Starting on September 23, I now know where I’ll live for at least the next 11 months: in an apartment complex called the Woodin Creek Village in downtown Woodinville.
I’ve always wanted to live in a small city downtown, so I’m actually pretty excited about this opportunity. It’s fairly easy walking distance to a couple parks, the grocery store, lots of restaurants, stores, and a movie theater, and the Woodinville P&R, where my commuter bus originates. (I had to think about the possibility of some day going back in the office, although that won’t happen until at least January. And let’s be honest; what’re the odds that the pandemic will be better in January? Seriously?) Oh, yeah, and let’s not forget — really close to the bike path.
And to be honest, although it’s a lot more expensive than our mortgage was, and even though I know I’m not building equity, etc., etc., I’m relieved not to be responsible for a home. No more yardwork, no more dealing with broken pipes, no more discovering and dealing with rats in the crawl space, no more surprise $10,000 home roof replacements, no more worrying about noisy, obnoxious neighbors… just kidding, I’m sure neighbors will be worse in a huge apartment complex, but I can live with that.
Owning a home has always felt like this huge burden to me, something that you just do as an adult. Everyone’s supposed to aspire to own their own home, right? At least to me, an apartment was only ever a stepping stone to home ownership. That may or may not be true in my future — I don’t know that I could afford a house around here, even supposing I want one — but as I’m re-evaluating everything I assumed, I might as well re-evaluate whether I really want to own a home in the future or not.
It feels good sort out my housing. Grateful as I am to live with my parents, I know from prior experience that keeping my tenure with them as short as possible will help all of us get along better. So I put in some effort to try to figure my housing situation out right away, and over the weekend I heard that I qualified for the apartment I applied for. This is the first time I’ve not been certain I would qualify. In a life of almost total uncertainty, it’s a relief to settle at least one big unknown. Now we know how long I’ll be here, we see an end date, and we can certainly get along for 17 days.
The other factor about all this is that I made this choice on my own. It’s very strange making decisions by myself. I’ve spent my entire adult life consulting someone else for nearly every decision, and now I’m just deciding on hugely consequential things like where to live. Honestly: I think I could get used to this.