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All articles here are written by Melinda Briana Epler (that's me!) unless otherwise noted. I'm a documentary filmmaker, writer, and brand experience designer - I've dedicated my life to living a sustainable lifestyle and helping others do the same. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or thoughts for articles. Welcome!

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We're Moving This Weekend!

Surprise!  I mentioned a few weeks ago that we were thinking we might move, and we decided to take the leap. So on Tuesday morning, we’ll awaken in a new home!

It’s not far – you can can see it from our current apartment (click to enlarge):

5 Reasons We’re Moving

  1. To decrease our footprint. Our current apartment is pretty big, which is great in some ways but also takes up more footprint than we need.  We can do jumping jacks in our bathroom and barely touch both sides of our hall walls at the same time.  Little things make a difference on the sustainability path.
  2. To eat healthier. Sounds strange, but right now we live across the street from a natural foods store and 6 blocks from our garden.  Guess which one we visit more frequently!  So we’re switching: we’ll be across the street from our garden and 6 blocks from the store. I’m looking forward to seeing my garden from our bedroom window. 
  3. To save costs. We’ll be saving $6,000/year living in our new home.  That’s a lot of money to contribute toward paying off our student loans.
  4. To live in the heart of the neighborhood. We’ll be across the street from the community center, community park, local church, restaurants, cafes and bars.  As a result we’re much more likely to be a part of community events and decision-making processes.  We’re looking forward to it!
  5. To live in a more diverse area. Our current rent has gone up substantially, and the residents are changing – it’s becoming a higher-income building.  Where we’re moving, we’ll be in a low- to mid-income community, with some transitional housing, a food bank (to donate extra veggies), and in general more diversity.

We also lost our beautiful view – we used to be able to see the bulk of Lake Union and even Mt. Baker on a clear day.  Our new apartment will have a modest view of the sunset and Space Needle.

5 Reasons We’re Staying In the Neighborhood

  1. Our neighborhood is LEED certified. The entire neighborhood is certified as a sustainable neighborhood, and we’re proud to be a part of it.  We have bioswales in an urban center, 35% of the neighborhood buildings are LEED certified, urban planning has focused on multi-use areas that are walkable, parks, native plants, … it’s really awesome.
  2. We have great public transportation and walkability. We have a walk score of 97.  I walk to work, and Matt walks 2 blocks to the bus.
  3. We’re in the heart of the city. I love walking through downtown every day, feeling a part of the city on a daily basis.  I feel I intimately understand what’s changing, how the economy is doing, where industry is thriving, etc.  We’re in a central spot to our friends and family – pretty much within 15 minutes of anyone we know in the city, right off the freeway, and an easy meeting point.
  4. We love our garden community. We have an awesome plot, with great garden neighbors, and good friends of ours just moved gardens to garden near us.
  5. We have a growing local economy. The neighborhood is transitioning from an old dilapidated manufacturing (and prostitution) center, to a thriving mixed economy.  It’s pretty amazing to watch, and it gives me hope for the rest of the country.

Can’t wait to tell you all about our new place!  In the meantime,

Tell Me About Your Home

What’s perfect about it?  How did you end up there?

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13 comments to We’re Moving This Weekend!

  • I was wondering why no one had anything to say today – for some reason the comments were closed on this post. Apologies! Come share your thoughts!

  • I really like your reasons for moving/staying. I love that my house is old, it has character. It’s a small house on a large lot. That was important for garden. It is close to a bus line and an easy walk downtown. A little too far to walk all the way to work and back, but do-able if I had to.

  • Congrats!! I think moving is so exciting.

    Our home was my boyfriend’s before we began seeing each other. We’ve been together for two years and I just recently moved completely in. We consider it our home “for now.” Our dream is an old farmstead with lots of land and privacy, but we’re young, so we have time to save the money and make that happen.

    It’s just a little one-story brick ranch in a suburban neighborhood, but it has a huge, fenced-in backyard. We have our raised bed garden plot, a section of yard for my herbs, a big enclosed chicken coop and run for my five girls, and plenty of room for our four dogs to run. It’s great for what we need now, but my ultimate goal is to get out of the neighborhood.

    Unlike you and your love for the city, I’m a country girl! Lol. I don’t want to live in a city or even in a suburban neighborhood. If I can spit at my neighbor’s house, they’re way too close.

  • Amy

    We ended up in our place because it was the only place we could afford that was available when our other lease ended. When the lease is up here we can go month to month so we will be able to find a better location if we choose to stay in our current area. My husband will be done with his PhD next summer though so we may move anywhere.

  • My house is paid for – perfect! Also, it has a large yard which is slowly becoming less grass and more garden. When I bought this place, I planned to stay about six or seven years. Eighteen years later, I can’t imagine living anywhere else.

  • Happy packing Melinda. Moving can be tiring business!

    I don’t know where we’ll end up but right now we love our current home. It is in a quiet neighborhood close to town but has a big lot for lots of gardening. It just feels like home.

  • I like your reasons for moving, however I cannot imagine living in such a built up area! We currently move every year, we value being within a few minutes walk of university and town and warmth – a place which is insulated and a heat pump is key (but rare here). The downside is this means no garden, a situation I want to rectify next year.

  • Helen

    I’ve been in my house for almost 2 years. I moved to shorten a 45 minute commute to a 12 minute commute. I really should bike to work, but I am too chicken to ride on one of the roads I would have to take. I have looked for alternatives, but there is a large river between my house and work and only so many bridges. My goal for the summer is to get more comfortable riding my bike in traffic. Even with that, I still don’t know if I will be comfortable riding up the steep hill with no shoulder on a busy road, in order to get to work. We’ll see…

    I hope your move went well! Enjoy your new place!

  • I’ve been reading here since you were living in California. Do you ever miss the place there? Do you still have Raisin?

    I have always liked your lists and find myself nodding with a lot of the reasons why you move. :)

  • You asked what’s perfect about our home and how we ended up here . . . We ended up here because I came out to the country to help my daughter look for a house and ended up falling in love with the “big house” on the same property. We showed it to my husband the next day, and we made an offer two days later. :) It’s perfect because our daughter lives 400 feet away, we could bring my two horses here–and we’ve kept going from there: garden, orchard, chickens, cow, calf, ducks, pigs. It’s a work in progress, but we are loving learning about growing and raising our own food as we go. It’s also perfect because, even though it’s much smaller than our previous house, we still have enough room for our kids and grandkids to spend time with us here. And, if you look at my blog, you’ll see it’s a beautiful little valley on the end of a dead-end road, which is why we fell in love with it in the first place.

  • Nancy

    I for the past 3 years have lived in the Ohio foothills of the appalachia. Beautiful beyond words! I moved here to keep my job from NW Ohio best and worse thing I ever done. I love being down here but oh my the drive to get anywhere is always 30 mins or more and that is just to get to town. I enjoy all the farmers stands that are everywhere durning the summer. If there was a way to stay here and not work for myy current employer I would not be moving back north.
    I tried to find work down here but in a town of only 5000 there are not ample opportunity and when sommething does open up you can bet an outsiider is not the first choice to fill the spot. My job was so bad my health was seriously starting to be jeapordy. My finance of 8 yrs asked me to move back so I can help him take care of his mom and finish school. It will be nice to be back home my new job is within walking distance from my new home and my school in on the public transit route. Best of all my grandbaby only lives 4 blocks away! So I see alot of Oma time heading her way! Oh and I almost forgot we have a pretty incredible farmers market back home!

  • I live in a decrepit 2-room concrete “house” in a mountainside barrio in Caracas Venezuela. We have one small window, so no ventilation or natural light to speak of, and the humidity (inside the house because the walls are saturated with humidity – outside is not that humid because Caracas is in the mountains) is so bad that pretty much everything is mildewed. We have no hot water, and no running water at all every week or so for days at a time when the tanks go dry and they haven’t pumped more in yet in which case we do everything from buckets that we haul up the stairs from the reserve tanks.

    I ended up here because I fell in love with Venezuela and with my husband, and this is where he lives. It’s cheap, easy to get here on buses, and you can walk to downtown easily as well. I’ve learned a tremendous amount about living sustainably simply by not having things people in the first world have to make an effort to conserve, water being the most obvious. When just having water in the pipes is a luxury, the way people in the US casually let their water run while they do things becomes a glaring insult – no one enjoys doing dishes in front of me when I visit :).

    At the end of last year we had record torrential rains and tens of thousands of Venezuelans lost their homes to landslides and flooding. Our area was not spared – houses very near ours collapsed and rushed down the mountain. We spent more than one afternoon under the eaves with our neighbors drinking coffee and watching neighboring houses fall through the downpour, piece by piece, thundering crash by thundering crash. Our house was spared, but our entire barrio has been called high risk, and we had to make a decision to move.

    Instead of trying to get a loan we could never pay off to live in a huge concrete box of an apartment building, we decided it was time to shift gears entirely and buy some rural land outside the city, build an earthbag house and grow as much of our own food as possible. So that’s what we’re doing, and we couldn’t be happier. Our land is in the mountains and is loaded with bamboo and other natural wonders, and every time I go there I am so relieved that I will be spending the rest of my life there, breathing that clean air – yum! The only downside will be the back and forth to the city for my husband, who as a musician will have to do the commute fairly frequently. But there is always the trade-off. For now while we do everything necessary to get the land ready, we still live in the city. But I’m grateful for our little hillside cave because it’s taught me so much, and because it got us to where we’re going.

  • I’ve been in my house for almost 2 years. I moved to shorten a 45 minute commute to a 12 minute commute. I really should bike to work, but I am too chicken to ride on one of the roads I would have to take. I have looked for alternatives, but there is a large river between my house and work and only so many bridges. My goal for the summer is to get more comfortable riding my bike in traffic. Even with that, I still don’t know if I will be comfortable riding up the steep hill with no shoulder on a busy road, in order to get to work. We’ll see…

    I hope your move went well! Enjoy your new place!

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