where do you live?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about home. For all of our apartment's perks (space, location, air conditioning) it has one major problem: noise. Noise so bad that it's waking us all up multiple times a week. On the weekend, Clementine was woken up 3 times in 12 hours, and as any parent will know, that pretty much makes you crazy. So even though it's a huge hassle and we really don't want to, we know that we need to move.

The problem is that we live in such an expensive part of the world that we will probably be renting for a while yet. And the rental market here is insane! Overpriced shacks can entice dozens of people to an open house. It's all getting incredibly stressful. We have toyed with the idea of moving slightly up or down the coast, where the cost of living is so much more reasonable. But we always come back to community. Our family and friends are here, so we put up with the insane rent prices and we stay.

So I'm putting it out there to the universe... We need a new home, and in an ideal world my wishlist would include:
  • an outdoor space (balcony, backyard, whatever...)
  • hardwood floors
  • bathtub
  • good light
  • built ins
  • in our neighbourhood
  • air conditioning
Where do you live? Urban or rural? City or suburbs? House or apartment? Why do you stay?


  1. I love outdoor space! especially when it´s summer.. you can take your breakfast otuside and eat it while breathing frsh air.. so good! :)

  2. I'm still living at home at the moment but I understand your frustration. I'm currently looking for a new apartment to buy, one which is close to my family and friends but one that I can afford. Turns out that doesn't exist.

    Sydney is such an expensive place to live. I love it so much though that it almost seems worth it. I hope the decision is made clear to you. Finding a home is a tedious process. I pray you will have patience during this time :)

  3. We use to live in a tiny apartment in Rose Bay (one of those lovely old art deco buildings with polished floorboards and lots of light). I used to walk down to Bondi every day when Sophie was a baby and have coffee in my favourite coffee shop and my husband would get the ferry to work. We thought we would live there forever - even though we could hardly afford the rent! We told ourselves that even if we had 3 kids we would stay put.. "people in New York and Paris raise kids in tiny apartments and they all survive!" we said.

    About a year later the desire to have a garden (rather than a tiny balcony) seemed to outweigh everything else and we moved to a house in the suburbs.. we had a cute house with a nice garden for the same rent that we paid in Rose Bay but we were 40 minutes from the city, an hour from the beach and had no friends or community around us. We told ourself we were happy with our veggie patch and life in the suburbs but in retrospect it sucked and it was a stupid move!

    Fast forward five years and we now live on the other side of the country.. in our dream house (a weatherboard cottage with a garden).. that we own! I would be lying if I said I didn't miss that little apartment in Sydney but our life is here now and we were lucky to find a community full of young families where houses are actually affordable! We are 2 minutes from the river and 10 minutes from the beach.. We would never get a house in Sydney like that! (It would be 4 times the price!)

    Maybe if you just start keeping your eye out for another similar apartment on a quieter street? (I'm not sure where you live in Sydney.. Is it the whole suburb thats noisy or just your particular street?) If you are not in a rush I'm sure something will come up eventually x

    Sorry for the essay!

  4. Our Melbourne home-hunting list is similar, though I'm finding it a daunting task as we can't just get in the car to go looking at properties. What we currently pay for our 3br, 2ba house in a quiet and secure neighbourhood in this semi-rural city, we will be lucky to find a 1br apartment with a tiny balcony and bars on the windows on the edges of the Melbourne CBD *sigh* I just remind myself that home is where the heart is...y'know, as long as that home has air-con, hardwood floors and is pet-approved! ;)
    I hope you find a lovely abode for your beautiful family to call home, Gaby.
    Sar xx

  5. I live in a house in the lovely suburb of Toowong in Brisbane. We rent and the house is a bit of a dump but it is a good size, its in a nice area and it's really close to work! I would love to own my own home much like the one you wish to have :-)

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  6. I recently moved (March) into a place that I love, is just the right size, has some (manageable) outdoor space, a view of the ocean - and then, a few months ago one neighbour started playing his doof doof music at all hours on weekdays. It's a horrible noise. The kind that infiltrates your entire brain. It actually sounds like a throbbing headache. I've been over once to ask them to turn it down, which they (marginally) did. For a couple of days. Then he started it up again and it's been a regular feature since then. I'm hesitant to call the cops because he'll know it was me! But for me, noise is definitely something I find difficult to live with, especially when it's someone's music, or fighting that's horrible too.

    Good luck with your search - if noise is an issue, make sure you visit your potential new home at a number of different times a day/week so you can scope it out beforehand.

  7. Ah I know exactly what you mean. Pity the husband has to work in the city (although a lot of people commute to Sydney from here!)

  8. We live in a counrty town in the middle of NSW that has some real social and economic problems. While we live comfortably in a nice older style home and a big back yard with our families close I struggle with the lack of community.
    We have plans of moving on soon, I think our kids need to grow up somewhere with a strong community spirit.
    All the best with your search.

  9. We live in Massachusetts in a rural place, but right on the corner of the busiest intersection in town. So many sirens, cars beeping, people yelling at eachother, and MOTORCYCLES (they have to be the absolute worst)- all of that within earshot whenever we are home. Otherwise it is a very nice apartment in a 200+ year old house with lots of space and hardwood floors.
    Rent in the area we live is fairly cheap in comparison to cities, so that is good. But I dream of the day when we can move far into the woods with endless privacy and silence. Away from motorcycles, that's for sure.
    I can't imagine living in such a noisy place with a little baby who needs to rest! Good luck to your family in this search. May you settle on just the right place in just the right location.

  10. we live in the middle of a well known area of Berlin. when we came here, it was all quiet and easy, but it has changed a lot. the area moved up and became super hip. I am happy for it, but it doesn't seem to fit us anymore. saying that, I guess our needs have changed and now we have to change. the plan is to move back to nz within the next year. and your wishlist, 'I could almost copy it. wishing you lots of luck with that. something great will come up for you, I sm sure!

  11. a place to settle in has been a frustrating game for me for a while. because of my work i've been living as a nomad for the last few years now. i'm in the process of getting settled in one city, but it's still a slow process.

  12. New York City over here! I feel you on the noise issue :( and the dream of an outdoor space! I go back and forth on living here but I def do not want to raise babies here. Lugging strollers up and down the subway all day? No thank you. Hope you find your dream!

  13. I can relate. I'm planning on moving to Sydney mid next year and the cost is just insane. I'm determined so that's not going to stop me but it has been delayed (I originally wanted to move next month).

    Good luck with everything.


  14. I live in Chicago and love it! However, my husband might have to move overseas for work and it excites me but scares me at the same time. We live in a high rise condo on the 27th floor which is pretty amazing and rent. Although we don't have tons of space, I enjoy it because it forces me not to take on a lot of clutter or junk.

    I hope you find what you are looking for!

  15. I call a condo in downtown Toronto home. I love it some days and not so much other days. Like anything really, great and not so great things about it. But for the most part, I adore my city. The culture. The variety. The diversity. It's all in my backyard.
    Great blog - looking forward to reading more ;-)

  16. Oh - and I love how you put your ideal space criteria out to the universe. I too have a special relationship with the universe. She always provides...;-)

  17. I just cannot go past the inner west of Sydney. It is my spiritual, ethical and political home. I don't live in a particularly groovy part of the IW but we have a little backyard with a swing for my two children, the smallest trampoline you can buy and an outdoor setting so my DH and I can sit and read the newspaper on the weekend. There are places that are becoming much more funky due to people like yourself being forced to buy further out. Arncliffe and Bexley have some incredible homes, a short drive to Newtown and are currently being bought by loads of IW families.

  18. I love our little apartment in Erskineville, but boy oh boy I'd like a bath in the next house. A garden or courtyard would be lovely too :-) we've been talking about moving to the south coast forever, might happen next winter, we'll see!

  19. I would love a bath and a coutryard in our next place, which will possibly on the south coast so we can live by the sea. I love our little flat in Erskineville, but I'm starting to feel the need for a change! Good luck with your house hunting Gaby :-)

  20. ummm... you know what the answer is, don't you?

    xo em

  21. Once we had Olive we thought about moving to the "burbs", but the Inner West has our heart. Although our rental may be small and overpriced, the sense of community and the access to this amazing city is something I can't let go of. I originally come from a small coastal town, who would of thought the hustle + bustle would win me over xx

  22. I'm a city girl at heart, born and raised. We've only been in a small town--not a suburb, maybe 18,000 people, for 6 years. I think to the core I am a city girl, for all the obvious reason that one loves the city, BUT we have loved and appreciated being able to see farm land minutes from our current home. Bigger skys means more stars and clear air. We love love that. It's also been a bonus as odd as it sounds, to not be near all the shopping. I've literally saved money because it's at least 30 minutes to get to it all...I know you'll find the right home Gaby!!!


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