There’s been a lot written and talked about regarding housing and real estate lately. Since most of us live somewhere, most of us have some sort of stake in “the housing market”, whether as renters or mortgage-holders. (Perhaps some of you out there are really homeowners — I only know one or two people who really are.)
Well, after thinking about it for years, starting and chickening out twice, and trying to figure out what the heck the “right” thing to do really was, A. and I found the house we wanted to live in about 11 months ago. 10 months ago we moved in. The part of me that reads WAAAAY too many financial websites wonders if we did the right thing. Housing prices have fallen since then, so maybe we could’ve gotten a better deal. But on the other hand, financing has gotten harder to secure, even with really really good credit ratings. A’s recent job changes might actually matter now, as opposed to being pretty much a non-issue when we bought this house. The interest rate is a little higher. Etc.
But the part of me that actually lives in this house knows that we made exactly the right choice. I love it. And moreover, I love the community I live in.
I was raised in a town that had a post office, a tavern, a general store and two churches. While they were all walking distance, nothing else was. The nearest grocery store was 17 miles away (over a mountain pass — for real). The nearest gas station was 5. Let’s not discuss how far it was to the nearest Starbucks.
I am absolutely gobsmacked and enamoured of how much I can walk to in this town. This is an incomplete list, but here are some things that Grey (2 years old) and I (nearly 9 months pregnant) can and have walked to: the library, post office, town hall/voting center, playground, elementary school, our bank, a used book store, ice cream stand, a live theater, a bicycle store, a learning toys store, Grey’s dance studio, Dunkin’ Donuts, Honeydew Donuts, independent bakeries, grocery store, Walgreens, 3 salons, farm stand, massage studios (multiple), 2 sushi restaurants, Indian restaurant, innumerable Italian restaurants, liquor store, billiards hall, our chiropractor, used sporting goods store, 3 different medical specialties (hoping never to need the hematology and oncology clinic, thanks), and lots of other things.
This morning I wanted to get an eye exam. I have yet to be impressed by an independent optometrist, so I decided that at least Pearl Vision would be professional and not obnoxious. So I walked there (less than a mile). On my way, I stopped at the bookstore to buy a book in case I had to wait long for an exam. On the way back I stopped at a local bakery and bought a delicious bagel and some snackies. I stopped by the farm stand to see what they sold (mostly flowers and decorations — no produce sadly).
This was entirely plausible for me, even in my gravid condition.
How COOL is that?
And that’s not all that’s neat about our location. A longish walk (too far for toddlers) the other direction is the Middlesex Fells reservation and the Stone Zoo. Oh yeah, and we’re less than a mile from I93 and maybe 2 miles from I95.
There’s a carillon that plays on the hour in the town commons. Every time I hear it, I think what a cool place this is to live.
And just to add a topping to my conviction that I’m living where I want to, this is what greeted me this morning as I began my walk. These pictures is taken in front of our house: