What The Hell’s Going On, Pt.2

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Aside from getting a dog, we’re also moving.

Wish I could tell you that it was to Canada, or Maine, or Oregon, but alas, we’re just moving within the PGH city limits.  A number of factors came into play with this decision.  Dissatisfaction with our current ‘hood (Greenfield, for those in the 412) has been growing for a while.  It really sunk in when I was unemployed for a year, and had lots of time to stay home and take good, hard looks at the place.  When we first moved here, we assumed that the area was beginning an upswing of gentrification, but then the housing/mortgage crisis hit and that never materialized.  So the neighborhood has stagnated, or possibly backslid.  I’ve complained a lot about the litter, the people who don’t pick up after their dogs, the scummy landlords and their scummy renters.  It’s gross, and I’m sick of looking at it.  (No, Greenfield isn’t all bad.  It’s quiet, low in crime, and my immediate neighbors are close-knit.)

Another thing that happened was that the center for new and cool developments in PGH shifted over to East Liberty, where the Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s went in.  We drive across town umpteen times a month to go there, so why not try to get closer?

Finally, interest rates dropped so low that we thought we might actually be able to afford better.  So we started shopping.

I won’t bore you with the ups and downs and emotional wringer of house-hunting.  But the end result is we’re buying a 2 bedroom, 1100 sq foot 1951 ranch house in Shadyside.  (It’s at the point where Shadyside, Squirrel Hill, and Point Breeze meet so you could say it’s in any.  I choose Shadyside because it has the Shadyside zip.)  It’s smaller than what we were hoping for, it needs updating, but it suits us.  It feels good.  And the location is everything we could have wished for.

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And I’m going to try to 1950s-ize the hell out of it.  Finally, all of those mid-century volumes of Living for Young Homemakers and Better Homes can serve their purpose!  I’ve been scoping out Craigslist for antiques every day, and we’re planning to get bright green counter tops installed.  Also http://retrorenovation.com/ is my new crack.

Our scheduled closing is Aug 14, Gandalf’s birthday.  If all goes well with the loan, we may try to move it up a bit to have more weekends to work.  Either way I’m looking forward to it.  If we’re condemned to spend eternity in PGH, I wanna spend it in the nice bit.

We’ll miss our house on Deely St.  If I could pick it up and take it, I would.  But I’m satisfied with the good feeling that comes from leaving a place better than you found it.  Much love went into this house, especially from all of the friends who put their sweat and time into it:  Cheri and I assembled the IKEA cabinets, Jimmy helped with the kitchen floor, Tim and BW put the roof on the porch, Donna and everyone else we know ganged up to build the retaining wall, Dave lent a hand with the screening, Rachel and Mike painted the garage….in short, friends helped to make it a great home.  Thanks to all, and I’m sure you’ll do the same for the next house.  (No, that was NOT a clever plea for free manual labor disguised as sentiment!)

Come by and see us in the 15232 zone!

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