Freezing rain was falling as a leasing agent rushed me under an umbrella and into a brand new one-bedroom apartment. I was visiting a luxury complex that had just been built near me. After driving past it too many times to count, I decided it was finally time to see what it looked like inside. This complex was around the corner from Target, and so many other amenities that would just make life easy.
For years, I have been searching Realtor.com and Zillow for properties to buy in New Jersey. After putting in multiple offers, my plans to buy a house kept falling through. This has been going on for years, and I became sick of living with my parents in a never-ending state of housing limbo. Long story short, my gut screamed at me that this was a huge mistake. I listened, and walked away from what seemed like a perfect apartment. No one had any idea that the Covid-19 pandemic would take place. In retrospect, I absolutely made the right call. But how did I know? I just followed my intuition.
Choosing a Place to Live Based on What Society Expects Isn’t A Great Reason for Buying a Home
Before you think about buying a home, ask yourself why you are doing it. Do you feel that it’s a milestone everyone expects of you past a certain age? Is it for your kids to have a yard to play in? Or do you feel like you must buy a home, because it’s what everyone else is doing?
As a Woman, Your Fear of Living Alone Is Completely Justified
When I was looking for a place to live on my own, I felt so much fear and anxiety building up in me. I was scared to live alone. Logic was trying to tell me that I’d be fine, but my gut told me otherwise. Don’t be stupid, I thought to myself. There’s literally no reason to hate this. My intuition was screaming, “no no no no no”, but I was trying my best to ignore it. Logic told me that the odds of something bad happening to me were slim-to-none.
At the time, I never looked up the statistics that out of every 1,000 women living alone, at least 21 of them become victims of a burglary. According to Burglary.com, single women in their 30’s and 40’s who are recently divorced or separated have a higher chance of being robbed than younger women in their 20’s, possibly because it’s assumed that they are going to be more financially comfortable. And according to Reolink.com, New Jersey (where I live) has more incidents than any other state.
Most people choose a place to live based on logic, rather than intuition.
I can’t tell you how many friends of mine hate their apartments, and yet they keep living there anyway. They would complain about the neighbors, the landlord, the location.
I’d say, “Why don’t you just move?”
They would always come up with some kind of excuse. Usually, they would say that it’s close to work, so it’s convenient. Then, a couple years later, they finally find a new home that feels right, and they say, “I can’t believe I didn’t move sooner.”
Why does society condition us to ignore our gut feelings?
Finding a place to live is a big deal. It’s where we spend most of our time outside of work. Or, if you work from home like me, it’s where you spend almost all of your time. Now that so many more people are working from home, they finally realize just how important it is to feel completely happy in their surroundings.
Next time you choose where to live, make sure it feels right, even if it means taking time to live with your parents. Yes, it’s embarrassing, but remember- it’s a temporary annoyance in exchange for living in a place that actually makes you feel happy and safe.