Everyone always says, Having a baby really changes your life.
I haven’t really been able to relate as I never thought that was true – Henry always fit into our lives and routines and adventures. Perfectly.
However, lately, I’ve been wanting more! We have a comfortable, cozy little life in a small space in San Francisco, and although you can’t beat the culture, proximity to everything, being two miles from the beach, the food, the people, the weirdness, the amazing weather, etc., it is such a high cost to live here.
A cost on relationships. A cost on any sort of savings plan. A cost on leisure travel.
In reality, it is a cost on every aspect of our lives.
Until now, it always felt worth it…but where Henry changes things is that I suddenly want MORE!
I want to be near family, not living on the opposite coast being okay with quarterly visits.
I want Henry to grow up with his cute cousins.
I want a house.
I want a yard.
I want a luxury car.
I want a guilt-free vacation fund.
None of that is happening in San Francisco, where a nanny for an infant costs $25,000/year and paying $3,000/month for a two bedroom apartment is a steal.
It was always MORE than enough. But now, it isn’t. Yes, I realize all of the stuff I outlined above is just that…STUFF! But for some reason my wants/needs/goals have changed, and all I want is a simple, relaxed, comfortable life sitting on a porch drinking sweat tea while watching Henry play in the yard with his cousins, neighborhood friends, and the dogs.
I can’t explain the shift. I can’t explain the change of heart.
I want MORE for Henry. If it were just me and my husband, the California living is a DREAM, with a capital D!
But… I want to be able to provide for Henry in a way that doesn’t cause stress to relationships and a constant “grind” that keeps us away from him most of the day. Again, that isn’t happening while living in the most expensive city in the country.
So, I’ve been dreaming. Dreaming of where “our place” would be.
The answer? I have no idea!
I love California living but it is too far away from family. And again, very expensive.
My twin is moving to Chicago in a few weeks but it is WAY too cold and I’m not that keen on going back to the Midwest – talk about culture shock!
My sister-in-law lives in Denver so that could be an option, but again…the snow and cold weather makes it less than desirable for me.
Portland? Too far from family.
Austin? No, not Texas.
Los Angeles? Again, far away from family + expensive, still.
Is it possible to be happy ANYWHERE? I don’t know. One part of me thinks that if I have my family, close friends, Henry, and the pups, that would be enough.
What if it isn’t?
Just for the sake of daydreaming, let’s compare $550,000 houses in and around a few “could be” places. Let’s compare. I’m looking at real estate in select cities. The only criteria I’m filtering for is that it is $550,000 or less, has at least 3 bedrooms, and at least 2 bathrooms.
Thoughts? Umm…absolutely gorgeous. Beautiful! My type of house!
Thoughts? Whoa! That is a whole lot of house and beyond gorgeous! I love it! However, this huge, gorgeous house isn’t enough to convince me to put up with the below 0 temperatures in Chicago winters. Thanks, but no thanks! Sorry Sis!
Thoughts? Beautiful. And the culture of Portland seems to be similar to San Francisco, however the clouds, drizzle, and grey skies would make me have a bad case of Seasonal Affective Disorder, for sure!
Welp, I’ve got nothing for you! At the time of this post, there was not one single property that matched the criteria of a 3 bedroom, 2 bath under $550,000 in San Francisco on Redfin.com. None. Nada. Not ONE!