Where Should Home Sweet Home Be?

I have just been reading a Social History article in the New York Social Diary. It is the story of a fabulously rich couple and their amazing homes built during the Gilded Age and now torn down. Despite the abysmal writing in this online publication, I love reading the stories of East Coast’s socially/financially prominent. I also enjoy getting a look at the photos of people named Muffie, Bunnie and Bracie. People, not dogs.

This got me to thinking about moving. I really like my house but it’s not my house WITH Derwood and I know it is important to him to live somewhere that is ours. With this in mind, I thought I would do some housing research to see what our housing dollars could get us.

I have mentioned my post-honeymoon interest in moving to central NY, although that has been tempered by recent weather occurrences back there, specifically Hercules the winter blizzard due in today.

How darling is this number in the Village of Skaneateles?

picture-uh=f2308a7fb09f16f57ca43db24a06fd4-ps=4feb3fac4888e9ea69cfecec1ce5e39-17-E-Elizabeth-St-Skaneateles-NY-13152

$314,500

Here is the complete listing for this Oh-So-Cute house and the price is nothing compared to what Portland would cost.

This one is in the town of Auburn. Whaaaa?!

It’s amazing! This listing is redonk!

$324,900

$324,900

It's Glaimorous

It’s Glaimorous

I want an old, traditional style house. Not a mid-century like the one I have. My house would sell for much more than these houses and it is NOWHERE near as beautiful as they are. It’s just in Portland.

I think you will begin to see a pattern in the sort of house I’m looking for. Here’s a comparable house in Portland, in an area I would want to live in.

$875,000

$875,000

Oooo and look at this one! I really like this one in Portland! DAR-LING!!!

$995,000

$995,000

You may see another pattern developing. Cute costs here in Portland. Where else could I live?

I know, I always wanted a beach house in Gearhart. Let’s have a look there.

Here’s what I would like in Gearhart:

$1,645,000

$1,645,000

gearhart1

And here’s what I can afford in Gearhart:

$398,500

$398,500

gearhart3Hmmmm…. where else could I live?

I could live in the Wyke End of Gillingham which is within 30 miles of the village of Lacock in England. I have always wanted to be an ex-pat detective in a quirky village in England so this would work for me:

This comes in at $345,350

This comes in at $345,350

gillingham2

There would have to be some decluttering and redecorating but I think this is a pretty good American detective in an English village cottage.

OR….what about Hannibal, Missouri?! It would be like living in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn one of my most favorite books ever~ and there is no mention of a flood plain in the listing!

$119,900. I could make this place into anything I wanted!

$119,900. I could make this place into anything I wanted!

Or what about the Big Apple?

W. 78th and Central Park West for $299,900!!! Score!

83rd and Central Park West for $299,900!!! Score!

248798-300885-West_83rd_Street_46_2-G_Living_Room_

And it is so big, they don’t even list the square footage!!!

In NYC, I could also buy a bar, actually two bars-in-one at Amsterdam and 108th.

barhouse

It could be our BarHouse and Derwood could be Sam Malone and I will be Diane but not much like Diane.

What do you think? Where should I live? Tell me in comments and I will find places there to look at. I should probably ask Derwood, too.

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29 thoughts on “Where Should Home Sweet Home Be?

  1. El Guapo says:

    You should check out Newport, RI. A lot of those gilded age families had summer homes out there.
    Only $12.50!
    Ok, that’s the price of the tour, but you could always step away halfway through, and then live there after they leave…

    • Maggie O'C says:

      Brilliant! Although I do kinda go with the comment below. The summers would be hell, that’s why we aren’t even looking at Cooperstown, no matter how cute it is.

      Hiding is a really good idea.

  2. Holy crap, Portland is expensive! That must be where some of those outrageously priced shitty houses I see for sale on those shows my wife likes to watch are located. I know of someone selling a house in New Canaan, CT. I hear it’s lovely and they’re asking just a tad over $3 million American. You get a lot of house in St. Louis for your money and there are plenty of old shitty houses like you seem to crave available. Plus you could be my real life friend then so win win. Well, for you anyway.

    • Maggie O'C says:

      I will go look in St. Louis. Is it close to Hannibal? I will be friends with your wife and we will whisper and laugh about you.

      • Lily Bart says:

        Um, last time I was in St. Louis I was never dry once I left my plane. I was wearing a brand new, orange linen suit. It was super cute. I was also super orange for the entire stay of four days bc it glued itself to me due to heat and humidity in hours one thru five and even after I took it off, it appeared I was still wearing it. And that was without any sort of menopause situation. For your own safety, I’d tick S.Lou off the list.

  3. Um. There’s a place on my road for sale. It’s probably about Β£700,000. Sounds perfect, right? At the very least, I’d like it to be somewhere in England. How else can we solve crime together? We could have matching Crocs and be called the Croc Detectives.

  4. This is a really tough question. Where to live comes with a whole lot more than the house. Towns come with personalities and one has to see themselves surrounded by the town residents, similar to when applying to colleges, one has to see themselves fitting in with the other students.

    It’s also a matter of what you want out of where you live. Do you need culture near by, even if its only a movie theater? Or access to the highway to get to and fro? Or near an airport for when family flies in? And even though you don’t need to be thinking of the school district the house is in since your kids are almost grown and gone, the school district becomes an important aspect of selling it later.

    I’m a Sybil when it comes to where I live. One part of my personality craves the city, the dirt the noise and all a city has to offer. But my hubby would sooner die than live in NYC so for the sake of a happy marriage, I go into the city often on my own and then tell him all the good stuff he missed. He doesn’t see that he missed a thing, his preference to be on his tractor and chopping wood, doing manly man things.

    Of course, the closer one is to transportation, culture, and cuteness, the higher the price tag.

    @ElGuapo: I can attest as a part-time RI resident, Newport is NOT where Maggie and Derwood want to be. Crowded in summer. Poorly run overall. A town in a downturn. RI overall is a mess politically and financially.

    @Don. When not in RI, we live in a town in NY that abuts New Canaan. $3m is chump change for houses there. Plus, there’s no other way to say this, New Canaan is WAYYYYY to white and uptight a town. Maggie and Derwood would hate it.

    As for the Big Apple, my sister lives there, her two daughters live there and one of our brood lives there. Our daughter is in a two bedroom one bath walk-up, no doorman building, pretty lousy owner but on a killer good street in SoHo on the same block as the #6 subway, her SHARE of the rent is $2600/month. And that’s CHEAP!!!!!!!!! That’s before paying for cable etc. No washer and dryer except for shared machines in the basement of the building so add monthly costs of Chinese laundry to the budget. Obviously no car; parking would be another $300-800/month, depending on if its outside or inside. Subway pass. Ka-ching. Groceries. Double ka-ching. BUT, the upside is the city is magical and there’s nothing you can’t do 24 hours a day. Plus, she’d never have the job and pay she has if she lived elsewhere. She’d kill to buy an apartment but the money she has (about $400k) gets her a studio or a squeency teensy one bedroom. She could buy in an outer borough of NY, but then it’s a whole other lifestyle. Same with living on the far west side. No man’s land.

    We bought a home in a Connecticut town last year (for now as a rental income investment) but maybe down the road to live in. We spent days in the town, talking to residents, going to local restaurants, meeting neighbors, seeing what happens on summer days, winter days, could we hear the noise of I-95? It took us a year to make the decision.

    My best friends bought a retirement house in North Carolina. Adorable adorable adorable house for next to nothing price. Property taxes are under $1000/YEAR. We’ve visited a few times and leave thinking we could never live in their town. Pretty views, mountain and lakes, but after you eat at the two restaurants and shop in the one grocery store, then what?

    Now that I’ve totally confused you……good luck with your decision. πŸ™‚

    • Maggie O'C says:

      I should have known this would bring you out of hiding! I don’t think Derwood has read this yet but it will be interesting to see what he has to say. I would really like to live in a small town (under 10k) but near a city or not a long travel (plane train or automobile) to a city. That’s why I love central NY. It’s beautiful. I have family there. Quick flight into the NYC for weekends and I’m sure I will have one kid in the city. But the damn weather. I don’t know. We have a 7 year plan so I have time.

      Miss you EOSR!!! xoxox

      • I do pop by here regularly but this post did call me. You know I’m a house junkie.

        I happen to love snow and winter and think central New York would be wonderful for you because of your family connection. There’s some history there, a link from the past to the future. Anyhow, snow and cold are better for the complexion and health. Snowbirds in the south get all pruny and look like the woman who owned the dog in There’s Something about Mary.

        I vote Skaneateles or that neck of the woods.

        PS: I also think its important to look at the politics of a town before moving there. For us, living in a community surrounded by nothing but pro-Obama signs, or all people being anti-hunters or guns, not going to happen.

        Since you have seven years, start saving NOW for the child moving to the city – for her rent! πŸ™‚

  5. Nic says:

    I had no idea Portland could be so pricey! UM. All of these houses made me want one. I want a house! You should definitely move to the East Coast though, OMG THEN WE COULD HAVE BLOG PARTIES!

  6. Wherever you and Derwood do decide to live, I suggest you avoid a studio apartment in Manhattan, even though I’m quite sure that was a Maggie witticism. Places out here cost an arm, a leg, and most of your vital organs.

  7. Addie says:

    I was recently in Horse Country–you have to sign a form agreeing to always use capitals when writing the two words–in New Jersey and it was absolutely beautiful! Old homes, good prices, land, privacy and an hour from NYC. It was real purdy.

  8. Sandra says:

    Hopeless!!

  9. I love the homes you picked!!! We were just asking (everyone at the bar we were sitting at) if you could move to any city – money no object – where would you move?? I was stymied. My brain is too logical and can’t function on fantasy thingies. I picked Sydney. And jeeze Portland…calm down. $$$$ GAWD. Sometimes I want to live EVERYWHERE. Get an Airstream and never stay put. So I’m no help here. bye.

  10. Lily Bart says:

    I was re-reading this, bc this time of year always makes me want to move (or have a cleansing fire). So I’ve been looking. The funny part about Portland, is that if you aren’t a very narrow kind of person, it isn’t like it appeals to you. And you are paying thru the nose for everything just to loathe the city policies (“Homeless camps AT city hall, urine stains marble!” Still, if I could have this house… I’d stay forever….. http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/2884-NW-Cumberland-Rd-Portland-OR-97210/53984601_zpid/

  11. Brigitte says:

    Upstate NY is beautiful Mags but I wonder if those long winters might get old. It’s expensive where I be too! Ideally, I’d like a cabin on cape cod and a small home near a southern beach. Oh to dream.

  12. My husband and I have always wanted to have multiple homes, but we are not fabulously rich either. I think.homes in Tennessee are darling. Not sure on price.

  13. midwestkite says:

    Currently renting a small 1 bedroom apartment in Qatar for $3,000/month… my new favorite pastime is searching Zillow for houses I’d actually WANT to pay that price to live in!

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