Take, for example, our house. We bought it nearly three years ago. It's lovely. High ceilings, lots of windows, gorgeous landscaping. It seemed to be a big step "up" from our old house - both in square footage and prestige. It is in a "high-demand" subdivision, where homes often sell within days of listing. The thing is, we weren't really in need of more square footage and prestige is not something that matters to us.
So, you may ask, why did we move?
We moved for different schools, because we didn't feel the school system we were in was serving our children well. Private schools didn't appeal to us because the thought of paying tuition on top of the very high property taxes in our community seemed ludicrous. We felt (and still feel) that supporting local public schools is the right thing to do for us. (No judgment here for those who make other choices; every family is different!)
We moved for green space and a less urban atmosphere. I love to garden and in our tiny urban back yard I had thriving blackberries, raspberries and blueberries, and three 16 square-foot raised beds. We had installed rain barrels and a clothes line. I anticipated even more of the same at our new house.
We moved for more privacy. At our old house, we had neighbors so close on one side that we could smell their cigarette smoke and hear them arguing in Serbian, even in the winter time. From the other side, we could hear the high-pitched yaps of a lonely lap dog through two sets of closed windows all day long.
We knew we were giving up walkability and some truly wonderful neighbors. We knew we would miss the eclectic personality of our neighborhood.
We were enchanted by the woods behind the house, the koi pond with the waterfall, the pool in the neighborhood. The house was so spacious, so new, so grand.
We didn't know that we would be one of a very small number of folks without lawn services to manicure each edge and bed. Or that we would be one of the few to eschew pesticides and herbicides on our lawn, so that our friendly yellow dandelions would stick out like hillbillies at a society cotillion. Or that we would plant the only Obama sign on the street. Or that clotheslines are prohibited by the HOA. Or that our entire backyard, lovely as it is, is entirely shaded and gardens are prohibited in front yards by the HOA.
We never guessed that our house would feel too big; be just too much - too much to decorate, to accessorize, to furnish, to clean and maintain. As we made plans to update and decorate, we realized that this just isn't the right place for us. We will never be able to live the life we really want to live in this house. It doesn't feel like "us". It's weighing us down. We want to simplify and own less stuff so that we can have more experiences with our girls before they are all grown up and gone.
And so we are on the move again. This time to a smaller house with fewer rules. Less stuff, more fun. Call me crazy.