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The Decision – Moving From Suburbia to The City

3 Jun. 2011 Posted by Hannah Mich in city living, green living, eco-friendly lifestyle, adaptations
community, city living, suburbia, urban living, simplify, green living

My husband and I used to live in “suburbia”, in a little house that was once owned by his grandparents. He fixed it up with new kitchen appliances, newly finished floors and an amazing new landscape design. We were also within a few blocks of his parent’s house and where he grew-up. I thought this is it- a home of our own, a small quiet neighborhood and a modest place to settle down.

What was missing? Well a job close by for one and easy access to stores, restaurants and entertainment- we had to drive everywhere. My husband had a four-hour commute each day and I had a commute a little over an hour long, which cut into the amount of quality time we had to spend at home and in that newly landscaped yard. The maintenance on the house and cars, and gasoline prices were further gouging into our incomes, which took away money we could use for a vacation and retirement.

I felt lied to and completely misled about life in suburbia. In addition to the “normal” challenges of “suburb living,” we were discovering more about environmental issues and inflation, making our current lifestyle even harder to swallow. So for a little over a year we talked about the idea of moving. Like so many, talking about change and actually making it are two very different things. We needed the idea to settle in, especially since my husband had lived there his whole life and I grew-up in a rural area. Moving to a city environment was not going to be easy or at least we thought.

First we had a rummage sale to get rid of a ton of “junk” we rarely if ever used, which is all too common when you own a house with a basement, attic, garage and shed. Then we prepared our house for the market. We painted, trimmed the bushes and replaced our hot water heater. Once our house was on the market, it took us only a few weeks to sell it, which was fantastic considering the real estate market was and continues to be saturated with foreclosures.

Within a month of selling our house we were able to move into our new and smaller condo. Along with a smaller dwelling, we sold one car and paid off the loan of our remaining vehicle. My husband now has a commute that is approximately 35 minutes each way and he takes public transportation. I now work from home and have more time to manage the household and develop my website. Life is simpler. Most places are either a walk or short train ride away and we have more time to do the things we enjoy.

This decision took a year to make and so making the decision was definitely the hardest part. Adapting to our new home has been the easiest. Now that we have made one major lifestyle change that is greener, making future decisions in that direction will be even easier. It is like a domino affect. If we can just overcome that initial lifestyle or habit change, we will start to see improvements in our society, community and lives. Furthermore, do not let fear be your guiding factor. Just do your research, set-up a flexible plan and follow through.

Call To Action: 

Explore your different living options
Make a pros and cons list
Communicate with family and friends

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