Maybe it’s because I always loved being a student, but the onset of fall is perennially full of significance for me. The air takes on a luscious crispness, long-neglected sweaters call out to goosebumped arms, Le Creuset pots beckon summer grillers back to the stove, and somehow, some way, every single year, there is a decision to made, one that hangs in the air just like that brand new school year once did. Most folks make resolutions on New Year’s Eve and consider January 1 to be their fresh start. But an academic at heart, my internal calendar is reset with every “school year,” and fall is when I consider the year ahead.
I can backtrack each year and remember my associated Important Fall Decision. This year? Real estate, real estate, real estate. As you might remember from my Day In The Life post, we’ve been Open House junkies for a while now. Let’s put it this way: life would be a heck of a lot easier if real estate in Washington, DC wasn’t so pricey. Because we are unabashed city folks, we’ve accepted the higher prices that come with the urban neighborhoods we love. And we’ve gotten past the self-placed stigma of being in our early 30s and still not being homeowners (mostly). After all, the housing market in the past few years is nothing if not a cautionary tale of why buying isn’t always a great idea (or so we keep reminding ourselves).
But still, the urge to get on with it already, to finally have a Real Home, to be in a spot where we can live for years on end… that’s what keeps us logging onto new listings every week, just in case. The fact that we’ll be moving at year’s end anyway is definitely a factor – who wants to move each year when they could do it once and for all(ish) instead? So this year, my/our/now your Important Fall Decision comes down to this: to buy a place this year that’s smaller than we’d like, and probably not in the exact area we’d like, or to rent a new place for a year, then buy a place that’s better-suited for the long haul in 2012.
Decisions, decisions… tell me, are any of you facing the big Rent v. Buy quandary this year, too? Are any of you gearing up to make some Important Fall Decisions of your own?
And yep, I remember the most important thing: home is what you make of it, and where the heart is. Still, though – I really want it to be here!