Saturday, May 31, 2014

A Big Yellow Taxi Epiphany

You might remember the Joni Mitchell lyrics, I hadn't actually even thought about the Song until the day we went house hunting... and then it began looping thru my head, I'm sure it was an Omen that I was having a Big Yellow Taxi Epiphany:
"Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone... they paved Paradise and put up a parking lot..." 

Yes, that is probably what would happen to Bohemian Valhalla if some greedy Developer or Investor purchased it... it's usually what happens to large Historic Properties on Acreage in the more outlying towns and suburbs around the City.  Or even IN the City for that matter if they're not protected by being designated Historic.  And to say that I didn't really care would be a lie.  I knew that once I Sold it there would be the possibility that ever driving by it again and seeing it's Fate would bring deep and huge regrets and a flood of negative emotion at what was Lost and possibly even gone forever, like so many others in the area before it.
And then there was the Reality that touring newer Homes made me Appreciate what we already have even more and fall more deeply in Love with this Old House!  I instantly morphed into Retired Banker Mode and the Banker in me just over-rode the potential benefits of moving and focused in on all the flaws and problems.  With the grossly inflated prices, postage stamp lots, lack of space and storage, dwarfed rooms, inferior construction and materials, lack of craftsmanship, expensive HOA Fees, Restrictions, wild fluctuations in value for the past five years... well, it just magnified the flaws to me and made me nervous about being a buyer.  I started thinking about how much we'd have to Sacrifice and how much we'd have to get rid of in the way of possessions to even fit into these small Homes!   Renting off site Storage for overflow 'til it Sold, for my Inventory for the Showrooms, to have an Art Studio to Create in, to house The Man's Recreational Vehicles... just added expense and headaches!   And downsizing to the degree we'd need to so quickly and making a move would be headache and stress enough, I wasn't sure I was up to it... or even wanted it now that I thought about it with Logic rather than Emotion!
Then there were the other Red Flags... too many homes in the area for sale, all having been on the market too long.  Which led me to believe the Sellers probably paid too much and needed to be bailed out on upsidedown properties... or bought what they thought was an Investment they could make a killing on and without making any improvements since their purchase, were trying to gouge a prospective Buyer.  Too many second Vacation Homes meaning properties would be Vacant half the year or owners really could be quite transient and flipping or renting Vacation Properties frequently.  Too much New Development going on, making it all the more difficult for Sellers to Sell existing properties and the potential for HOA Fees to increase exponentially to maintain the expanding Common Areas and compensate for Vacant and Unsold Properties.
Plus the Personal Reasons... The Man we discovered, simply couldn't do stairs so multi-level Housing was completely out of the question.  No Balconies and Views... phooey... the list of Positives was drying up fast!   And because most lots were so tiny, most of the Homes were multi-level to be able to give even the illusion of square footage sufficient to live in and not just Vacation at!  To get a Home even remotely close to holding what we'd want to bring with us, we'd have to spend upwards of $690,000 and that price point was ridiculous... if I could or would spend over half a Mil, I'd rather live in Hawaii... I've seen fabulous properties in actual Paradise that cost less!   And lets face it, Lenders aren't lending so freely anymore, they got their $$$ cheaply and they're holding onto it rather than lending it cheaply, so qualifying factors are questionable anymore and contingencies are frowned upon.

Yes, there was the hardwood floor house with a Pool on one level... but it was the ONLY Home in the Community and the Location within the Community that was a single level and could remotely fit our needs or be in a price point outside of the stratosphere.   And honestly, it wasn't worth what they were asking IMO and the Value fluctuations of said house had ranged so Wildly I don't even think the Market knew what it was ACTUALLY worth because Holy Mother of God, the Selling Prices in only a few years of this Home were all over the place!   Not to mention they hadn't fenced the Pool... added expense... and the whole interior would have to be painted because it was Crazy... even for Yours Truly who is an Old Hippie that has no Fear of Bold Color!   *LOL*
So... though a New Adventure and scratching the itch for our Wanderlust was Exciting... I'd rather stay put in a Home I Love, that is almost paid off and has ample space for my Pretties and the Storage we require.   I have a huge Art Studio Space that Guests can stay in when they visit.  The Man has his Work Shop Cottage for all his Tools and Acreage for his Recreational Toys... all at no added cost.   I can hire a Gardener and Maid Service if I decide I need more Help with Maintaining all that we have... and now I fully realize ALL THAT WE HAVE!   I didn't have to have a Big Yellow Taxi Moment *Whew*... I just had to have a Reality Check and the lyrics looping thru my head as a Warning of what I was about to consider doing... that couldn't be undone.  Thank God!
Blessings from the Arizona Desert... with Contentment at remaining at Bohemian Valhalla... Dawn... The Bohemian


  1. I have been there and youre so right, it is good that you were able to tell the difference between daydreaming and real life.

  2. Congrats to You for being able to stay in Your beautiful long loved home-Enjoy :)

  3. Whew! I am so relieved!!! I was worried about you and your family undertaking a move on top of everything else you have to deal with. Your home is magic and I imagine a huge comfort, like an old friend. I am so glad you will be staying. At least until I can come up with enough money to buy your place myself that is... : )

  4. It's fun to daydream...I love my home, but often dream of different homes in the mountains or in the desert. Fact of the matter is that I'm going to stay right here and maybe vacation in those places. Still...there's the dream....

  5. Dawn, you wouldn't be our Bohemian girl if you didn't follow your heart - inspired by this post as I always am...

  6. O.K.! I'm glad you discovered all this before you committed! Do you feel a weight lifted off your shoulders?


A life touched by God always ends in touching others. - Erwin McManus

I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars. - Og Mandino (1923-1996)

For creativity to flourish one should try to look at everything as though it were being seen for the first or the last time. - Quote from "A Thousand Paths To Creativity" by David Baird

Is what I'm about to say an improvement on silence? ~ Galen Pearl