One of my favorite things about this move is our new proximity to the cabin. It’s about an hour away now, and we spent the last two weekends driving down after JB gets off work on Friday, then meandering home on Saturday afternoon. The experience of going there on a whim, with minimal packing, zero pressure to fit in family visits, and a short, scenic drive as opposed to an endless soul-sucking slog on I-5, has been phenomenal.
We’re house-hunting in earnest these days, knowing that our lease turns into a pumpkin at the end of the summer. It has been a draining pursuit, with lots of come-to-Jesus discussions about what kind of mortgage we want to take on, what part of town we want to target, and what our long-term plans might be.
Our initial plan was to find a place outside of town with some acreage, but we’ve fallen in love with the area we’re living in now. It’s so close to everything — bike paths, shopping, gyms, schools, parks, recreation centers, you name it — and we both can see that being really beneficial while the kids are in school.
The country-vs-city decision involved a lot of soul-searching (especially for JB), but I think it’s been even harder trying to finalize our real estate price range. At first it seemed reasonable to buy something that was close to what we sold our Seattle house for, but after a lot of Excel-peering and Advil-chugging, we dialed back our target price by … well, by many, many dollars. There’s been a lot to consider (hello, surprisingly painful Eugene property taxes!), but ultimately we decided that it was smarter to have a monthly payment that gave us more flexibility, not only for emergencies and saving, but also for things like a camping trailer someday.
So now we have a fairly tight budget, but we’re looking in one of the most desirable areas of town. As you can imagine, every house that we’ve seen has been a compromise in some way, and I know it sounds ridiculously naive, but I’d sort of pictured us sifting through listing after listing, cherry-picking the most awesome, perfect place from an enormous collection of awesome, perfect places. Instead, it’s like, okay, can we live with these shitty things if these other things are decent? And then we inevitably disagree on which things take priority. Gah.
Anyway, I’m hopeful that we’ll find something soon, and in the meantime — oh, you guys, I am loving being here so, so much. I love the house we’re in, I love being able to hop on my bike and ten minutes later I’m zipping along the river, I love that JB is enjoying his job so much, I love that the weather is warmer and sunnier. This was the best change I have ever, ever made, and my god, I’m so insanely grateful to have had the opportunity.