My husband and I have been on the journey of finding “the one”, the perfect house that will take us on through all our journeys in life and provide all the structural support and space to fulfill our needs. Too good to be true, well I thought so.
We started out very fortunate and bought our first home, brand new. We were able to design and choose all the little details. It was a smaller house, but it still had 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths and although there wasn’t really a yard we had a community playground across the street. So we thought, this is perfect! But after our first baby came, I quickly judged this poor house and assumed we needed more. I think it was because I was remembering the home I grew up in and I was assuming my child and future children needed the same to be happy.
I desperately wanted to have that house that felt like home and had all the perfect things; a big yard to play, several bedrooms for all future children, big kitchen and layout that was spacious. We didn’t want the house to be too old or need too much work and our new priority was that it had to be in a good school district. Well of course you can find all of these things, to an extent, but could we afford it?
Bay Area homes are definitely high demand and have an even higher price tag. But one major thing I didn’t realize was how much further from the Bay could I go and still have it feel home? Unfortunately, we had to find out the hard way.
So with all my pushing to find the one, we ended up in Vacaville, which is a nice place to raise a family. We found an older home, large back yard, safe neighborhood, plenty of space and bedrooms and walking distance to the elementary school. Perfect, or was it? We made it our home and tried to connect with people. At first it was a struggle but eventually I found activities and recreational things to do with my kids and made friends. But something was always missing.
My closest friends were back in our old town of Martinez, and whenever we would drive by the area something always drew us in, the food, the shopping, how much closer it was to the city and just the overall vibe we got in Martinez always felt more like home. But we couldn’t afford that big house; the one with the perfect yard, the large spacious floor plan, the best school district, and brand new. It was always out of reach. Until one day my husband and I finally said, “wait, why do we “need” all of those things? What truly makes us happy, what makes our family happy? And where do we feel the most at home?”
Once we dropped the idea of what we thought we needed and actually sat down and said ok this is what makes us feel at home, we realized we don’t need a big yard to be happy. We don’t need a huge house to be happy. We need a community that makes us comfortable and feels like home. So we went for it. We sold our house in Vacaville and we found our home in Martinez. What really made the difference was that we found the house that works for us now.
Sure it’s not brand new, it doesn’t have a huge yard. The layout isn’t incredibly spacious, but it felt like home. It’s in a safe neighborhood, with lots of families. It’s in a good school district and we feel safe with our children growing up here. It has enough rooms, and although it’s a smaller house, it’s perfect for us now. I finally feel safe. I finally feel relaxed. I feel like I’m home.
It took a long time for me to realize that sometimes location is more important than the actual house. I had to prioritize what my needs vs wants were and what was really important to my family. I had to be okay with the thought that although this is home now, if my needs change it’s ok to move. I don’t have to stay here forever. It’s more important to find a place you feel at home and stop assuming what is important to be happy.
I’m not saying home purchasing is not one of the hardest things to do, because it is. I kept searching for something that I thought would make my family happy and what I found was just being together was all that really mattered. My kids didn’t need the house, they needed the family in it to be happy. That’s what makes my house the one, my family.