Am I weird? I think I'm kind of weird.

In the past three years I have moved four times. I am moving again in 11 months. That equals A LOT of house/apartment/condo hunting. And I am starting to get the impression that I am a weirdo because I get super! excited! about the search. I can spend hours on Craigslist browsing apartments and looking for the best deal for what I know we would want. I even do this when I am not necessarily in the market for a new place (I tell myself it's good to keep an eye on what's available, but really I am just crazy and juggling too much free time). I also watch ungodly amounts of HGTV because...well, read the title of this post!

It has come to my attention recently that this feeling of goodwill toward house hunting is not usually how others feel about it. Apartment hunting is often stressful and anxiety-ridden because it means lots of packing and the problem of changing your commute to work and saying goodbye to the things you love about where you currently live ("But I LOVE that corner store! It's so CONVENIENT!"). Or, you know, you might be moving completely out of the area in which you currently live, and therefore your entire life is about to become a raging mess for a little while. (I am - ahem - still, uh, excited for this type of move).

I hate packing (love unpacking and arranging), enjoy a change of scenery in my routine travels, and long ago decided that while I might LOVE something about where I live (Oh, central Virginia, I would have married you for the wine) I can always visit (or join a wine club that delivers). Strange detachment from the one who is usually so overly-sentimental, eh?

Maybe it doesn't bother me because I moved a lot when I was a kid. My mom casually mentioned the other day that she's lived in her current house longer than anywhere else in her adult life. She's been there seven years, since the summer before my senior year of high school. And seven years - seven years! - seemed like SUCH A LONG TIME to me. I would definitely not say that my childhood was unstable, for the record. We changed addresses with decent frequency but made sure to stay close to our schools. We only changed schools because of a move once, when we came to Illinois from Washington in 1992. Otherwise, the picture of stability! And small petting zoos! But that is another story.

Back to my obsession with living space.

I think I just really like to imagine myself in a new space. You can't really know how you will like a place until you live with it, so even the most well-researched homes have their issues. For example, in our current 680 square feet of apartment, we thought hardwood floors would be awesome. We had beige carpet in our Charlottesville townhome and a puppy who wasn't fully house trained. You can imagine the stains (and the security deposit flowing quickly down the drain).

So, hardwood. Ideal! Yeah, not so much. With our three sheddy shedders in such a small space, it is virtually IMPOSSIBLE to keep the damn floors looking clean. So while I am still up for hardwood floors in our next place, I'd like the space to be 1) LARGER (it will be for sure); and 2) sporting a lighter wood floor. We have a dark chocolaty brown wood now, which is really rich and lovely EXCEPT FOR THE HAIR. Oh, God, the hair. It is the bane of my housecleaning existence and I cannot wait to have a place where I can stay on top of it.

Another reason I am ready to publicly defend my silly habit of cruising Craigslist (but not the icky, illegal kind) is that it's just plain smart to know what the market is like. You know what you can get for your budget and which areas are most budget-friendly. You'll have a better sense of what's a good deal and who is ripping you off with that crazy rental price. Lately I've switched from Craigslist to because...ta da! Zack and I have decided to buy a house when we move to Minneapolis! And even though it's still a ways away we've received nothing but commendation from people who know we are already looking. Housing eats up a HUGE portion of your income whether you're renting or buying; so why not be as informed as possible? I may be over the top with my love of the hunt, but I know I'll be ready when the time comes to get serious about it.

2 Responses on "Am I weird? I think I'm kind of weird."

  1. Erin says:

    i have the most marvelous of ideas!! your lust for house hunting/moving comes at the serendiptous time of my own horrible transition from one place to another! What say you to some box lifting??

    Beer's on me! (and bring the mr.)

    Austin says:

    I think you misunderstand my post.

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