I cannot remember the last Saturday morning when the first thing I did after pouring my coffee wasn’t looking at homes on Realtor.ca.
I like our house.
Sometimes I love it.
Our neighbourhood is fantastic – trails and a park – young families and retirees. A genuine community.
And yet, Realtor.ca beckons. Constantly. Not just on Saturday mornings. The app on my phone means constant checks throughout the week.
Chasing the perfect home. An extra bathroom. A magnificent view. Something more walkable too – schools, stores, coffee-shops – ideally would be just a short stroll away.
The next best thing just around the corner. Because the next home will make everything better. Parenting, life, and work stress will disappear when we add another toilet.
It’s ridiculous of course. Most of us grew up sharing bathrooms, in homes without walk-in closets and jacuzzi tubs. We survived just fine. We didn’t know any different.
I think of my grandparents. Children of the First World War. Young parents themselves during World War II. They suffered. Their infant daughter died soon after birth in the dark autumn of 1944 in occupied Holland. War raged while they mourned and battled for survival, and struggled to raise their surviving daughter. My mother.
Many decades later my grandparents retired to a small bungalow in very small-town Ontario. One bedroom, one bathroom. They took pride in that home. My grandfather spent thousands of hours in his garden. Sometimes I helped him. Today, when I work in our backyard – a sun-drenched property with apple trees, pear trees, and garden boxes which overflow with tomatoes – I think of how much my grandfather would have loved this home. I wish he was alive and bedside me. And I feel guilty for ever thinking about leaving.
Leaving a place my daughter loves, adding a hundred thousand dollars to our mortgage, and an hour a day to my commute, all for the sake of looking outside and seeing the ocean and the mountains.
The draw of that view is powerful. The desire for an extra bathroom is real. So is the reality that the things I want come at a cost. A cost that may not be worth paying.
Still, it’s hard not to look.