It Thursday, which means it’s time for our regular person who isn’t Nelson, Vanessa. There’s less cursing, but more coherent thought, so that’s a plus.
Over the weekend, I went for a drive in the Alberta countryside and toured different towns. I got the 411 on which places were the cool areas to live in and why and never in my life have I pretended more to care about soil conditions and roof construction. Did you know that upper Midland has a chance of sinking or something? You’re welcome.
One house we drove by was having an open house and the lovely gentlemen that I was with thought that it would be fun to visit and confirm all of his assumptions about the house. Seeing as it was a free way to spend my afternoon (I like free), I went into a stranger’s house and rifled through their cupboards.
When I refused to go into the spooky basement that had a 100% chance of having a spooky skeleton, I was abandoned and started thinking about whether or not I would live in this small, cheap house. Sure, the house wasn’t perfect but, I’m not a picky person and will happily live anywhere where there’s sunshine and a place to sit outside.
Years ago, I wanted to buy a tiny, two-bedroom, 900 square foot house near a bus stop for about $100 000. I went over the numbers for days and had pretty much come to the decision to buy it when my parents intervened. I’m not supposed to buy a house at 22 – I’m supposed to wait, get married and then buy a big house that I can grow into – AKA: buy a big, five-bedroom house like theirs for $250 000 and pay for it until I’m 60. Ah, the Canadian way. I caved into the pressure and left my cash safely in my bank account (and eventually used it to pay for university and vacations so, all in all, probably not the best move I’ve ever made).
Why are people so concerned with buying more house than they would ever need? In reality, even a two-bedroom house is plenty sufficient for a family – one room for mom and dad and a second for junior; end of story. Need an office? Use the basement. Per room? How about you buy your kid less toys?
Here’s another story: I once lived in an awesome apartment — right downtown, next to the metro, only $600 a month all-in… It was perfect – except for the fact that there was “no room to grow” and my boyfriend and family thought it silly to settle into an apartment that I would need to leave a few years later. I, on the other hand, saw the enormous walk-in closet – with its own light, power sockets and window as the perfect place for a nursery when the time came. In my mind, I could comfortably live in this apartment until my future child was about three years old (many, many years in the future). Instead, we moved to a two-bedroom apartment kind of out of the way and ended up paying over $1000 a month. Ridiculous.
When did it become de rigueur for each child to have his own room; for there to be a guestroom for the two times a year that your family visit; for there to be more bathrooms than bedrooms and for each bedroom to have a walk-in closet and separate sitting area? Have you guys watched HGTV this decade?!
Personally, I still want my tiny, two-bedroom house. It might not have closets or be on an acreage but as long as there’s a room for by bed, a room for my food and a room for my toilet and shower, I’ll be happy – especially once the heating comes in.