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Home for the holidays

Posted by Rona Fischman November 23, 2010 02:33 PM

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I am in correspondence with a childhood friend. She grew up in a brick Cape Cod house on a busy street. I grew up in a wood Cape Cod house on a less-busy, but not entirely quiet, street about a mile away. We because fast friends in what was then called “junior high.” (The correct term for those awkward school years is now “middle school.”) We had a lot in common at 14 or 15. As adults, we both fled suburbia; me to the city and she to the country.

I envy her solitude and sometimes she envies my convenience. Her house is on a river. She can’t see her neighbors. Her dogs don’t wear leashes. She heats her house with wood. It sounds like year-round vacation… But the practical issues are many. For one, she heats her house with wood! She can’t use a cell phone there. And, most of all, she is miles and miles from people and things for sale.

She wrote, "if it weren't for the 6 month winters and the black flies, everyone would live here… I would add and the lack of tech connections. I try to maintain a somewhat purist approach that we shouldn't expect these things here. Meanwhile, my carbon footprint with the 100 mile commute each day...”

Here in the city, I whine about noise, traffic, parking tickets, and the fast-paced busy attitude of Boston. Yet, I can walk to over 100 places to get food. I live so deeply in the grid that my power almost never goes out, nor does my cable, and -- other than that notorious dead spot around Route 2 -- my cell and internet are pretty solid.

Did you shift in community type as an adult? Did you flee suburbia? Take a bus to the nearest the city? Escape to the country? If so, why? When it comes to me and Andrea, we both live in something completely different. We were suburban kids and are now urban and rural adults.

In my experience as an agent, I find that buyers are either attracted or repelled by housing that are like what they grew up in. At first, I thought it was about how happy the buyers were as children, but over the years I have come to believe that some people are just wired to need quiet and privacy and some are suited for the city. Some find the suburbs a perfect balance and others find them purgatory.

When you were hunting, were you attracted or repelled to places that reminded you of your childhood homes?

Happy Thanksgiving. May you and yours be happy at home this holiday. How is that home the same or different from the one you ate turkey in when you were in middle school?

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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