Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Patio Spaces and Home Buying

It's been exceptionally nice out lately and I'm itching to spend more time outside. However, our bare concrete patio and rickety deck/lawsuit-in-the-making are less than inviting on a sunny Saturday afternoon. My dissatisfaction with our outdoor living area is only compounded when I find dozens of photos like these in my blog reader:

Don't you want to be wherever it is that patio exists?

And speaking of patios, check out this article about the cost of outdoor space in New York City. Yowza!

Prior to buying our house I couldn't have cared less about finding a home with outdoor living space. But now? After living in this house longer than I've lived anywhere other than my parent's place, I can't stop thinking, What were we thinking buying a house without a covered patio space! What fools we are!

It's so funny that owning a house makes me want to own a better house. It's beyond counterintuitive. Matt and I bust our asses to be able to pay the mortgage every month, but for some reason this house just isn't good enough. I want more. I want a better house with a higher mortgage! I want something in excess of what I need simply because I want it! I'm such a... what's the word... Oh, right. I'm such an American.

Way back in good old 2007, Matt and I were living in a crap hole rental with two other guys. (Only one of the four of us ever cleaned. I'll let you guess who that was.) We ended up engaged and really wanted to put our renting days behind us. We lived in mid-town and had high hopes of staying in the area. Little did we realize that our budget would only afford us a different crap hole if we stayed in the neighborhood. These houses we looked at were bad. The decent looking ones were tiny, and the sizable ones were just all around icky. Since we were already at the top of our budget, there was no money left for renovations if we bought one of the baddies. We found one that we liked that was cheaper than cheap at $95K. It was really cute, but it was parked right next to four shady apartment buildings. Bummer.

(Keep in mind all this was happening about six months prior to the bottom falling out of the housing market. If we'd held off for a year we could have bought a nice house in the neighborhood for less than our budget.)

After about 30 houses we ended up looking at places out of our desired area, gradually easing our way west until we hit 90th street. One day I just happened to see a house posted that was within our budget and that was newly remodeled on the inside. At this point our list of priorities was:

1. Three bedrooms
2. Clean and updated
3. No large brick buildings next door
4. Will we be able to resell it

We bought it and we love it. Not very many people make their first home their "forever home" and we daydream about what we want next time around. The list is extensive. And it keeps getting longer. In the last six months we've gone from family of two to family of three, plus an in-home studio for work. "More than enough space," has been reduced to "Adequate for the next three or four years." It's kind of scary that life is happening this fast.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

that is just beautiful. i saved it under "backyard inspiration" in my pictures. thanks for sharing. i want to be outside too!