April 2, 2011

I Am a Stalker

No, not a creepy stalker!  I am a real estate stalker.  Although I currently rent and am not looking to purchase a home or condo any time soon, it does not stop me from spending hours trolling the two most popular real estate sites on the web.  I've looked all over the United States, in small towns and large, college towns and metropolitan cities.   I find it thrilling to look at the different floor plans, to see how a kitchen is configured and how the backyard is landscaped.   I especially love the listings where the pictures show a home that's being lived in.  It's fascinating to see how people decorate their spaces.

Deep down, I think I am restless.  I live on the west coast in one of the most expensive housing markets in the US.  I will never be able to afford to buy here.  Not ever.  I would love to own my own home but wonder if I'll find the vibrant diversity and culture that I now have here somewhere else.  I also wonder if my choice to be a single mother will be as accepted elsewhere.

I long for a place not crisscrossed by freeways which are packed on Friday night and Sunday night,  a result of the "Weekend Warrior" syndrome.  I want to feel safe, to have a sense of community, to experience the outdoors which does not include man-made ponds and overly manicured greenbelts and I want to stop paying half of my salary for rent.

In five year's time I could see myself leaving this state and relocating.  But where?  Is life happy and liveable outside of the Golden State? Do we really have a corner on culture, food, jobs and diversity?

I'd be interested in hearing about other places around the US (in general terms of course!).  Do you like where you live?  Why or why not?


  1. I love where I live in NC - we get 4 seasons, but winter isn't horrible. I have the benefits of a small town life where i work, and the big city where I live. Shopping is great, mountains are less than 2 hours away (though not Cali type mountains), good hiking is even closer, and the ocean is 3 hours away. I can walk to 3 art museums, 1 children's museum and 2 history museums, and there are plenty of fun culture activities. While it's not the same as living in, say, NYC, it's wonderful. I wouldn't live anywhere else with a child!

  2. I live in NC and miss California terribly. I lived in the Bay area for 4 years back in the 90's, and then in southern California in the 00's. The things that I miss are exactly those that you note--the culture, diversity, jobs, and also the climate. Where we live it's beautiful (mountains), but the beauty doesn't speak to me in the way that California did.

    Now I'm wondering where Shannon (above) lives. She obviously is getting a better deal out of NC than we are. Plus, it's expensive where I live also! If my job didn't keep me here, I'd be back in CA in a heartbeat.