Finding a Home: Comfort vs. Practicality

finding a homeA short three months ago I made the biggest move of my life from Wilmington, Delaware down to Tampa, Florida. I moved down here because my boyfriend, Matt, was relocated for work. After we got the news about the opportunity, everything was kind of a blur. The move happened fast. Matt’s office was set to be in Sarasota, but we have friends that lived in Tampa. Logistics came down to comfort versus practicality. Would it be better to live around people we knew and loved but have a long commute, or to keep the commute simple but be 80 miles from anything familiar?
Comfort came out on top and we settled into our new home in the Hyde Park area of Tampa. I was thrilled. Matt was going to be working very long hours the first few months here and I was just happy to be around friends. Unfortunately, Matt was not as comfortable. His commute took nearly two hours each way, every day, and on Friday afternoons it was closer to three. The traffic here is really something else!
It didn’t take long before we realized that we had made a mistake. In the chaos of packing, saying goodbye to friends and family, and trying to find a place to live from a different state we didn’t think about all of our options. We had looked at everything in black and white – Tampa vs. Sarasota. As things started to settle down we took some time to consider other ideas. That’s when we decided on St. Pete.

St. Petersburg just so happens to be smack dab in the middle of Tampa and Sarasota AND it’s a beach town (just a bonus). Moving there will cut Matt’s commute in half and we will be close enough to our friends to see them on a regular basis.

So, what’s my point? Even when you’re placed in a situation where decisions need to be made quickly and efficiently, don’t rush into anything without thinking about all of your options. Make a list of pros and cons and determine who will be affected the most and in what way. The key is to compromise.

Before you settle on a home, look into commute distance and traffic patterns. Check out cost of living calculators and the average cost of groceries in each area you are looking into. How close will you be to amenities that are most important to you? Finding a home from a long distance is a lot harder than finding one when you’re able to drive around the neighborhood and check out the area for yourself. Don’t settle on something just because the process is stressful and you’re in a time crunch. Be sure to pay attention to the details so you don’t end up like me, moving twice within six months.