Homes and Houses, Cities and Suburbs

6 years ago

Tim and I have spent a good deal of time over the past few days debating about what we want the next step in our lives to be. We've been looking at houses and town homes in the suburbs of Chicago, and we've found quite a few that we really like and could feasibly afford. However, every time we get to thinking about putting an offer in on a place, we start talking about a bunch of "what if"s and "why we shouldn't"s and end up deciding we just don't want a house.

And, I probably should mention, the thought of getting a house scares the crap out of me and starts to make me feel sick to my stomach. It was at the point where I avoided looking at properties online or seeing them in real life because I just didn't want to.

I can't put my finger on why I was so adverse to buying a house, but I think some of it has to do with this little idea in the back of my head that a house is so much more than just a house; it's settling down, paying a mortgage, not moving again for a while, and - scariest to me - waiting to have something to fill all that space (namely children).

We have a lot of friends who got married and bought huge houses in the suburbs. When we visit some of them (not all of them - don't get angry at me yet, friends!) and talk to them, we can't help but notice that they haven't furnished or painted bedrooms - not because they don't have the money - because they figure, "Why should we when we're just going to redo it when we're pregnant anyway?" So they seem to rattle around the house, taking in all their space, eating dinner in different rooms just because they can, and wait. They wait for the time they're financially or emotionally ready to have children to fill the voids in their home.

Now, I believe there is honor in doing what is best for your budding family, and many times that is being prepared for the family to grow. Saving for and buying a house is a big deal, and shouldn't be taken lightly, and it shouldn't be looked down on, either. And I don't look down on it at all. But I don't think it's for us. Yet.

There might come a time when we are ready to make a house a home, to have children to fill the rooms of that home. There might come a time when I feel that the suburbs are the best place for Tim and me (and Penny) and whomever else we add to our family. However, that time isn't now, and that is probably why I started feeling physically uneasy when talking about mortgages and bedroom sizes.

So, after MUCH discussion (we've really been back and forth about this since about April), we've decided to take a look at some apartments in Chicago. We're not ready to buy a house and have kids, so it's either stick it out in our apartment (that we kind of hate) in the 'burbs, or go live it up in the city for a few years. Personally, I think going to the city at this point in our lives is the right thing to do. Like Tim said, no one gets to the end of their life and wishes they had bought their house a year sooner. They regret things like not moving to Chicago and living it up. So, in the spirit of no regrets, we're going to look into it.

This is a really exciting time for us, and I selfishly hope it works out and we can move to the city. I'm certainly not ready to settle down and, white it's scary for both of us to think that we're shaking things up yet again, I think shaking things up can be good. And I look forward to it.

Originally posted at Small Strokes.


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