I'm addicted to the NY Times real estate section. I can't afford anything in it, but that doesn't stop me from looking. In this economy, to have articles titled, "What you get for...$1.1 Million...." really amazes me. There's a range of prices; to be fair, today it was "What you get for...$275,000..." However, that's as out of reach for me as $1.1 Million is. I want to downsize (and thus my compulsive looking) but everything appealing seems incredibly expensive.
What do I want? I'm trying to figure that out. Tonight I was talking to Mike about it, and I said, "Well, there are two things that I absolutely want: a steam shower and a bidet." I thought about it for a moment and added, "And of course, a fireplace..."
I prowl IKEA, trying to imagine if I really could live in 762 square feet of space. I think the answer is YES. When I was younger (i.e., in my 40's) I thought I'd stay in this house forever. I love this house, but I no longer want to stay here. This is a wonderful house for a family, but not for a woman on her own. I used to think I wanted to keep it so the kids could always come home for visits, but I've decided that's a poor reason to stay here, plus, it's exhausting, playing hostess all by yourself!
I'm ready for a change, and I'm ready to downsize. I don't think I'm the only one. Architects and builders of America, are you listening? I don't think so. I find these wonderful living spaces that are under 1000 square feet at IKEA, but they don't exactly abound in the real estate section of the NY Times, or anyplace else I've looked. There are lots of little tiny houses filled with tiny rooms; that's not what I'm talking about.
Take one of those houses and gut it. Raise the ceilings, so it's open and light. Rip out the wall to wall carpeting and put in hardwood and stone. Make the doorways wide, so they can accommodate a wheelchair, if it comes to that. In the bathroom(s), install a bidet and a steam shower, complete with a bench and old fart bars: Note: in addition to feeling like HEAVEN, 20 minutes in a steam shower uses about 7 gallons of water. In the kitchen, I want gas to cook on, and stone counter tops. I want a patio where I can have pots of flowers. There should either be public transportation near by or the place must be within walking distance of grocery stores, etc., because the day will come when I can no longer drive (and since I currently drive 25,000 miles a year, that's a day I look forward to!). And oh yes, ideally, this place should be near at least one of my four children...
That's what I'm looking for. Does it exist?