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.

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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.


37 Responses to “Putting down roots”

  1. Ali on June 11th, 2012 4:08 pm

    Just wanted to say welcome to town.

  2. Tracy on June 11th, 2012 4:16 pm

    I’m happy to hear you’re doing so well. Any chance you can buy the place you’re renting (the house looks awesome!)?

  3. NancyJ on June 11th, 2012 4:50 pm

    That is so great to hear!
    My sister lives “country” (5 miles from town) and I live city (1 mile from center). City’s better! You’ll feel like youre carting the kids around forever. In town they can be mobile quicker.
    Whatever you find, you will make it yours.

  4. shygirl on June 11th, 2012 4:55 pm

    So, SO happy for you. This probably sounds stupid, but I knew you’d pull it off somehow. The ache just came through your writing so clearly; you wanted this *so much*. And you got it!

    (I can’t believe I’m getting teary-eyed over the good fortune of someone I’ve never met, but there you go! ;)

  5. H on June 11th, 2012 4:55 pm

    Wonderful! This is so exciting! We made the same country-vs-city decision and we never regretted it. As the kids got older, we were so thankful we did. We also have a cabin on a lake about an hour away, so we still had access to the great outdoors.

  6. Maureen on June 11th, 2012 5:04 pm

    I’m so happy for you, it sounds like you had minimal relocation angst, which is just awesome. I know you wanted a place with some acreage, but at least you have the cabin so close, and can have that rural getaway. Do you want livestock? Is that why you want the acreage?

    I am also curious about your rental, is it not on the market? It looks wonderful, when was it built? It looks very midcentury modern to me, which I love.

  7. Sarah on June 11th, 2012 5:06 pm

    Wonderful. I am so happy to hear this!

  8. Linda on June 11th, 2012 5:11 pm

    No, unfortunately the rental isn’t available — the owner actually grew up here, and plans to sell her house elsewhere in town in order to move back here in September.

  9. Courtney on June 11th, 2012 5:13 pm

    Oh this is a wonderful update!!!!

  10. Amy N on June 11th, 2012 5:15 pm

    So happy for you all! Jealous as hell, but very happy for you :)

  11. Tracy on June 11th, 2012 5:31 pm

    Bummer that the rental isn’t available. I’m crossing my fingers you’ll find a great place. Maybe if you pretend you’re on House Hunters, it will be more fun looking. Practice saying, “this room is a good size.” Or something about entertaining (who are all these people who “entertain?” We’ve had non-family over maybe 3 times in the 6 years we’ve been in our house.)

  12. Niki on June 11th, 2012 5:43 pm

    So ridiculously happy for you crazy cats and your brood. You’re so damned brave!!

  13. Betsy on June 11th, 2012 6:26 pm

    Congrats! So glad to hear that you’re loving the change.

  14. Victoria on June 11th, 2012 6:35 pm

    So very happy for you. (And understanding the looking for places pain.) Hurrah!

  15. Becky Mochaface on June 11th, 2012 6:47 pm

    So happy for you guys!

  16. Deb on June 11th, 2012 6:52 pm

    What ShyGirl said – so, so happy for you. Envious!

  17. Lisa Ann on June 11th, 2012 7:11 pm

    that last picture has me so jealous!

  18. Amy on June 11th, 2012 7:55 pm

    Yay! I love that you are so happy. You deserve it. When you see the right house, you will just KNOW.

  19. sooboo on June 11th, 2012 7:55 pm

    One thing we did when we were house hunting was to write an ideal vision of exactly what we wanted in a perfect, utopian situation. Even though we didn’t get everything on the list, it helped us to see what the other person had to have and what was less important. Weirdly, even on our tight budget, we did get many things that were on the list.

    Man, it looks like you’re already living the fuckin dream fo sho!

  20. Megan on June 11th, 2012 9:00 pm

    I’m so very glad to hear you’re happy! I hope you find the bestest house.

  21. Kami on June 11th, 2012 10:46 pm

    I’am so glad to hear you’re happy! I had to laugh reading about it, you sound exactly like I did, except mine was about getting a divorce. Best thing ever.

    Change is good. Yes.

  22. Fiona on June 12th, 2012 1:09 am

    Good luck on the house front – I’m sure you’ll end up in the right place! Very happy that you’re so happy :)

  23. Anne on June 12th, 2012 6:05 am

    House hunting stress aside, I am SO happy for you all. I can feel the content smiles coming through your posts/pictures/tweets, and it makes me smile, too.

  24. Clueless But Hopeful Mama on June 12th, 2012 6:18 am

    Your journey to this place (and the place that will come soon!) has been SO inspiring to me! I hope that luck is on your side and you find a home that isn’t to much of a compromise for anyone.

  25. Nolita on June 12th, 2012 6:34 am

    Sending positive vibes for the perfect home for you guys. It is so awesome that you are living your dream and makes me happy to see you happy!

  26. Molly on June 12th, 2012 8:54 am

    Just wanted to add in that, with the cabin, you have your “country” so the decision to stay close to the action is a good one, I think.

    Thanks for letting us ride this journey with you! You should work for the Eugene Chamber – I want to move there now!

  27. Redbecca on June 12th, 2012 9:32 am

    Congrats, Linda! I’m so glad you and your family are going to get to live out your dreams!

  28. Rachel on June 12th, 2012 9:34 am

    I am so happy you’re living your dream.

  29. telegirl on June 12th, 2012 9:42 am

    I feel for you. We were in the same situation last year here in Salem. We ended up in a surprisingly great house (our budget was decent but not what we had hoped) and we were able to agree on what to compromise on. One thing my husband insisted we have is an RV pad and we just got our camp trailer in March so that was a good decision. Keep that in mind. :) We love our neighborhood and we were so lucky to find the house we found. I have faith you will fall into something wonderful as well.

  30. Faith on June 12th, 2012 4:34 pm

    I am so, so, SO happy for you. I applaud your decision to dial back your budget. It’s hard to resist spending all the money you have, but definitely smarter to save for things you don’t anticipate… and a camper sounds right up your alley!

  31. Jenny on June 12th, 2012 5:02 pm

    We moved two years ago from a big house to a much smaller house (in the same town.) We only miss the space occasionally (mostly when it hasn’t stopped raining for a week), and it’s a location we adore, near everything, as you said. In the two years we’ve been in this location, we’ve saved enough on mortgage payments to *pay off our house.* We’re freeeeee! And now can start saving for my husband’s early retirement. Shifting your expectations can make a huge difference to the shape of your whole life, and since you’re transitioning anyway, you might as well!

  32. Erin on June 13th, 2012 8:44 am

    i’m inspired! thanks for the great post — makes me excited to move from D.C. to the california desert. A little different than Eugene, but a slower pace of life.

  33. marilyn on June 14th, 2012 10:04 am

    Eugene sounds idyllic. And the idea to look for a less pricey place, while tricky when navigating what flaws you can handle, sounds like it will be such a load off your shoulders for the future! Everyone talks about “simplifying” — so few people actually succeed in doing it.

  34. shannon on June 15th, 2012 6:44 am

    can you purchase your current rental you love so much?

  35. souphead on June 22nd, 2012 10:23 am

    so so ridiculously happy for you guys!!

  36. Kate on June 22nd, 2012 1:50 pm

    I haven’t read your blog in ages & just “stopped by” to see how you’re doing. (I’m also the mom to 2 boys & a runner & you always make me laugh). It’s so exciting to read about your move. Last I’d read you were longing to move but there were many things to work out. Congratulations! All the best to you & your family.

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