We’ve lived in our house for over 33 years, and while we sometimes look at each other and say "whatever possessed us to buy a house?" we’ve been very happy here. We’ve made changes and we have plenty of renovation work we need to do, but hey, what homeowner can’t say that? Here are the five things we like the best about our home.
- It’s bigger than we need, but not too big. We have room to spare, but it isn’t as if we have an entire vacant wing. A family with several children could live here comfortably, but it isn’t a McMansion.
- It’s in a good neighborhood. The houses in our subdivision are considered "starter" homes, but it’s been stable, without too many people moving in or out. It’s quiet, with the exception of Independence Day and New Year’s Eve and the occasional loud party from the people behind us (which always ends by midnight). It’s always been a racially-mixed subdivision, which contributes to the stability: everybody gets along and leaves each other alone. That doesn’t mean we totally ignore each other, though. When situations dictate, we all pitch in. There was an elderly gentleman with Alzheimer’s living with his daughter and her family. One day he wandered away from home, and they were frantic looking for him. Several of the neighbors and we drove around the neighborhood looking for him. Turns out he was across the street, sitting in the backyard of a family who was out of town, cold and thirsty. The family next door to us found him and got him home.
- It’s close to shopping and restaurants. There was nothing here within a reasonable distance when we first moved here. Now we’re five minutes from about a dozen restaurants, three grocery stores, Target, Home Depot, a half dozen gas stations, and a Starbucks. There’s a movie theater, which we never go to anymore (who can afford it?), a library, and other amenities. Everything we need within 5 miles of home.
- This magnolia. In front of the house. About 15 feet tall. Gets these beautiful aromatic blossoms every year.
- It’s all ours. We’ve paid the mortgage in full. When we first signed the mortgage, Mary looked at me and said "We’ll be in debt for the rest of our lives!" I’m happy to say it didn’t turn out that way.
We’ve lived here since November 1987, for both of us the longest we’ve lived anywhere. Others in our position have moved two or three times. This is more than a house to us: it’s home.