Those of you who have been reading Time Goes By for several years will remember a companion blog I started during the months I was selling my home in New York City's Greenwich Village in 2006, to move to Portland, Maine. That blog was called A Sense of Place and I really liked – still like – the banner I created for it.
I won't go so far as to start another blog this time, but I will post updates here now and then as this new move goes forward.
For more than a year, the sense has been growing that I would rather spend my last years in Portland, Oregon where I was born and lived until I was 14 and where my brother still lives. I visited him in 2007 (some photos here) and I suppose the idea of moving was planted then.
I want to know my brother better before one of us dies and after all these years away – more than half a century – I find myself missing the grandeur of the northwest – the mountains visible from the city, the Pacific Ocean only 90 minutes away, the green-ness – in the nature sense.
Even so, if I had my druthers, I'd be back to New York City in a New York minute. But I can't afford that and Portland, Oregon has grown in my consciousness during these past four years in Maine. It's pulling at me more strongly every day.
I have often thought that as we grow into our late years – the winter of our lives, if you will – there is an emotional pull, for those of us who have wandered away, to the homes of our youth. There is no way to tell if that is part of my yearning for Portland, Oregon, but it's kind of interesting to think about.
It is the real estate market that has kept me from pursuing the move. But on Saturday, my real estate agent stopped by. He told me that my apartment is in the hottest property market in the city, that it will sell in the high end of the price range for its type. It will “show” extremely well, he says.
Plus, I've been checking out home prices in Portland, Oregon for the past couple of months. I can afford this move. So I made the decision on the spot Saturday while the agent was here.
There are a couple of inexpensive cosmetic fixes to do to the apartment in the next three or four weeks. Nothing big, so I expect to have a For Sale sign out front in March when I will also make a visit to Portland, Oregon to look at homes there.
I could be wrong, but I have the impression that quite a number of Time Goes By readers live in Portland, Oregon or nearby. It would be helpful to me if you told me about the neighborhoods you live in or others that you like. A few of things I am looking for are:
• An easily walkable area for the daily necessities of life. I'm tired of driving for nothing more than a quart of milk or bulb of garlic.
• As close as possible to downtown or easy transportation to it. If/when the day comes to turn in my car keys, I don't want to lose the freedom of getting around.
• A lively neighborhood with people out and about doing things.
My impression from real estate listings is that there are few or no small condominiums in Portland, Oregon and I cannot afford large ones because maintenance charges for apartments in big buildings are too high for me and they always increase over time. So I will probably buy a single-family home. I don't want a lot of yard to keep up, but I do want some gardening area.
I'm not willing yet to post my price range for a home, but you will get a sense when I post photos and particulars of this apartment when it is officially for sale.
Meanwhile, tell me about Portland, Oregon, and the rest of you – what is your best advice about moving.
At The Elder Storytelling Place today, Ann Berger: Material Witnesses