Are you a show off? Is that why you want to win the lottery?
In my last blog entry I posted a headline from the newspaper. A local business owner just purchased a home for $40 million overlooking the Gulf of Mexico. In the same paper this week were articles about the struggling economy, the closing of several local shops, the record number of foreclosures, the amount of people who can't afford their property taxes and/or insurance and the number of recent layoffs. The gap keeps getting bigger and bigger as what once was the middle class spirals down the social hierarchy.
Anyway, I mentioned that a place called James Island (maybe one of our members lives there) has some lovely homes and looks very pretty...just surfing the net... I posted a link to a 2,400 sq ft Cape Cod with a large deck and built-in pool on over 1.5 acres listed for $392,500. Another member said it looked like a crack house to him and that I could "do much better" if I won the lottery. What the heck does better mean? Better for whom?
I'm reminded of the times I dated a guy who wasn't flashy or very handsome, but he was kind and made me laugh, and someone commented "Nancy, you really could do much better." (At 56 that's now changed to "Does he have a pulse? Can he feed himself?")
So that got me thinking. If I had won the jackpot last night, I could walk around the corner and buy a new home overlooking the river for about $1.8M. I could also move to an area where homes cost less and buy a gorgeous estate, maybe even my own mountain retreat. I could also trade my Camry for a more luxurious car, although it only has 24K miles on it and runs well.
However, I like small homes (BTW to me 2400 sq ft isn't small) with character. I also love the historic B & B homes with solid wood wainscotting and clawfoot tubs. But my favorite homes are "beachy" and "woodsy" style cottages and log homes surrounded by trees. When I first moved to this part of Florida, I lived on Sanibel Island and rented a small 2 bedroom stilt home (around 1,100 sq ft) at the end of a dirt road for $500 a month furnished. It was a deal I made with a real estate agent while it was on the market. It sold for about $398,000 in 1996. I would take long walks to the beach and talk to ospreys that had constructed nests on top of poles along the way. To date, it's been my favorite home - alligators, mosquitos, frogs, giant spiders, flooded roads and all.
Now, don't get me wrong. I'm pretty high maintenance. The home came fully equipped with a dishwasher, garbage disposer, central air and cable TV. I don't like to rough it! Well, one night I was reading the Island paper and saw a couple of ads for 2 multi-million dollar properties on Captiva (the next island) and recognized the name of the broker/owner. So the next day I asked my neighbor, who lived in an old home about the size of mine, if he was related to this person. He said "oh, that's me." So here was a man who lived in an old cement block home who drove a pickup and he owned a $3.5 million estate.
So what's your style? I know a man who built a mansion and was absolutely miserable so he sold it and moved to a 2 bedroom cape. I also know a woman who lives in a 5,000+ sq ft house and always complains she needs more.
What does better mean to you?