The Partner and I have finally made the decision to relocate. After three years in our first place, we're ready to set up shop further downstate in a town built on the importance of education and community. As my Internet browser history begins to overflow with Realtor.com and Greatschools.net searches, I'm slowly getting a better picture of what that town will look like. Still, the image is fuzzy. One thing I know for sure is that the implications of any moving decision we make won't be clear until we get there.
The mistake we made in buying our first home was basing the purchase totally on the house itself. We loved it then and we love it now. It has over 200 years of character seeping out of every crevice in its stone foundation. The rooms are spacious, if you don't count the kitchen. It's insulated with history.
Open the doors, though, and there's highway as far as the eye can see. Our own street is a state road running parallel to the Interstate, and it's filled with municipal vehicles, cars that go 60 miles per hour past our driveway, and motorcycles that wake babies and dogs as they thunder up a slight incline. Beyond the road and the highway are schools against which the most vocal of taxpayers rally with a noise that rivals the traffic.
We weren't looking or thinking forward when we moved here as a newly engaged couple with only the haziest notion of family. Even though we figured that we'd be here five years at most as we saved up for something bigger and better, that conservative estimate proved short sighted. We got a canine. Then there was a kid. Three years has been plenty to help us figure out what we want, and maybe more importantly, what we don't want, in our next home--the place where our child(ren) will grow up.
We want safe streets and good schools and neighbors who appreciate the same. It's not enough to call a building "home"; we want a whole community that applies.
It's going to be an exciting search.