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How long does it take to adjust to a new home?

Emily H
8 years ago
There are always new things to figure out, new routines to create, etc. How long have you found it takes to get used to a new home or space? Any rules of thumb?

Share your experience! (Photos encouraged)

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Comments (104)

  • Kathleen Marineau
    5 years ago

    4 years this summer and I still feel like a stranger. We have friends at church, I'm teaching Sunday School, but it's a small town with a lot of people who are 3rd generation and more. Just yesterday at a committee meeting someone said, "Well, of course she's reliable, just look at her mom." I had to ask who her mom was because her name was different. I got a laugh and an "...everyone knows..." response.

    As for moving around, I actually enjoy state, town and house hunting. I'm an explorer at heart. My sister and I added it up when we were in our mid 20s. We had each moved 22 times, about half before we were out of high school.

    In spite of that, some places just never seem a good fit. My current problem is the size of our land and house - too much for me to care for now that I'm in my 70s. But, hubby insisted on paved roads (many are gravel in West Virginia), paved driveway, large garage and at least 2 acres. Plus downsizing is not one of his strong points. He leans more toward the hoarder side. I'm hoping in a few years to find a smaller place by appealing to his penny-pinching side.

  • JC
    5 years ago

    Kathleen, I'm originally from a small town in wv, and can understand how it would be challenging to be new in a place where folks have been there for generations. We're also coming up on 4 years, and while we love the house, the property itself is a lot of work. Took awhile to get used to, since in our area of CA lots are small and gardeners come and take care of everything in 10 minutes (landlords usually included that in the astronomical rent). Came here without even a rake!


    I admire your explorer heart and its gOod you've found a church. I hope it starts feeling more like home do you.

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  • Kathleen Marineau
    5 years ago

    Thanks, JC. Bakersfield, CA is my and my children's origin, although we never lived in town, always on the outskirts. The bonus was every summer weekend in the mountains, loved camping and fishing the high country creeks. I miss the mountains more than anything. Find an old dirt road, pick a spot near water and turn the kids loose was all the vacation time we ever knew or needed.

  • Maria Rodriguez
    5 years ago
    this is totally my situation right now.
  • JC
    5 years ago

    Kathleen, I'm very familiar with the San Joaquin valley and know what you're talking about! Love the mountains ... in fact, we took the kids to the great smokies and let them do just that. They've run about, spent afternoons in the river, read in the rocking chairs on the front porch.

  • alison_bunny
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I'm feeling anxious - I have dreamed of buying my first home for years. My husband and I put in very quick offer on a home because the market is so difficult for buyers right now in the greater Seattle area. I just haven't enjoyed the whole process because the home is beautiful but further from work than I had hoped - I feel like I was forced to make a quick decision due to the difficult state of the market. Everything about the house is beautiful, but I keep having fears about changing area, having an hour extra drive to and from work every day, and messing up the stunning brand new white kitchen. I am afraid that my day to day frustrations with life will be no different in this beautifully renovated home. I feel like I should be elated because I wanted to get on the property ladder for years, but I have had a racing heart the entire time. We went to look at again after our offer was accepted, and it was exciting and beautiful and I really couldn't believe my luck, but it didn't feel like home. Help.

    Edit: I rent with a lake view right now and I am worried that I am going to miss it. All the sensible logical thinking about this being the next step in life is not outweighing my emotions.

  • Kathleen Marineau
    5 years ago

    Don't know if it will help, but a well made kitchen can always be scrubbed spotless again. Mess it up, put baskets on the counters, pick a spot for the mail, treat it like it is a rental. In a way, owning isn't much different unless you turn out to live there long enough to pay it off.

    I'm on my 4th "owned" home and have had well over 20 different rentals. The difference that I see is that owning means you are responsible for everything that needs to be fixed or maintained.

  • Ella Spada
    5 years ago
    last modified: 5 years ago

    I am really struggling with this! I moved probably 27 times in my first 35 years (from Europe and across state) but this last move has not worked. I have always adjusted easily but not this time... probably because this was the only time I stayed home with the kids and opened a business working for home. I made no deep relationships. I know lots of people for my business, but only two friends who I see rarely. We moved from CA to TX on a 2-weeks schedule because of a nasty layoff before the holidays. My husband accepted the first job that came about and it was a 40K salary cut... it made everything so so difficult. It has been 4 years (FOUR!) and I don't feel home here... part of me dream to go back but we cannot realistically afford the Bay Area without sacrificing financial security, and I am frightened to move to a brand new place because I am traumatized from this past move. What if I don't feel home either? I have to get out of this mental space, either I try to settle here in TX or I find the courage to restart somewhere else (looking at NC now). To add to the mix, I am from Europe and I am not sure I will ever feel "home" in the States. I welcome any advice. Thank you.

  • JC
    5 years ago

    Ella, about 10 years ago we moved from CA to TX on a 4 week schedule. I don't know if it was the area we were in in TX or if it just was never going to be the right place for us... but we left after 18 months. We did go back to CA and it nearly ruined us financially. I understand how expensive the Bay Area is as I have family there and where we were in CA is just as expensive. It's ridiculous. Yet we went back. We were in a tiny 2 bed rental. Although we made lots of new friends through our kids' school as they entered grade school, my old friendships didn't just pick up where we left off. We still saw each other, but it wasn't quite the same. It really, really stunk having that feeling and struggling financially. One of the good things about living in TX was that housing was so much more affordable.

    I had to respond to your comment because you mentioned looking at NC, where we now live. Yes, we left CA a second time, and that time I knew would be the last. We've now been here 4 years. I won't lie - its been really difficult. Moving with kids in school, and my husband and me being older now, it was a challenge meeting people. In the beginning I found myself once again thinking we ought to just head back, but knowing realistically it was not a possibility if we wanted any sort of financial stability, which we now have after staying put. I think I just want to go back to that time, and even if we physically went back it wouldn't be the same. Overall we are glad we came here. its a great place to raise the kids and hopefully they will be able to stay close after leaving home, with all the good universities and job opportunities. It makes sense. In a way the two times we left CA were a bit traumatizing for us, too. I don't have the energy anymore to keep looking and overall this is not a bad place at all to end up!

    I guess the advice I would have to offer would be to visit any place you're considering, but you already know that. Also, as I"m sure you know, visiting is different from living somewhere, but maybe you'll get a feeling that will help in your decision. I wish you well, and understand the mental place you're in now. Everyone's situation is so different... we've said that if given a chance to do it all over again, we would've come here first when the kids were smaller. We always come to the same conclusion, that we had to leave CA, as much as we loved it there. Best of luck to you!!

  • Kathleen Marineau
    5 years ago

    I decided to stop responding to this conversation before reading the last 2 posts - but just can't.

    This will be our 4th winter in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia and I still dream of California. We left for family and health reasons, not money. I only lived in a big city (LA) for 1 year, my California home has always been the San Joaquin Valley and the Sierra mountains. Cost of living here is about the same as what we left.

    But, I understand the longing. Nothing can replace the diversity of people and landscape.

    Ella Spada: Visiting an area can give you an idea of what the culture and people are like if you do it the right way. Since you're from Europe, you might want to check out the census bureau reports that show where different culture groups congregate.

    http://www.city-data.com/ is a very helpful source. It gives a lot more information than any realtor site. We used it to find a rural area with less than an hour drive to medical services we would need.

    We also used it to rule out areas with high crime rates and mostly run-down housing.

    One thing that helped - we walked the downtown thrift shop area looking at other customers as well as what was available. We asked where to find a mexican food restaurant and asian food. Got several recommendations that were not on the hotel's list. We sampled those and chatted up the staff about where they were from.

    As a result, we eliminated central Oregon and Washington, ended up moving close to our Coast Guard son, closer to the grandkids.


  • Jennifer Hogan
    5 years ago

    I believe that being home has more to do with people than it does with the house. I moved from Pennsylvania Dutch Country to San Diego California 31 years ago. After a year I was more than ready to move back to PA, but I was young and in love and my husband wanted to stay. We rented a dump for the first 9 years while we scrimped and saved and were able to buy a home. That place was never home.
    The home we bought was 30 miles from the city and was much more my home, but was still in the wrong state. Over 20 years I made changes and decorated that home to my taste. I understood that as a salesman my husband didn't want to drive in the snow and ice and hated the cold.
    Every year I would travel back to PA for the holidays and always said I was going "home for the holidays." I would usually stay between 4 and 6 weeks and usually got a chance to come home for a week in the spring and a week at the end of summer. I loved my house in California, but I was too far from family and the friends that I had grown up with.
    About 2 years before my husband hit retirement age I started looking at property in PA and preparing our home in CA for sale. I found a couple of homes that I thought would work, but nothing that stole my heart.
    When the time came that we could move, he didn't want to move back to PA, so we sold our home and I settled him into an apartment in Nevada and continued to drive across country back to my home town.
    While driving across country a home came on the market that sounded perfect. Gas heat, 2000 SF, 3/4 acre, ranch home and in the same neighborhood that I had grown up in. I walked into the home and knew it was my home.
    I wasn't miserable in California and I had built a network of friends that I had to leave behind.
    I live alone here, but I bought a busy dog (German Shorthair Pointer) who keeps me company. I have family that comes by and friends that I have known since grade school. I work from home as a telecommuter and will have to work at building a bigger network of friends. The house needs a lot of updating and since leaving my husband I have 1/2 the money I would have had if I had stayed with him, but I am happier here than I ever was in California.
    I look out my back windows and can see the back yard that I played in as a child. I worked on the yard all spring, summer and fall and got it in pretty good shape. Now I am starting on the inside of the house. I will have to make compromises and may have to live with some things that aren't perfect and I am having to do a lot of the labor myself, but I am happy here and the house became my home the day I moved in and friends and family all gathered to help me get moved in and settled.


  • Kathleen Marineau
    5 years ago

    Congratulations Jennifer on finally feeling at home. We all make compromises, especially during our younger adult decades.

    My family circumstances are a bit different, so I don't know if I will ever get back to a place I'd call home. I have a lot of relatives in California, but no family. Given the choice and another decade, I might consider moving close to my sister in east Texas.

  • closetdecorator
    4 years ago
    After dreaming, and repeatedly visiting for longer stretches, of living on Maui....we are finally here. Purchased a lovely home, with a stunning view a year ago. Moved nine months ago, and still feel so unsettled. Mind you, the house is a third of the size of our old home in Colorado, so that's been an adjustment. I've redesigned just about every aspect of the new home and still feel....off. The culture, the languages, the climate, the smaller space....it's been so different than we imagined it would be. I'm hoping it will all just click. Never felt more off kilter. :/
  • khrisz
    4 years ago

    It became "home" when I said "Let's go for a walk!" and the dog knew the way to the door in the kitchen that opens to the yard.

  • Mina
    4 years ago
    last modified: 4 years ago

    I ran across this site as I was googling on why we feel so unsettled in our new retirement house. We have been in our new house almost 9 months and still don’t feel like it’s home even though we stayed in the same suburb north of the Dallas area. We built our last home. It was our dream home in a beautiful luxury gated community. We realized early last year that the house was much too big for us and the maintenance was getting to be too much for us as we are now retirement age. We decided to downsize and purchase in an active senior community thinking this would help make us feel welcome and help us stay active. It has been very disappointing mainly because it doesn’t feel like home. We can’t figure out if it’s that our new house lacks the luxury feel of our prior home (new house is nice but built to be low maintenance so lacks some of the fancy touches) or if it’s because we realize this will probably be our last home. We moved many times in our 44 years of marriage and don’t ever recall feeling this unsettled after this long a period of time. We have great neighbors so that’s not the issue and we’re very familiar with the area so it’s not a question of being in new area. We just feel puzzled as to why we both feel the same - that this is not quite home and don’t know if it ever will be home.

  • Suzanne Glicklin
    4 years ago

    I sold my home of 24 years and moved across town almost 2 years ago. This new home felt so alien and unfamiliar to me with it's higher ceilings, echos, and hardwood floors. Because I was of the belief that it should feel like home after one year (and it didn't) I gave myself permission to sell this place. I convinced myself that not hanging on to a house for at least two years would be foolhardy and have stayed. And guess what? By some miracle, at the 18 month benchmark this place now feels like home with the same echos and previously unfamiliar sounds.

  • Mina
    4 years ago

    Hope same happens in our case cause we feel we need to stay put until my husband fully retires. I’m happy for you!

  • Lourdes Horn [Morrow ES]
    3 years ago

    gfcowan I'm wondering if you are getting used to you new home yet. Your story sounds like mine. I lived in a two story 4700 square foot house that I raised my kids in. I lived there for 20 years and loved the house and neighborhood. When my kids moved out we thought a smaller home that was one story might be better for us. We moved to a 3000 square foot one story home and I really have big regrets. My new home is beautiful but does not feel like home and feels so small compared to my old home. I have been here 4 months and every day I drive home I feel depressed. I am hoping to hear that things get better


  • Mina
    3 years ago

    Hi Lourdes,


    I read your message yesterday but didn't want to answer immediately as I wanted to give it some thought. We've been at our current home 14 months now and I can honestly say that, yes, our new place feels like home in the sense that I no longer yearn to be back at our previous home. I feel more at peace and am enjoying the smaller feel of the home. The only reason I can't say I love it is because it's missing a lot of what we wanted in our next home. Our prior home was a 2-story almost 5000 sq ft (very close to the size of yours) and we had it custom built to our taste, wants and needs and we had top of the line on everything, so we fell totally in love with it immediately. Our current home is 2200 sq ft. Though we would have preferred something around the 2600-3000 sq ft, we are quite content with the size of our current home except for needing one additional bedroom. Main problem is that it's a builder tract home (I guess that's the right term?) and has no personality or character. It looks like all the other homes in our neighborhood. Everything is builder grade in the home. We've done quite a bit of upgrading, which has helped and updated the master bathroom so that has made the inside of the home a lot classier. Once I'm in the house, I'm happy. It's driving down the street towards our home that depresses me. We live in a Del Webb adult community so the neighborhood itself is very nice with lakes and a golf course but the homes are all cookie cutter. Everything about these homes screams "builder grade."


    When we were looking, we needed to stay in our current suburb because my husband was still working and he needed a short commute. 2017 was the year the DFW Metroplex was experiencing a housing shortage and there wasn't much to choose from especially in 1-story homes. We found what I think would have been the perfect home but it was in another suburb adjacent to ours but at the far end and it would have meant a very long commute for my husband and I didn't want that. The house we bought and live in now met our needs with regards to a short drive to work and layout but is missing a lot of what we need or would like: character/personality; more storage, a large island in the kitchen, 3 bedrooms, bigger laundry room, a fireplace and a 3 car garage and most important - a better quality home.


    My husband is retiring at the end of the month and we're already starting to look for another home. We both don't feel this is our permanent home. It's not a good fit. Size (so long as it's no less than 2200) is not important. I actually like the smaller home feel so long as the main rooms are good size and the house has an open concept. I wouldn't want anything over 3000 sq ft for sure!


    So to answer your question, yes, we feel this is home - for now - but not our permanent home. We have wonderful memories of our prior home but I would not want another big home. I no longer yearn to be back in our prior home. If we could re-create a new house with the same style and amenities that our prior home had but in a smaller size, it would be ideal.


    I would encourage you to give it more time. I certainly feel that 3000 sq ft is a good size. Yes, it takes time to get used to going from a bigger home to a smaller one. But if you're happy with the neighborhood, the personality of your home, the layout and quality of construction, then I'm fairly confident, it will feel like home in the next few months. You can always make minor changes to reflect your personality and make it yours. It took me close to a year to get there.


    Please stay in touch and let me know how things are going.I know what you're going through and how miserable a feeling it is when a house doesn't feel like home. My personal email is: gfcowan@yahoo.com. Let me know if you have any other questions. Sorry my response was so long. :-)


    Best wishes,


    Mina Cowan


  • Ella Spada
    2 years ago

    @JC I read your comment 2 years later (LOL) but I wanted to tell you that we ended up moving to NC a few months later and love it here!! It's not Europe nor the Bay, but we found so much here in term of relationships and nature. Thank you for the encouragement, I think your post made me take a second look at NC and I am glad I did.

  • Kathleen Marineau
    2 years ago

    An update on my comment from 2 years ago:

    My younger sister died suddenly a few months after my comment about possibly moving to Texas. I'm beginning to doubt I will ever leave here (West VA) and I miss the Sierra Nevada mountains a bunch, still, after 7 years. Reality is, my aging body would struggle to get up the familiar hiking trails, but a small old house in Placerville or Tahoe would suit me just fine.

  • JC
    2 years ago

    @Ella Spada : I’m glad that you all are happy here in NC and I hope everyone seeing this thread is ok during this time.


    hard to believe it’s been almost 7 years for us here. Most days it’s good, busy, but we have yet to meet people we connect with. Lately with being under stay home orders we are really missing California. There’s no way we’re going back at this point though. We like all that we have access to in this area of NC. We’ve been a bit disappointed in the schools as this is supposed to be one of the best districts.


    One day we hope to finally get that beach house to get that beach fix!

  • kciambrone
    2 years ago

    Like many of you, I am soon going to make a transition to a new house. My husband died last June. We had a beautiful house together. It wasn’t extravagant by any means, but it was warm, comforting, and sat on a beautiful trees lot. We were so happy. Since his death I had to sell the house, quit my job, and move 120 miles away to be closer to my daughter and family. Ive been living with daughter, son-in-law, and grandson for 5 months. I recently bought a fixer upper less than 40 miles from them. It will be another 3-4 months for renovation to be completed. At that point, I will be moving to a house and living alone. The thought saddens me a great deal. I will have family and friends nearby, but will still be alone most of the time. I don’t believe this house will EVER be home as my husband isn’t here to join me. The best I can hope for is to be comfortable, and hopefully create some memories there with family and friends. My husband‘s wish was for me to move forward. I am trying to honor that wish the best I can. Wishing all of you peace and comfort as you continue your own journeys to find a place called home.

  • Kathleen Marineau
    2 years ago

    kciambrone: My suggestion is the same as many others in this long list of comments. Find a group to join; be it a church (my starting point), an art, music, stitching, or feeding the homeless organization. There are small groups everywhere. If nothing else, volunteer at the local library or a school. Nearly every location needs volunteer tutors, classroom aides, or someone to listen to and help children read aloud.

  • Ella Spada
    2 years ago

    @kciambroneI am so sorry for your loss... it's heartbreaking. Try to take one day at the time - sometimes the anticipation of things we fear is much worse than reality and can deprive us from all the hidden treasures that are there for us to enjoy now. I second Kathtleen's suggestion and found that "home" is where genuine relationships are created. I wish you the very best! xo

  • Ella Spada
    2 years ago

    @JC we miss CA like crazy but we've made peace with the fact that, until the kids are with us, this is the right place to be. We dream we will go back to CA in early retirement! I wonder if the market will ever allow it. Regarding the schools here, call me crazy but we chose to homeschool. I wasn't too impressed with the school districts near us nor could justify paying for the private ones. I found a good schedule of morning homeschool + sports + clubs + field trips that made it all possible (at least before the lockdown). I hope you and your family are staying healthy and safe at this time!

  • JC
    2 years ago

    @Ella Spada We also looked into the private schools around here, and decided to homeschool as well. We have so many private/public/charter options around us, it's quite overwhelming. This is a pretty homeschool friendly area and then of course so many extracurricular activities to socialize with lots of different people. I hope you all are safe and healthy as well!!

  • hbeing
    2 years ago

    Heather Aquila rental prices are still wayyyy too much. It is sad we need to leave our homes due to greedy property owners.

  • gail.katz
    last year

    I'm having a hell of a time adjusting. Just moved about 1/2 hour away to another county, suburban to rural, but we might as well have moved across the country. We lived in our townhome in DC Metro area for 30 years, raised our daughter there. The memories and comfort of my old space are stuck in my heart, mind and gut and I don't feel like me in our new digs. We are in our late 60's, early 70's and my husband has been hounding me for years to get out of the congestion of our area and neighborhood which has become noisy and run down. He wanted to head rural, where he had lived for years before we met, and after 2-3 yrs of looking, we found this house, much larger, so much to take care of, but very serene, nice piece of land, an old person's nightmare with lots of stairs, nothing to grab onto in the shower, almost industrial appliances that require tugging, bending and pulling...lovely and good quality but built for a family, not two oldies. My husband is so happy here, but I feel de-realized...like I'm not in my own skin and keep waiting to go home. It's the weirdest feeling. I can't even begin to keep up with the housework, and that was happening in the townhouse too. Once a perfectionist who kept an immaculate house, I can no longer do it, mentally or physically (osteoporosis). I can afford help about once a month after we sell our townhouse. At least I hope so, though they don't clean the way I want it done...there are about 40 loooooooooooong vents on every wall for the gas heat and what is under them makes me nauseous. I had one cleaning and they didn't take care of that problem. At any rate, I am homesick and all I see around me is beauty.......home really is where the heart is. I wish my heart would switch over so I could enjoy whatever time I have left and also allow my husband to fully enjoy this experience. Thank you for any feedback should anyone see this. I have anxiety disorder and am quite depressed so any suggestions would be helpful. Trying to join local groups, volunteer, etc. Have already started some local online classes and hope to meet in person soon.


  • Kathleen Marineau
    last year

    gail.katz, You sound as out of place as I felt when I had to live in a city apartment. You are the ant deprived of it's colony and I was the cat forced to share space with other species.

    It doesn't help that you are in a transition phase of life. I am also there. Just can't keep up and having to lower my standards.

    I suggest rethinking rooms so the master bedroom is on the main floor, and cleaning the extra bedrooms only when company is coming.

    Good that you are joining some local groups. Your husband put up with city life even though it sounds like he is a country person. Maybe he can tell you how he coped.

    If the house is too big for you, but Hubby likes the location, maybe you can add a retirement cottage in a more suitable size or convert a garage?

    You definitely need to spend money on the bathroom. The last thing you need is an accident while you're in the shower.


  • gail.katz
    last year

    Thanks for these ideas Kathleen. Yes, I love the country and always have but as I have turned the corner on young life, I find I can tolerate the traffic and congestion just fine in our townhome location. Everything was so close and convenient, I just went out during low traffic times, both on the road and in stores, etc.

    Anyway, I appreciate your time and will see how I can make use of your great ideas. Best to you and sounds like you're in a good position now, not sharing spaces with too many other species!!

  • Kathleen Marineau
    last year

    We are still adjusting to aging. It's not an easy transition; for me it's akin to adjusting to having children, especially before about 3rd grade age.

    I had minor surgery on an ankle last month and could not do stairs at all for 2 weeks, which meant someone else had to do the laundry. I had to grit my teeth to avoid criticizing. It's amazing how set in our ways we can get even when we try not to. Just yesterday 4 weeks after surgery, I found the last of wayward dishes from Hubby on kitchen duty.

  • Terry Jones-Brady
    last year

    gail.katz - Your story is so similar to mine. Five years ago we were in our 60s and 70s. I had lived in one house in Virginia for 30 years and was content in that house that I loved. I moved to the Pacific Northwest because my husband was so eager to do so, and a couple of other reasons involving family which in the long run didn't turn out well. I hated the first house we bought here. I was isolated, snowed in, and didn't have a single friend. We were fortunate to sell that house after six months and find a house better suited to both of us, and I began to make friends and find activities I enjoyed. Still, I was suffering anxiety, depression and homesickness. Then my husband was diagnosed with a rare cancer and I lost him during the pandemic. I haven't even been able to have a memorial service for him yet, but planning it for later this summer. Now, however, I'm actually content here and have lovely, helpful friends and am beginning to make the house mine as I learn to be comfortable by myself. I miss him every single day but time does make it easier - both the loss that came with the move of 2400 miles and the huge loss of my husband. Kahtleen has good suggestions - actually I think she and I have talked on this thread before. Be very gentle and kind with yourself. There are no "shoulds" believe it or not. Give it time, and best to you.

  • gail.katz
    last year

    @ Kathleen, Ha, I hear you on the pickiness of doing things the "right" way. I'm very persnickity about crumbs and smears left on kitchen counters, etc...just like my perfectionist mother. Sigh. Glad you're on the mend. I broke my finger 3 days after we moved and was in a cast of 2 weeks, now have to baby the thing for another 4 wks, so can do virtually nothing. That really set me back.


    @Terry, so sorry for your loss. But I am very glad you are OK with your home and surroundings now. The anxiety is the worst. Depression is not at all helpful either. Aging makes it almost impossible to meet friends. My husband, though more introverted than I has an easier time of it because he's always outside and even though there aren't many neighbors directly around us, he runs into them more often and enjoys chatting outside. This was true in the townhome as well. I'm very friendly but if I don't really have anything in common with someone, I can't talk for long, esp if the chatting is not back and forth. I find as I'm aging that people tend to talk only about themselves and never really listen or ask questions.

    Oh well, anyway, very glad you are doing well.


    Wishing you both the best!!

  • Martha Yandell
    11 months ago

    I lived in a town that didn't work for me when I first moved there with my parents when I was thirteen. I lived my early marriage years in houses that we owned, designed, and built that never felt like home. Today, I am happy to say that we moved away from the town that never worked for me. We live in our new home that felt more like home the first night I was there than all of my total years that I spent in that other place.

    Sometimes a place is just not meant to be a geographical location that is nested in that homey feeling. I gues that is it?

  • gail.katz
    11 months ago

    So glad you were able to find the place that truly is home for you. You certainly deserve it, waiting so long in limbo, not really feeling like you belong or are even part of your surroundings. I feel exactly th same way. I often say, "This just does not feel like home." What makes your new home *feel* like home that's different from where you lived all.those.years? I so wonder. Thank you for sharing your story!

  • Suzanne Glicklin
    11 months ago

    I have rethought my whole theory on what makes a place feel like home. Yes, the location and the physical dwelling are important, but I now realize that it is the people that make a home a home. It is the feelings, the people, the senses, the smells, the memories, that are what make a place feel like home, not the shell of a cookie cutter dwelling that has yet to pick up the aroma of cooking or get a ding in the floor from a dropped pot.

  • gail.katz
    11 months ago

    Suzanne, I agree. Certainly, people are #1 for most of us. For me, not so much since over the last several years, most of my friends have either moved away or just found greener pastures than my presence in their lives. I loved working and once that stopped, (not my decision!), I found myself in a world of hurt. Anyway, that's another story.

    Once we moved, and still, I have this emptiness inside that hurts. I lived in Montgomery County, MD for so long, it had become a part of my inner being and grounded me in a way I didn't realize until we left. Exactly as you said, the smell of cinnamon when I biked along a certain leg of Rock Creek Park, (long ago, but it's still like yesterday in my mind), knowing all the ins and outs of the are and where I felt whole and peaceful. I so miss that. I'm one of these people who doesn't need new and different when it comes to big ticket items like my home. Sure, moving to a better place in the same area would be great, but not leaving *home*. That place IS my heart.

  • Dorothy Boswell-Patrick
    11 months ago
    last modified: 11 months ago

    We move only about 30 miles away into our dream home, its beautiful, closer to our grandkids, a better neighborhood but I just dont feel at home After the move & getting settled, its been 3 months & Im still sad. Cant figure out why

  • gail.katz
    11 months ago

    Dorothy, I am sorry you feel this way, but as you know from my original comment, I fully understand. I am in the same shoes. I think some people want and need familiarity to feel fully themselves. This is how I feel anyway. I feel like I am missing a huge part of myself and I will not have time in this lifetime to get it back.

  • Dorothy Boswell-Patrick
    11 months ago

    Thank you, I thought I was the only one and youre corrrect in that at almost 70, do I have time Best Wishes

  • Connecticut Yankeeeee
    11 months ago

    We currently live in what most people would call a dream area and climate. I’m born and raised on the other side of the country. We’ve been here 10 years and it’s never felt at home. I made some changes, painting, carpet etc, but the layout just doesn’t work for me. Once all my kids were married I realized there is nothing for me here at all. Never was. So I’m looking for a home - my very own choice for the first time, close to my kids. That area is not something many people think is desirable for climate or beauty. But it feels like it’s gonna be heaven for me. Now… I just have to find my home in this crazy market.

  • Dorothy Boswell-Patrick
    11 months ago

    Good luck & best wishes, it sounds like the beginning to an exciting chapter!

  • Kathleen Marineau
    11 months ago

    I have a suggestion. Re-read the original article and all the comments over the years. I just did and two things caught my attention. First is how enduring this topic has become. If Houzz articles were judged by their longevity this one might be the winner. This is a timeless topic as we all try to achieve our ideal concept of home. 2nd, for some of us, our progress is documented and we can take comfort in sharing our triumphs and struggles. May we all feel the comfort of being home.

  • gail.katz
    11 months ago

    Connecticut, wishing you all the best!!!! I wish I had your guts. Is your husband/partner moving with you???

  • gail.katz
    11 months ago

    Kathleen, it took me moving here to realize what "home" is. Different things to different people. Also, for some, home is a place to hang their hat while they're off doing things elsewhere. For others, it's their sanctuary and they fix it up to suit their wants and needs.

    I never realized how much "familiarity" meant to me. I have no close friends in my previous city, but everything I did and was since at 14 is there and I feel I belong there. Others do not share this perspective on life. Had I realized how lonely, miserable and anxious I was going to be here, I would NEVER HAVE left, even if it meant a studio apartment and a broken marriage.

  • Connecticut Yankeeeee
    11 months ago

    Thank you, Gail. I, too, wish you the best and hope you’ll feel at home soon. I’ll be making that future home my primary residence. SO will stay in our current home, but I have a feeling once grandchildren arrive, he will follow for at least half the time. He is adamant on not selling our current home. I want to because we could make a huge profit. But, as long as I get my home, I don’t care. As far as guts - Gail, it’s taken me 10 years to get the courage. I realized that my entire marriage was always me traveling to my family. I literally can’t stomach that any more. I. Am. Done.

  • gail.katz
    11 months ago

    CY, you are realizing my dream. I would be fine moving back to my happy place and having my husband stay here. Visiting each other is certainly a possibility or not if that's what is preferred once the move is made. You are doing what millions upon millions before you wanted to do but instead died in misery wishing and hoping. If I could afford it, I'd be outta here. It's a matter of $ for us. But where there's a will, there has got to be a way. I am so envious of you and respect you with all my heart. I admire you. And I wish you all the best following your heart and gut!!!!

  • Connecticut Yankeeeee
    11 months ago

    Thank you for the kind words, Gail. I urge you not to give up on your dream. I feel for you. Unfortunately, it took several deaths and serious illness in my family for me to finally decide I was worth it - use more retirement $$$ now, rather than later. “Later” is never guaranteed. Gail, I truly hope things get better for you 💕.

  • gail.katz
    11 months ago

    Thank you CY. I agree about retirement money though I do worry about things like medical issues and long term care which can wipe you out even though most of us lay out a small fortune for insurance. But I do hear you when you say that exactly those situations are what's driving you to make this move. I am very sorry you had to go through illness and deaths to come full circle and decide to do what you want to do. Wishing you all the best!!!