Our House Search

For the past five or six years, I’ve wanted a house.  It is hard to say exactly why-more space, ability to paint walls or knock them down, ability to have a dog, more privacy-sure those are all great.  But those are all little things.  Maybe it is what it symbolizes-freedom, security, and maybe a bit of drawing a line in the sand and saying, “This is my space”.  True, in the past few years here in the U.S. the idea of house=security has been sorely tried and perhaps should be discarded.  But I  still have a fundamental yearning for a house. 


Satya does not share this desire for a house.  I think for him, financial stability comes before nearly all else.  That and to him apartment living is manageable-we have an open kitchen/living/dining room, 2 bedrooms, and a bathroom.  Cleaning takes just a few hours. When our washing machine inexplicably stopped working, we had a brand new washing machine installed the next day.  Our apartment complex took care of the whole thing, no questions asked. 


Then, there are our cultural differences.  In my family, people buy houses and people sell houses and move, no big deal.  Satya grew up living in family university quarters until he was about 10.  He and his parents fondly remember living in the university quarters-they were huge and there were lots of other kids to play with and friendly neighbors who helped out.  Then, his parents decided to build their house.  They already had the land, bought years earlier.  They just needed to buy materials and pay the laborers.  After years of careful savings, his parents were able to build their house and have it 100% paid off.  There wasn’t a mortgage because mortgages didn’t exist.  After the house was built, his parents have not moved.  Recently, they remodeled the house a tad-installing a toilet and in the shower room, retiling and adding a shower.  His dad adds gadgets-now they have an inverter so that the ceiling fans won’t go off during a power outage and some solar lights so they will have a light or two during an outage.  Unlike my parents, his parents are not searching for their “grandparent home” or their “downsized” home.


In India, people seem to build houses where their hearts are.  One of his dad’s colleagues, A., has rented part of another colleague’s home for years.  When A. retires, he will return to his village to live in the house he built there.  Then, there is Satya’s cousin who works in Bangalore.  He rents an apartment in Bangalore, but has a huge house and yard in the city in Northern Karnataka where he was born and raised and where his parents live today.  To me it seems weird-why not have a nice house where you spend most of your time now? 


So getting back to me and Satya, we moved out West last year.  It has been a huge change.  I thought we’d buy a house and live here for 5-7 years.  We’ve been looking at houses for a long time, but Satya just can’t get himself to commit to a house.  I think the real reason is that his heart just isn’t here.  I like the wide open skies, no traffic, safety.  He hates it here.  He has bad allergies from the tumbleweed, hates how people drive exactly the speed limit or 3 below, and isn’t sure he enjoys his job (perhaps the biggest reason).


My house dream will have to wait a bit longer it seems.  I see two possible scenarios-1) I get pregnant and Satya’s job satisfaction improves so we’d buy a house here.  2) We move to California or to NJ/NY where Satya has more connections and more opportunities career-wise.  Eventually, we’ll have a house somewhere.  Maybe it will be in India, since his parents have already bought land for him?