Living space

It occurred to me driving home from the metro station yesterday that I just passed the 57 month-mark in terms of how long I have lived in the house I am living in Riverdale. It is significant because it is longer than I have lived in anyone place since 1989. In fact, since the summer of 1989, I have moved 8 times. (8 times in 18 years is not that bad considering the fact that 4 of those eight moves were in college.)

Northridge, CA                    15 months
Riverside, CA (UCR dorm 1)         9 months
Riverside, CA (UCR dorm 2)         9 months
Riverside, CA (Apartment)         24 months
Northridge, CA                     9 months
Studio City, CA (Arch Drive)      37 months
Studio City, CA (Tujunga Ave)     52 months
Riverdale, MD                     57 months

August 1 will be 5 years in Riverdale. If I had moved to Riverdale when I was beginning first grade, I would be entering the 6th grade now. In that respect, 5 years seems like a long time. It is, in fact, 1/7th of my life, which also seems like a long time. But I’m fine with that.

The house in which I live is not perfect, but I have an absolute abhorrence of moving. Furthermore, the only reason I can think of to move is to buy a house, but I am simply unwilling to pay the prices being asked for houses, even though I could afford to. The housing market has priced itself out of my range. (People think I am strange for this, but everything is relative. I would be willing to pay hundreds of dollars for a rare Isaac Asimov book on the one hand, but I would scoff at paying $200 for a pair of jeans. Why on earth would I pay $300,000 for a mediocre house that would increase my commute time and require ten times the attention of the house in which I live now?)

Ironically, moving signs are springing up all over my neighborhood. There are probably a dozen houses within virtual eye-shot that are on the market. Recalling my macro-economics class, this should indicate a lowering of price, but even so, it is more than I am willing to pay. I think all houses are overpriced. When the price drops to around half of what they are now, or my income doubles, then I would be willing to consider it. But not until then.

It is therefore very possible that I will break my all-time record for living in one place in the house that I currently reside. That record is the 82 months I lived in Somerset, New Jersey. All I need to do is stick it out through the end of the summer of 2009.

About Jamie Todd Rubin

Jamie Todd Rubin writes fiction and nonfiction for a variety of publications including Analog, Clarkesworld, The Daily Beast, 99U, Daily Science Fiction, Lightspeed, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and several anthologies. He was featured in Lifehacker’s How I Work series. He has been blogging since 2005. By day, he manages software projects and occasionally writes code. He lives in Arlington, Virginia with his wife and three children. Find him on Twitter at @jamietr.