Monday, April 28, 2014

LITTLE BOXES ON THE HILLSIDE // ROCKING THE SUBURBS


I've been a renter for most of my life, and consequently, a mover. Since 2000, I've called 16 different places "home". I've actually always kind of liked the renter lifestyle: something breaks? Call your landlord, nothing out of pocket for you! Feeling restless, or hate your kitchen? Don't worry, you'll have an entirely new scenery when the lease is up! 

But lately, I've been entertaining the idea of buying a place. I can't afford it (yet), and it took me six months of research to buy a car (not even which model, but I literally just didn't even know how to get a loan, insurance, etc.), so as you can imagine, I'm not quite "adult" enough yet to buy a home. Plus, does our generation even buy places anymore? Or is that a myth I've been telling myself to justify living in an apartment with a sink that's duct taped together? Whatever the answer may be, I've spent many a late night on Zillow, dreaming. Here's my current fantasy:


In my neighborhood, with a garage AND a yard, adorable, and $185,000! BE MINE. But lol whatever $185,000 might as well be $18,500,000 when you are starting from scratch and just because its a good price for the city does not actually mean *I* can afford it. This mindset is why I also often set my Zillow features to "Show me all houses in Chicago under $1 million dollars", because if you're going to dream...

Anyways, as long as we are talking about homes, I wanted to share this awesome project, of America's oddly beautiful suburban sprawl, photographed from the sky:




I mean, look, I love a nice Costco trip or a good parking lot as much as the next person who has spent roughly 1/3 of their life looking for street parking or carrying home a case of Diet Coke on the bus, but the suburbs have always freaked me out a little bit, and I think these images justify that feeling. Chicago Architecture Foundation nailed it when they deemed these "haunting images of our endlessly repetitive development". Still, beautiful in all its symmetry.

Does anyone know any other good suburban photoseries? Maybe its because I'm a product of the burbs, but I just find them really fascinating.

Otherwise, Roll Call for everyone else who finds themselves spending hours upon hours on real estate sites looking at houses you can't afford.

xo,
z

14 comments:

  1. We took the leap and purchased a home two years ago. I still don't feel like a grown up! Married, three kids, mortgage...this should all equal being a grown up, right? But no, I still don't feel it. :) I also spend many hours on zillow and redfin looking at other houses! It's a hobby!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha im not sure if its comforting or unsettling that everyone says they will never feel like a grown up. WHAT IF I AM ONE AND I JUST DON'T KNOW IT??

      but god looking at houses is so fun. in a weird way, its almost more fun to look at the semi-attainable ones than the mcmansions?

      Delete
    2. Maybe its both? Maybe I should rephrase it to "I still don't feel like I imagine my parents felt at this stage." You're right, this could be what being a grown up feels like lol!

      Delete
  2. Owning a house is the ONE adult-like thing I'm currently interested in. (Getting married and having babies don't yet hold appeal, even as I edge closer to thirty.) I also feel like I can't afford it, though more importantly I'm not currently living in the city where I'd like to settle for the foreseeable future. Have to find my way to wherever that is first.

    I also grew up in the burbs and though I don't think I'll end up there, there's something a little comforting about all those identical houses and endless strip malls. Feels like home, regardless of where in the country I find myself.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i've typed out so many responses to this comment, but i think ultimately this sums it up - YES. THIS. ALL OF THIS.

      Delete
  3. I regularly torture myself with images of high-rise apartments I'll never be able to afford, short of a lotto jackpot.

    It's my version of imagining myself as a Disney princess. It's not really my lifestyle, but it doesn't hurt to dream of floor to ceiling windows with crazy amazing views.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha i love looking at highrises and being like "the mortgage would only be $2k a month...that's not terrible!" (LOL) but then the HOA fees are $1,700 a month. So if i never eat or buy anything again and take a second full time job, ITS TOTALLY ATTAINABLE

      Delete
  4. My biggest beef with suburbs (which is all you get in Vegas. There is no such thing as a cute, walkable neighborhood here) is bad tree placement. People plant trees right next to their houses, or in tiny rock gardens, and are shocked by the resulting problems. Lots of "free tree- come and get it" posts on CL. Trees grow. That's the point.

    There's a TED talk about suburbia that I watched a while back (20 min), might be worth a gander for ya.
    http://www.ted.com/talks/james_howard_kunstler_dissects_suburbia

    (And PS- your "maybe someday" house is very cute!)

    ReplyDelete
  5. Oh dang, I currently rent in a Chicago Suburb (although technically it isn't but it's always refered to as one- we are basically in Wisconsin). I love the idea of having a brand new canvas (and maybe no upstairs neighbors), but I'm scared of leaving. Mostly because I know that this place will suck me dry for anything that has happened in the apartment before or during my stay.
    At some point I'd love to read from you a guide for renting in Chicago. I'm hopefully moving there with my boyfriend in the next year or so. It scares the tar out of me to think about starting the process.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I CANNOT BELIEVE THAT HOUSE COSTS $185,000!!! Seriously, I took the plunge last year and bought a house with my boyfriend (well, let's be honest, he put down the down payment, which he got from living at home for a long time). We love the downtown core of our city in Ontario, but our cute-as-a-button-1000-square-foot-home was almost twice that! God it's so cute I would live there in two shakes of a lamb's tail.

    My boyfriend and I both grew up in suburbs and, while I totally get why people with families want to live there (after all, ours did), we are not ready to move there forsureforsure. Neither of us drive, we love having restaurants and cultural events within walking distance, and the only kid we have to worry about right now is a very accommodating pug. I love the pictures you posted but I get the claustrophobic scariness of them, too.

    And yeah, bought a house, got a dog - still don't feel like a grownup. I'm convinced it doesn't happen and our parents felt the same way, too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i have a friend in canada who often complains about the same thing!! man, you guys lucked out with the healthcare and people not shooting each other, but your real estate is EXPENSIVE.

      Delete
  7. Oh! And I should add, even though we own a house I TOTALLY still go online and search for others. Nothing weird about that at all. And lest you feel bummed about not owning, remember: you'll never have to pay for suddenly collapses sewer pipes... *shudder*

    ReplyDelete
  8. Those are gorgeous photos.

    yeah... um I was doing that about 5 years ago at this time. I was (and still am) tired of renting, and I basically was single anyway when I moved out of the BF's place, so I figured, why the hell not? Real Estate was cheap then. I had this total fantasy house. It was like $200K though (which in Des Moines is like $500K in Chicago I'm sure). Turns out it belonged to somebody I now work with and that house was a major hassle. Anyway, I almost almost almost bought a house in Des Moines (not that one), but my car broke down and I ended up buying my Yaris (which car did you end up with BTW?). Since I basically live out of that thing now, I guess it was a fair trade off.

    ReplyDelete
  9. ugh tell me about it! where i live, particularly my neighborhood (southern california, close to beach and downtown) has super cute, but super small, old spanish bungalows. the going price for an average 2 bedroom, 1 bath is a cool 500K. right now i'm renting with my SO for $1300 a month...i don't think we'll ever be able to buy in this neighborhood, a few miles east though you can get 3x the square footage for $150K less but again, it's the suburbs...

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...