07 July 2006

taking up residence in the land of denial

Though we still don't know if a move to California is in our future, I am pretending it isn't for now. And while our house is adequate, it's far from perfect and could get very crowded if another child arrives. (No, I'm still not pregnant.) We like our neighborhood, in spite of the insane taxes that have sent many of our friends outside the city and county. The thought of a long commute is more than enough to make me want to stay in this vicinity.

New construction if pretty hard to come by in the city but there is a new development a few minutes away from our current house that has many attractive attributes. The houses are lovely, especially this one. While it's not my favorite look on the outside (hate the chimney monster that is the focal point from the street), the floorplan is ideal. The first floor master suite means the dogs would not have to go upstairs unless they wanted to. And we could easily give that up and move upstairs to the guest room is CD's mum or anyone else needing to stay on the first floor happened to visit. Looking ahead a few years, there's plenty of room in the kitchen area for a computer that Oliver could use. I believe strongly in kids' computers being located in high-traffic areas, not tucked away in their rooms.

The main drawback, other than the prices, is that lifestyle change would be required. Since having dogs, my first priority when looking for a house has been a large fenced yard. Our realtor learned early on that I would look at the lot first, then tell her if it was worth our time to see the house. Her mom has a Clumber so she understood. The lots in this development are tiny and not fenced, in order to encourage neighborly interaction and use of the common spaces. There are good places to walk dogs in the development and a large park a short walk away. We would all benefit from the exercise and since I don't see us having puppies for quite a few years, it's not an unreasonable change for us to make.

The kids in our current neighborhood play in the street. I can't imagine letting Oliver do that do the play areas and community center/pool at the development are appealing.

Our timing is relatively good. There was a lottery for the early stages of Phase I of this development. Now that they are getting ready to start Phase II, things are much less competitive. If we decide to pull the trigger on it, we can. We will probably send in the small, fully-refundable deposit next month, and have a few more months before the point of no return.

So, do I really want to live on top of what was once a slag heap? (Go here for more about brownfields development in Pittsburgh.)

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