Sunday, August 12, 2012

Another House Too Far

This afternoon, we went to an open house of a massive Shingle-Style house in a town south of Boston. Its listing photos were too pretty to resist, even though it's a long hike to the commuter rail and other necessities, and a tedious commute by car. But, for the price of a bland, mid-sized, two-bedroom condo in Back Bay, one can have more than 4,000 square feet of glorious privacy on a half-acre of land. The house is more that five times the size of our apartment; our outdoor space consists of a parking space. It's mind-boggling to contemplate the possibilities if one is willing to leave downtown and become car-dependent. Which we apparently are not — not yet, anyway. Not even for this:

A dream house, no? With six bedrooms, we'd need rental children.
Or I could run a very posh cat shelter.

Entry foyer

Library with built-ins and a window seat.

More bookshelves and another window seat in the living room.

Dining room (baby grand tucked in the bay window)

Inglenook between dining room and kitchen

And did I mention the heated pool in the backyard? There's also a two-car garage.


It's becoming clear that, much as we love Back Bay, we're not entirely invested in staying here. The call of the pantry (or maybe it's the library, the porch, or the spare bedroom) beckons. We keep hoping there's an old-fashioned house that's a compromise between too much space and too little, in a location that's not Back Bay but isn't too far away, at a price that won't ruin us. A house that's just right... we'd better start lighting candles to St. Goldilocks until it turns up. We've been looking for more than two years, so now would be a good time....

For reasons I still haven't fully digested, seeing this house made me feel better about our decision not to buy the fabulous Queen Anne house in Quincy. (Much as we love it, we can't handle the cosmic lifestyle shift from Back Bay to Wollaston Hill). But we think and talk about that house every day. We'd never seen a house with so much original character at a price we could afford. But now it's not the only gorgeous, well-preserved house that's won our hearts. (And, hey, it doesn't have a swimming pool.) Here's another house we could love — if we were a two-car, mall-going family with five kids and a riding mower. I know it seems like we're nuts to be even considering such houses and locations, and perhaps we are, but with the market as bad as it is, we feel we should explore every interesting option with open minds. Besides, it's fun to sit on other people's window seats and stare into their empty fireplaces.

I believe that each property we see brings us closer to our next home: we're on a long, strange, spiritual journey toward real-estate enlightenment. Today was another step on the way.

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