Part 3: A Mama’s Urban Adventure to the Other Side:

A Mama’s Urban Adventure to the Other Side:

Part 3

By Heather Rachel Rose 


Hi friends. I’m back. Time to discuss real estate and its many options. I
looooovvvveeee gushing over real estate. I look forward to going to open houses, and
there aren’t enough words in the English language to express the delight I take in
looking online. At any given moment, I can so easily stop whatever I’m doing to
fantasize about all the different lives I could lead based on where I am living. And
believe me, I have spent many an hour down this rabbit hole. Can I tell you another
secret? Promise you won’t judge? My travels down the rabbit hole are precisely what
led me to urburban life in the first place.


A few years ago, my friend grabbed her laptop and pulled up a real estate
website; it was as if the skies parted to reveal a glimpse of heaven. Expansive
Victorians with wrap-around porches. Adorable bungalows with bright yellow doors.
Colonials with sunrooms. O.M.G. I was instantly hooked. She had decided she was
ready to move her family out of Brooklyn and tempted me to start looking. As we
scrolled together, I thought about every aspect of leaving the city. More space for less
money. Public school without the hassle of applications and waitlists…this was quite a
seductive rabbit hole. I’ll join in “just for fun,” I said. Ha! It wasn’t long before “just for
fun” turned into “what time are we leaving for the open house on Sunday?”
House-hunting became my newest addiction, and I couldn’t deny it. While it was
possible to raise two girls in an apartment, I was so curious about how it would feel to
not only have the extra physical space, but the mental and emotional space to breathe
as well. Once I was open to observing what was on the other side, I needed to fully
immerse myself in the experience. Decision made.


Fairly quickly, I found a house that had everything I was missing in Brooklyn and
fell head over heels in love. There was something about this particular house and its
surrounding neighborhood that reminded me of city life. It was on a small lot, so we
would be close to our neighbors. It had a brownstone-like vibe with its long narrow yard
and swoon-worthy original details. There was a butcher block kitchen island and two
living rooms, one of which became a dance studio for my growing girls.


Even with all its perfection, however, I made a few big mistakes along the way.
Mistakes that potentially could have been avoided if I had I discussed my wants and
needs with an expert. I found this house, and I made a bid. I wish I had enough
foresight to admit that I didn’t know everything this process held. Alas, I just signed on
the dotted line. And a couple of months later, I moved on to the honeymoon phase of
this new relationship with my actual, real-live, piece of property. I was not just a
homeowner; I was a house owner.


We moved at the end of the school year, just in time for summer. I found the
community pool, and my kids loved it there. And when we were done swimming for the
day, it didn’t mean we were done playing outside. We would head home, and they
would safely run around in the yard while I cooked dinner. We went on leisurely walks
down quiet, tree-lined streets, on our way into town for ice cream. Even with my lack of
knowledge beginning this process, I was so lucky to have found the right environment. It
felt like the perfect mix of city and suburbia, with its energetic walkability and privacy.


I’ll be honest with you, though. Even with this hybrid of urburban perfection,
something just didn’t feel right to this mama. I began to wonder if I had been
disillusioned by my initial fantasy…until the day I walked by an apartment building, and
the skies parted again. I learned that moving to the suburbs doesn’t necessarily mean
moving to a house. A little over a year ago, I moved my family within town to an
apartment, and that’s when I fell in love all over again. (Note: I still have more space
than I did in Brooklyn. No matter where you live outside the city, you always get more
for your money.) For me, apartment living balances the city life I once feared leaving
behind with the amenities I hadn’t been able to access before.


Suburban life doesn’t automatically equate to a white picket fence and two-car
garage. The most amazing thing about real estate is its options. And even better, if you
try a house to see if it fits, like I did, and it doesn’t, the possibilities for something that
does fit are endless. You can live on a secluded cul-de-sac, or you can live on a main
street. You can mow the lawn yourself, or you can hire a landscaper to do it for you.
You can even pay your neighbor’s high-schooler to complete the task! Major perk of this
lifestyle!


I learned that life’s transitions are all about finding what works for my family and
me. I just needed a little time, a little guidance, and I needed to stay strong in the face of
real estate temptation.

Remember to click back next week for Part 4 to read about these
transitions in urburbia…

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Jenn

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