After several years of living in the suburbs, my hubby and I are going urban. We're selling our big sprawling house on the prairie this spring and are moving into the city. Can't wait.
Here are some of the reasons why:
- Big, big yawn. We are way past bored out in the 'burbs. 2.5 kids and a suburban just doesn't do it for us, and people here think we're odd for that (I'm sure).
- Diversity. While our neighbors couldn't be nicer people...we find the lack of diversity here boring. It's like living in Stepford. The lawns are perfect; the houses are perfect; the cars are perfect. And we hardly ever see anyone out and about. It's like nobody lives here. Plus, it's mostly white, corporate/professional types, Bible belters. Nothing wrong with any of that, but we think it's just more interesting to mix it all up with people from different places, cultures and interests. Stimulates my brain cells more, and I can certainly use that. When we go urban, I'm hoping for more variety -- white, black, purple, green, foreign nationals, gay, straight, young, old, artsy, professional, whatever. Makes life more fun.
- I want to walk. In the city, we can park the cars and walk to almost everything. We're moving to a part of downtown that has walking access to shops, cafes, an art cinema, Starbucks, the gym, the grocery store, church and the bike trail. I may never drive again! And if I do, it'll be on the Vespa, zooming in and out of local traffic.
- Easy shut down. Since we spend half of our time in Florida, it will be so much easier to shut down a townhouse and leave it for a month vs. a house.
- Changing styles. I've been wanting to change my interior decore to a more transitional/contemporary style, and this gives me a great chance to do it. I'll send things that don't work in that genre to the consignment store and replace them with that clean-lined, modern look (think Barbara Barry) Yippee! My hubby always complains when I want to "refurnish" but then approves highly when it's finally done.
In searching for the right property, I've come to realize how relatively inexpensive it is to buy housing here. A nice townhouse in the trendy part of town can go for about $200-$300 a square foot. I just read in the London Times that prices per square foot in London are in the $3000 per square foot range. That's more than Manhattan...and Palm Beach.
For my British friends out there....how can anyone afford to buy a home there? Ouch! At London prices, my new townhouse would have cost around $8M dollars. Ha! That would mean me = renter for life.