Joy and I transitioned from renters to buyers seven years ago. We moved from a one-bedroom ground floor suite in a beautiful heritage home in one of the trendiest areas in Vancouver into a new-build townhouse about 40 minutes east. We wanted more living space and we wanted to be investing in our own property rather than someone else’s. The location we chose was just off a major highway, close to a park, but most importantly was near my then-employer, a Costco, and public transit. We liked being able to entertain in the open-plan living room. We liked having no maintenance to worry about. We had a patch of grass behind our garage that was in disrepair but technically ours. We never used it.
When kids came, that open-plan living room became an open-plan toy room and far less entertaining. And as they grew into toddlers and little people, the proximity to the park became more important and that useless patch of green an obvious detriment.
It’s a lot of work to pack up a house and move, especially with kids. But my memories as a kid included playing soccer in the front yard, climbing fences, imagining I was GI Joe or Luke Duke or Face Man and running outside role playing with my friends. We had outdoor space to play in and we would use it if there was even five-minutes to spare before we had to be back inside for dinner.
So we moved yet another 40 minutes further east to our new home in Pitt Meadows.
Yes, we wanted to get away from some of the politics and proximity of the townhouse complex. And yes, townhouse values compared to single-family homes have lagged, so it felt like a wise shift in investment. But we moved yet another 40 minutes further east because I didn’t want to entertain our kids in the open-plan living room every day. I want our kids to explore the outdoors and kick soccer balls in the yard. I want them to beg us for extra time to play basketball while we’re preparing supper. I want them to grow up adventurous, fit, and healthy.
And I think we’ve found a place that can let them do just that.