Fifteen years ago, I bought my first–and likely last–home. With two young children and associated desire to have a back yard, a swing, and a tree house, I left the core of a major city and headed to the suburbs.
As advised by real estate experts, I bought the lowest-priced house on a great street in an affluent neighborhood, a short block from a lakefront dotted with old trees and multi-million dollar homes. At the time of purchase, my house was vetted by a certified inspector who pointed out that the roof needed new shingles in a couple of years, but apart from that, the house was structurally sound. I looked forward spending leisurely summer weekends playing with my kids, sitting on the back deck reading a book, and enjoying the sounds of birds, a welcome substitution to the din of downtown traffic.