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Following Your Gut

June 16, 2010

Our Little House in the Falls

I had this post planned for last Friday, but didn’t get around to writing it. Then a couple days later, my monthly dose of Oprah arrived (my trusty O magazine) and I noticed a bit of text that fit in perfectly with what I wanted to write. So, now I actually get to fit that in. Cool!

The picture above is our house, it was taken during the Fall of 2008 when we moved in. I love this little house immensely. I still sometimes can’t believe we own it, as I saw it for sale a long time before it even seemed like a possibility that we might be able to buy it.

I know that in my last post, I may have seemed negative about Niagara Falls and the truth is that living here is a two-fold experience for me. There are things I don’t love the city, but at the same time I love where I live. Love it. And okay, I may have been exaggerating a little bit when I said it started with crepes. It actually started a lot earlier and buying our house has been a huge part in it. Things like the crepes place just help me love the city itself a little bit more. We do know that we want to move on at some point in our lives, but at the same time we are really happy where we are.

Around the time that I saw this house for sale, I started to get the distinct feeling that it was time for us to put some roots down. You see, we had been quite unsettled, moving pretty much every year for a while. Here in Canada, we lived with my in-laws for a year, then rented a tiny apartment for a year and lastly rented a house. This was all in Niagara Falls, but still…The rented house ended up being the place where we lived the longest – two years. At this point, I really started longing for a place of our own. When riding my bike around the neighborhood, I liked to I look dreamily at the houses around me. I loved our neighborhood, but not so much the street we lived in where we rented the house. It just seemed so unlikely that we’d be able to afford a house I actually loved.

There was this house that I passed on the way to work that I thought looked really cute and cozy. And it was for sale. Months went by and I couldn’t stop myself from staring at it every time I went by it. Then, one Sunday, Ben’s brother and his wife came over. I had this sudden urge to go to Starbucks, so my sister-in-law Dina and I went. We walked by the house I liked and there happened to be an open house. Needless, to say we went in. The house was really nice: It was pretty spacious, but it was also cozy and it had character. There was lots of light coming in through the windows. It had French doors and a built in corner cupboard with glass front. I fell in love and could not stop thinking about it.

Then came the task of convincing my husband that this was a good idea and the process of trying to get approved for a mortgage. To make a long story short, it seemed like we were not going to get a mortgage, but it worked out in the end. We also looked at other houses, which made me realize even more how much I loved this house. In the end, it all came together and we became home owners. It was scary, but it felt so, so right.

At times, I have questioned our decision. Why did we choose a house in a city we feel ambivalent about? Is buying a house really a good investment in this economy? Yet, every time thoughts like these come up, my gut wins out. I feel good here. I am happy I live here every day I wake up. I love coming home. I’ve been more creative since we live here. I feel more settled, more at peace. In some invisible, but significant way, this place has somehow brought about a change in the way I see myself and my life. It has also learned to trust myself more. Sure, there is stuff to deal with like a leaky basement which is a real pain in the butt, but these are challenges I gladly face in the light of all this house has given me.

The bit in the O magazine that made me smile when I saw it is talking about right and wrong situations to let your instincts guide you. The wrong: hiring someone for a job and sniffing out a lie. The right: Doing something you’re experienced in, considering getting a second opinion and…wait for it…shopping for a home.

Don’t just endlessly analyze the financials; listen to your gut. Studies have found that purchasers are more satisfied with a big-budget item when the decision is made incorporating unconscious thought rather than by conscious deliberation alone.

Source: July 2010 O magazine

That just about sums up the process I went through – incorporating unconscious thought. I heard somewhere that intuition is just another form of knowing: Just like knowing something based on facts can be wrong if the facts it is base on are incorrect, so is intuition only another form of knowing – it still needs to be examined to prove whether it is true or not. It is good to be aware of this. And if you do this, making decision that incorporate that unconscious process can be a really fun process.


5 Comments leave one →
  1. June 17, 2010 3:43 am

    It’s a darling house. I’m glad you love it! Sounds like it was meant to be.

  2. June 17, 2010 6:09 am

    what a nice post! I love to hear about other’s journeys! I completely went with my gut on buying my house too. and i never regretted the decision! in fact, every time to go with my gut- those are the things I’m happiest with.
    xo natalea

  3. June 17, 2010 2:47 pm

    What a sweet cottage. I can see why your gut fell for it! Such good advice as well :) And I was in the market for some. Thank you!!

  4. June 18, 2010 12:09 pm

    i think going with your gut is SMART! :)

    and your house looks very cute and cozy!
    have a great weekend!

  5. June 18, 2010 10:31 pm

    Such a great experience! I find that big decisions get made like that: kind of a mix of excitement, feeling it somehow in my gut ~ just feeling right about it. And usually some kind of serendipity. “I had this sudden urge to go to Starbucks…”

    So glad your home is giving you peace! :)

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