Twenty Questions (Give or Take) About Home

~ HOME ~

Taking a nod from the conference conversation starters, I’d like to ask you these, in hopes of getting us to talk about where we live, why we ;ive where we do, and how we make someplace our home, along with decisions along the way. As Thanksgiving approaches, it’s a good time to reflect on home, family, friends and the good things in life. Places and homes matter, and it’s important to understand our own preferences and it is interesting to hear those of others. Please comment below, or send an email to if you would like to share or have additional thoughts on the matter.

  1. Where do you live?
    • City? Country? Suburbia? New urbanism? Neighborhood? Development? Village? Rural? Urban?
    • North, south, east, west? Coast? Plains? Mountains?
  2. How do you define live?
    • Play? Work? Sleep? Socialize? Eat? Exercise? Rest?
  3. In what type of residence do you live?
    • Single family house? Apartment building? House divided into apartments? Duplex? Rowhouse?
  4. What is the age of your house?
    • Is it historic? Is it just “old”? Is it new?
  5. Do you rent or own currently?
  6. Do you prefer to rent or own?
  7. What is the first thing you want to change about a residence?
    • Paint? Ceilings? Rugs? Appliances?
  8. What is your ideal place to live?
    • Do you expect “ideal” to change?
  9. Do you live where you thought you would live?



13 thoughts on “Twenty Questions (Give or Take) About Home

  1. Jim Grey says:

    1. I live in the “old suburbs” of Indianapolis – a place that was outside the city limits when the houses were built, but has since been annexed. My subdivision is full of by-owner-built (rather than developer-built) homes, mostly single-story, mostly faced in brick. These are subdivisions; neighborhoods all dump out onto heavily traveled main roads. These “old suburbs” are not walkable.

    2. Because I need to drive everywhere, I say that the entire Northwestside is “home” — I work in it, I shop in it, I play in it.

    3. I live in a single-family brick ranch, on about a third of an acre of land.

    4. My house was built in 1969. I like my house, but I’m realistic: its age and style are not terribly appreciated today.

    5. I own.

    6. I prefer to own.

    7. I prefer to buy a place I can live in for several years as is, while I get to know it and form plans for how to make it more mine. In this case, I have been slowly taking up the carpets so I can live on the hardwood floors that lurk beneath, and I remodeled the bathroom, but that’s it over the six years I’ve been here.

    8. I would much prefer to live on the city grid, in a neighborhood of homes built in the 1920s-1950s give or take, where there are some things within walking distance. I don’t need an entirely self-contained neighborhood where I’d never need a car, but I surely would like to be able to walk to the corner for a gallon of milk, or to a small nearby business district for a quiet dinner or a drink. I do not expect my ideal to change. I grew up on the city grid in another Indiana city and miss it terribly.

    9. I do not live where I expected to live. I live where I am willing to afford to live.

  2. colin says:

    I live on a remote island in the middle of the Caribbean called Saba. It is part of the Dutch West Indies. My partner and I brought this single, cottage 7 years ago and yes this is where we planned on being. I don’t work at the moment.

  3. Gwynn says:

    I live in a historic Gold Rush town in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas in Northern California. It is gorgeous and other than expensive, it is perfect. My rental house was constructed in the 1930s, however it has been sadly remuddled, including the removal of the original windows (despite my pleas backed up with documentation, to the owners!). I dream of owning, but in California that is unlikely. As a fellow architectural historian, of course I love historic houses but would give that up to own land and anything I could call my own. First thing I would do to my own house would be to paint the whole interior! My real dream is to live on the East Coast, and actually Vermont has always been my first choice. Maybe some day! Keep up the good work, Kaitlin.

  4. Lani says:

    I live in Chiang Mai Thailand, a growing mid-sized city, in an apt that I rent. Since I move frequently, I feel like the first thing I want to change is the wall color! I wish I could but never can. Nevertheless, I almost always manage to make where ever I live, more like home. Cheers 🙂

  5. Midwestern Plant Girl says:

    I own my home in northern Illinois where the homes are all different, averaging about 40 years old. I’m always adding landscaping. Now, I would like to stop having to take care of all this stuff and move into my RV and see wherever I can drive it. I think life should be enjoyed, not worked to death over. Money does not buy happiness. 🙂

  6. jbrown81 says:

    1. Northeast, Vermont, Mountains, Rural
    2. I define live as where my home is
    3. Single family house
    4. Built in 1870
    5. Own
    6. Prefer to own
    7. First thing I changed when we moved in was paint colors!
    8. Ideal is always changing but I’m pretty close where I am now.
    9. No

  7. jane says:

    1. I live on a farm in sw Vermont near a town.
    2. I do all these things here. It is home.
    3. I own a farm house built about 1815, remodeled 1912 and 1950. Now my turn!
    4. I am removing the vinyl siding, replacing the ‘lifetime replacement windows’….insulating as I go -maybe some day I will get to the kitchen. We’ve done the basics: roof, plumbing, electrical, heating.
    5. I am content here – life keeps evolving.
    6. I have always lived in interesting old houses – only one had a pedigree. But I always wanted to be able to watch the sky. I can.

  8. LaLuce Mitchell says:

    1. A very old neighborhood adjacent to downtown in the city of Buffalo, New York. It is made up of brick houses and small apartment buildings from the 1860s-1880s. The sidewalks are slate (though many have been replaced with concrete) and the grid my street is on is at a 45 degree +/- angle to the “main” grid nearby because this part of the city was once part of a separate canal village, long since dissolved. I picked the neighborhood because I prefer to live without a car so it provides me the ability to walk to work and gives good access to lots of frequent bus and train routes and the city’s expanding bike lane network.
    2. I do all these things here. I try to spend as much of my money in my neighborhood or within a couple of miles of it as possible.
    3. Small 4 unit apartment building
    4. The building is historic. We think it was built around 1875-1880 and has many great Second Empire details. It is a contributing structure in a local and National Register historic district that was established in the 1970s.
    5. I rent, but have been here several years.
    6. I like renting, but I would love to own a building in the future.
    7. I would love if the windows were restored since (most of them) are original but are very drafty. The building had a major fire in the 1960s or 70s (back in its darker days as a rooming house) so most of the interior was completely redone after the fire and is pretty modern.
    8. My ideal place to live is in a dense old walkable city. I have that now and love it, so I don’t see that changing. If I move in the future, it will be to a similar situation.
    9. I grew up in a suburban area in the Midwest and never knew what city life was like. I experienced it in college in Chicago and haven’t looked back – but, I wouldn’t have expected, before college, to adopt this lifestyle in the future.

  9. Stephanie says:

    I live in a small town in rural South Carolina, a little over an hour outside Charlotte, N.C. The town in charming, and has a very active local historic society. We do most everything here, although we are drawn to bigger cities to shop. (Our town recently gained a Taco Bell, and the police helped with traffic for two days, it was such a big deal)!.
    We are blessed to live in an old Queen Anne Victorian, built in 1887. It is in the historic district, one block from downtown. Very few changes have been made to the home over the years. There was a kitchen fire around 1910, which also burned the top of the tower, which was shortened. The porch railing was also removed at one point. I have original photos of the house, and would love to replace that tower!

    The home is listed on both the local & state historic register, and is considered historically significant.
    The floors, plaster walls, windows, fretwork is all original. HVAC was added about 2 years ago, but it is still cold & drafty in the winter. The slate roof helps keep it cool in the summer. Some of the electricity has been converted, but much is still old knob & tube. Many people are quite surprised when they come in because so much of it is still original, yet we live in it 100%. We have two teens, and it is not uncommon for this house to be covered up in kids. We’ve been here about 2 years, and it’s been quite a journey. It’s interesting, figuring out how to solve a modern-day problem in an old house. And it’s funny watching the teens figure out how to cook without a microwave, or decide WHAT to plug in the few outlets they have available!

    This is our dream home, but I think it will be too expensive to maintain. We hope to always stay in this neighborhood, though we may watch for a smaller home. Oh, and after living here, with all this charm & character, we will never buy a new home again!

Have a thought to share?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s