but we intend to stay for two at least. We've moved three times since 2004 and it's getting old. I tell myself that if something better comes along I'd be willing to move at the end of the first year, but the reality is that once we are settled in, I doubt we will. The town is supposedly great. Great schools, very family friendly. A part of my anxiety is that instead of moving back to our old town where we have friends and loved everything about it, we decided to try something different and it remains to be seen whether we made the right decision. There was a house in yet another town that we were considering...great house (well, actually, no storage whatsoever, but architecturally fantastic) but the schools weren't as good and we decided not to do tiny town, USA. I just wish I knew what I WANTED. I'm not 100% convinced that this is the town that I want - just crossing my fingers really hard that everything turns out.
good luck! moving is so hard-ugh! Especially if you have kids- it is so uprooting and such a mess! I hope it is a great town for you and that you settle in well! keep us posted as things progress if you want to! I personally tend to get pretty freaked out in the transition but then I just hope that things settle down and work out okay-
We've moved a bunch of times for my DH's job and have lived in everything from a 3500 sq ft house on a private lake to a tiny tiny town house with a long walk to the single car garage. The great thing about it has been the ability to let go of attachments to outward forms and really coming to a heart felt understanding that it is the relationships between the people in the home that make it happy (or not) not the outward form of the house.
My advice is to make a list of the GREAT things about this move/house for your family and post it where you can see it. Keep reminding yourself of what is good about it, and you can become more positive about it.
(There are people who judge others based on where they live, but that says more about those people than it does about the ones they judge)
but everything has pros and cons
Linda, thank you for the advice. Funnily enough, that is what I've started to do...make a list of the POSITIVE things about the house/move. There are quite a few, so I am going to focus on that. It has already started to help my perspective. ANd you are absolutely right about it forcing me to focus on the "people" and not the "things". I guess I'm guilty of forming opinions about people based on where they live, so this is the life lesson that is teaching me to think differently. Seriously, the Universe (or God, or whatever you want to call it) has an amazing sense of humor and irony. Can't tell you how many times I get taught these life lessons! (Not just about housing, but about EVERYTHING)
You and me both, lady. We'll come out stronger in the end, though.
I also find that when I try to get the kids psyched about the move it helps me a bit. Since the beginning of the year we've moved from the house (which is all they remember) to an apartment, which was quickly over because we ended up moving in with my mom across the country, and now when our house sells we'll be moving again. So right now we're separated from all our stuff (which is back at the house, a few time zones away) and just waiting for the house to sell. So understandably they're a little unhinged and not looking forward to moving again. When I try to tell them all the Cool New Things we're going to have at the new house (like a sandbox, and new beds, and herb gardens, and we're going to bake bread again, and this and that) I start to really be reminded that, yeah, it may not be the perfect house, but it can still be our perfect home. Corny, much?
I am in CT and I know you were planning to move to CT. What town is the new house in? What town do your relatives live in?There are lots of great things to do and explore in the state- focus on some of those.You are going to love having garages. I have a degree in Interior design and also swore never to live in a raised ranch but for a few year situation rather than a forever house you will be fine. Enjoy the easy layout and ease of getting to and from the garages and don't worry about making an architectural statement.Also, enjoy having your family together again -worth more than great woodwork ! Good luck in your new home.
For those of you with architectural/design backgrounds, you might enjoy this booklet about various remodeling options for split-levels. It also describes why the houses were popular in the past and why they're not so popular now.
My own house sometimes puts me in knots but it has had unexpected benefits. For example, the families who live on our street enjoy each other so much that we often have last-minute cookouts together. That's not something that is apparent when house-shopping. There may be something wonderful in your future that you couldn't foresee now.
Seawitch- I appreciate the commiseration. Sometimes I feel like I am the only one facing some harsh realties. And they are realities that I am not comfortable expressing to real-life friends, so it helps to know that somebody understands how I feel. I'm hoping we didn't make this decision too hastily. We wanted to move by the end of the summer bcs of school and part of me feels like if we didn't take this house we'd end up in a WORSE situation, and the other part of me thinks that if we had waited, we could have ended up in a BETTER situation. That's the part of it that is hard too. It's the constant second-guessing of our decision.
Momct - we ended up in Cheshire, CT. The other front runners were West Hartford and Farmington. We were limited by dh's commute and the school systems. And the availability of houses. Part of my frustration is that I'm not even sure we picked the right TOWN. We used to live in WH and still have friends there. We LOVED it when we lived there. So why wasn't the pull to go back stronger? The fact of the matter is that we would have had to pay a couple of hundred dollars a month more to live in a "better" house and I'm just not willing to do that right now. Esp if it puts our financial goals on hold or postpones them significantly.
ElsieLC - thanks for that link. I have to say, I really enjoyed reading through it. We're renting, so no remodeling going on, but it def. opens my eyes to the advantages of the plan type. And you're right, it's hard to know what the future will bring. I wasn't so excited about this current house, either, but I've become wonderful friends with the woman across the street and knowing her has changed my life in a very positive way. So there you go! Who knows what this move will bring!
I know you are trying to help me put things in perspective, but, no, obviously not. The harsh realities are that I was not expecting to be struggling financially like this at this point in my life. DH and I know we have a lot to be thankful for...our kids are heathy, we still have our parents, we have not had to endure any tragedies. But it still smarts that after several good years, financially, we are now in a situation where we have no savings, no retirement, have to rely on my parents for piano and dance classes for the kids. THOSE are the harsh realities. We are struggling to get by, and all of our college friends and all of our siblings and all of our friends from the earlier part of our marriage are on to their next phase of life.
I get where you are coming from, but I'll almost guarantee that you'll find things to love about the new house if you approach with the right attitude. I don't have a degree in architecture or interior design, but there is definitely a certain asthetic that I prefer in a house, and my current (and possible forever) house ain't it. My house is a compomise between what DH wants in a house and what I want (on that front, our likes are polar opposites), and we had a long list of reasons for choosing the place we did.
I've been living in the house for 5 years. I still don't love it, but I can admit that some things about it are way nicer than the houses that I like - the 2 car garage for starters. In fact, when we moved in, I thought a 2 car garage was a ridiculous luxury, but now I'm wishing we'd gone for the house with the 3 car garage (so I would have room to keep my canoe and my burley attached to my bike). I love the first floor laundry - AMAZING! And the bathrooms and kitchens with plumbing that actually works reliably every single time? Awesome. I snarked on the gas burning fireplace, but now I appreciate not having to run outside for wood or spend time starting a fire. I love, love, love the layout of my kitchen, and I didn't have to do any upgrades or remodels to make it usable. And I've found ways to make it mine and get involved in the community that make me feel a little more invested.
Would I still move if I could? In a heartbeat. Do I daydream over beautiful houses I see in older parts of town? Frequently. But really, you had good reasons to make the decision you did, so now it is all just about having a positive attitude. You can do it! :) And I have to agree with the PP - if people are judging you on your house, they're just not people you need to have around you. You've called yourself a house snob, but I'll bet you wouldn't judge others in that way, right?
But it still smarts that after several good years, financially, we are now in a situation where we have no savings, no retirement, have to rely on my parents for piano and dance classes for the kids. THOSE are the harsh realities. We are struggling to get by, and all of our college friends and all of our siblings and all of our friends from the earlier part of our marriage are on to their next phase of life.
I understand now. None of that was earlier in the thread, so I wasn't getting it. Now I do.
The house seems to stand for the fact that you aren't where you want to be or where you see your peers, or where you feel like you deserve to be at this point.
Are there any breaks on the horizon for you guys financially? Do you feel like things are moving in the right direction at this point, even though you aren't where you would like to be?
but everything has pros and cons