I recently made the decision to purchase a home in my new city. I’ve officially been here long enough to know what I like about the place. Conversely, I also know what makes me crazy.
After my brain registered the list of cons against living in Chicago, I realized that the negative items on this city’s list are all manageable. I can handle that people drive slowly, that the so-called grid system is a farce, and that I have to drive all over creation to get to the places I want to be.
I’ve since learned to leave with plenty of time, armed myself with a GPS, and started being the one who chooses where we’re going.
That being said, I’ve come across new frustrations. Thankfully these will vanish once I find my future abode, but until then I’m shaking my fist at the city.
Before house hunting, it’s important to get your home’s features in-mind. I know that I want something that’s at least 1600 square feet, has at least 3 beds and 2 baths, isn’t too far from one of the highways, isn’t west of a particular landmark, and either has a pool or room for a pool. It’s an added bonus if I have no grass to mow, can quickly hop on a running path, and have mountain access within a few minutes.
The issue with this is that it describes dang near every house in the central, eastern, southern, and northern areas of the city. Narrowing it down from there has been stressful.
The homes are newer in the north, but I’m father from my usual hang-outs. The eastern homes are a little too close to an area I want to avoid due to untz-untz types. The homes to the south scream “Suburbs!”
The central homes are generally acceptable as far as location goes. However, these also have their frustrations.
First, this city is so hit or miss when it comes to places I’d want to live — down to the street level. I can wander down one street, ooh and ahh over the up-kept homes and landscaping, only to turn the corner and see someone with friggin’ goats in their front yard.
Yeah, I’m exaggerating… But I have seen swing sets in the front yard, a broken down school bus in another, and — I kid you not — a statue of a donkey.
I do not find this acceptable for my neighborhood.
Add to my frustrations that I live in a short-sale kinda city. Foreclosures I can handle. Because the banks already own the home, they know what they want and how it’s going to work. Why they don’t set a number for their short sale listings to expedite the process, I don’t know. But if I come across a short sale property, I need to prepare an offer, wait, hear back that it’s going to be a bit longer, wait, and then hear that I’ll have to wait some more. At that rate, I’ll be in the home by Christmas… if I get in the home at all.
I do not find this acceptable for my timetable.
In sum, I want out of this silly apartment. Sure, it’s nice. Sure, it’s big. Sure, the price is decent. However, I need a sense of permanency. My past year and a half has been such a bounce-around clusterfuck that all I want to do is shout, “Mine! Mine! Mine!” and plop down somewhere comfortable for the next several years.
Bonus points if there are hardwood floors.