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Location Location Location

Are you happy living in your present location?  Are you there by choice – because it truly is a place you WANT to live?  Or are you there due to work obligations? (After all, the pull of a paycheck IS a strong one).  What if you could CHOOSE your location, where would you go?  And when you set aside that fantasy and look around and see where you really are, do you feel okay with that?  Real estate agents always say the mantra, but I wonder if it’s true:  does location REALLY matter?

More importantly, I guess what I’m wondering is: can you be happy in ANY location?  If you were told you had to move 100 miles north or east (or what if it was 1,000?) would you say, “Yea!  Great! Now I’ll get to be in the _____!” (Fill in the blank:  desert, forest, suburbs, country, city, etc).  Or would your reaction be one of instant dismay or distain?

If you currently live where it’s warm, could you live where it rains all the time?  If you live near ocean breezes, could you move where the air is so hot and heavy you can hardly go outside?  If you live where your next-door neighbors are literally a stone’s throw away, could you relocate to a place where from your doorstep you can’t see another house in sight?

How much, I wonder, does location matter compared to all the other things…. proximity of family, friends, work, activities?  Then of course there is the affordability factor.  Where can you AFFORD to live in proximity to all those things (work, family, etc)?  Is it simply a matter of those who can afford to live where they want — and those who can’t?

Does anyone else think about this sort of thing?  Does anyone else question if they are in the right spot?  My initial reaction is no – I must be alone in my crazy musings.  But then I think of the families I know that are living 4 towns away (with a longer commute into the city) because they can’t find affordable housing here in my town.  I recall a few friends who have dropped their guard on occasion and complained about where they are currently calling “home” (due to their husbands’ jobs) and how they can’t wait to move away. (One friend whose husband is on a long-term assignment is actually counting the days!  Last I heard it was still over 500 to go).

Can you love your house but hate (too strong – dislike) your town?  Can you love your town but dislike your house/apt/whatever?  How much does THAT factor into the equation?

Are those who love their houses, love their towns, love their areas truly the lucky ones?  It would seem like it should be something we ALL should have.  I wonder how many of us do and how many of us don’t?  And then, how many of us are like this Zen Mama Wannabe, and suffering with waves of uncertainty and doubt?  Am I really where I belong? Is this really the location for me?  Should you LOVE where you live, or is liking it good enough?  (And is good enough ever what we should strive for?)

In the end I wonder, does location really matter?

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2 Responses to “Location Location Location”

  1. LarkLady Says:
    January 7th, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    Location matters, but perhaps more for the investment value than for happiness. It’s not my house that makes me happy in life; it’s not even the community, although both of those affect me.

    We live in the city we do because that’s where my husband’s job is. When he took this job, we considered whether it was in a location where the family could be happy; if it hadn’t been, he wouldn’t have accepted the job offer. We were fortunate to have some choice in the matter; these days, for a lot of people, that’s not the case.

    But I could be happy in any of quite a large number of communities; I like my house well enough, but I won’t mind moving to something smaller as soon as the kids leave home. I’m friendly with several of my neighbors, but none of them are close friends and I won’t miss them if we move away. I’ve always lived where houses were pretty close together (in San Francisco, the houses shared the side walls – that’s really close!), so I think living where neighbors weren’t in sight or shouting distance would be strange… and it implies having more yard space than I’d like to have to take care of!

    Loving where I live isn’t something that really enters my mind, actually: it’s just not high enough up on the scale of things that are important. On the other hand, I don’t want to live next door to a factory that spits out ugly smells or where noise was a constant problem or any one of a great number of things that could make daily living no fun at all. But that still leaves a whole lot of places where I could be happy.

    One observation: retired people – not having the job factor any more – seem to look for locales that are affordable, have reasonable access to healthcare, and aren’t too far from their kids and grandkids. A lot of articles on the web focus on the first two of those factors; obviously, the third factor is too individualistic. But especially as traveling becomes more difficult, being close to family takes on a greater importance. So I’ve seen a lot of people relocate to places they wouldn’t otherwise consider to be closer to family.

    Long answer! Sorry!!

  2. danna Says:
    January 8th, 2011 at 2:27 am

    how self aware am I, what is true, what is important to me, what is best for my family that will also work for me, essentially attempting to make a concious decision with the best info available at a given time. I thing the key is self knowledge, it helps us make the best choice. I’ve moved several times, it always became less about the “house” & more about the way I felt in the area, friendships, work, how the place helps contribute to a chosen lifestyle, things we like to do,family needs. sometimes it was, looking out the window, & loving what i could see, NY lights, trees & deer, snow covered mountains or the sea.

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