24 Oct 2006

Missing Home

Posted by AC

There’s been a little bit of activity on our home in Altoona. We have a contract with a contingency that the buyer needs to sell his home, and we just learned that he had a contract. While I’m terribly excited that soon we won’t be having to pay both rent and mortgage, and glad not to own a house that would otherwise sit unattended through a winter, I’m still a little saddened by it.

We were settled in Altoona. Clearly inappropriately so, but settled nonetheless. Our space was comfortable. And, perhaps above all, it was ours!

We’re renting again, and I’d kind of forgotten what it feels like. Sure, it’s easier in some ways; The dishwasher’s broken, and it’s not my care to replace it. But it feels, I don’t know, just less like home.

It also feels like the first time in our “adult” lives where we’ve lived in rented space without knowing when it was going to end. Now, in the past (Lancaster), it didn’t always end when we knew it was going to, but we only ever imagined it in one-year chunks. Now, we’re living here, and sure, we know it to be temporary, but we don’t have a specific end in sight.

I don’t want to live in the sort of house I could afford to own around here. I assume that at some point, ownership prices will equalize with rental prices, and this won’t be the case, but frankly, I’m not even sure I’d want to own the sort of place I can afford to rent around here!

We’ve seen some neat neighborhoods, especially along some twisty roads tucked in the Berkeley hills, but I still haven’t seen where I would want to live even if I could afford it. The magic combination of access to transit and infrastructure, while still having acreage and a view. And of course if such a place does exist here somewhere, the likelihood that I’d be able to afford it even if the stock options took off — well, feeling pretty slim.

So, while I knew I’d miss the people, and I knew I’d miss the house specifically, I guess I didn’t realize how much I’d miss the space generally. I guess that’s what city living means though. I mean there is a Thai restaurant and an Indian restaurant about 5 blocks from here. Still, damn trade-offs.

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