Author Topic: I bought a new home and it didn't make me any happier.  (Read 3381 times)

kork

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I bought a new home and it didn't make me any happier.
« on: March 14, 2019, 08:32:49 AM »
My family (4 of us) moved into our new home 3 months ago.

We were living in a small home (1600 square foot finished side-split with no storage to speak of). We enjoyed our home very much for the first 10 years of our children's life. But there were some things that really started to annoy us. We were in a noisy, heavy traffic area on a busy street. Whenever it snowed, the plows would empty the parking lot across the street with their damn backup beepers, there were noisy birds (Grackles and Crows) every morning and virtually no privacy.  Our backyard was lower than the sidewalk by 4 feet and we couldn't put up a fence.  So anyone passing by could see in.

Property taxes were also getting stupid. We were getting close to $6k/year plus mortgage, utilities, upkeep, etc. Simply living in our home would cost over $1k a month to carry not including the mortgage or maintenance.

We'd been there for almost 8 years and it was a great little home.  But last spring we found a used needle in our backyard.  My youngest daughter brought it to me during spring cleanup. I was mortified.

We decided to move. The neighbourhood wasn't sketchy (We lived 100 meters from the water and were surround by million dollar homes) but transient foot traffic was becoming a problem. So we sold our home and moved to a new home in a new neighbourhood.  A much better and safer neighbourhood and it's just outside of the city in a higher class community.  We don't have people walking around shooting up and throwing their needles in our backyard.  Instead, people are respectfully walking their dogs. We're surrounded by trees and it's quiet (except for the morning cackle of Crows which is REALLY annoying).

I was fully expecting/hoping that my happiness would skyrocket by solving some of the issues. Our home had been an area of challenge for a while. The noise and the lack of room. Fearing snow because of the backup beepers across the street, hating people walking by throwing their garbage in our backyard. Small house and overflowing.  And the catalyst to change was the needle.

But with the new move, my happiness has actually diminished? We now have more room (It's not an overly large home), we're loving our hot tub (Boy are we ever loving the hot tub) and on paper, everything is better. Our property taxes are nearly cut in half, we're replacing the furnace shortly and are buying a hot water tank so utilities will also be lower than the previous home. So our carrying costs will be less and we have more equity in the value of the home. The home was about $150k more but hey, it's equity and manageable.  We're one of the less expensive homes in a very desirable neighbourhood.

We moved 5 minutes out of town into an executive neighbourhood. It's quieter but I also feel isolated. The advantage of living where we did was that there was always hustle and bustle. It's a double edged sword.

It could be that we moved when it was cold and there was snow on the ground and we've not had a chance to enjoy our new environment that much. I haven't been out riding my bike yet. It could be that the first 3 months has been an adjustment period and this is typical with a move.

I have a complete fitness studio in the new home, a theatre, a 400 square foot living room with vaulted ceilings.  They girls bedrooms are bigger and they have closets now (they didn't before). The carrying costs are reasonable but I'll tell ya, a year ago my goal was to be able to FIRE. Now, I can't even imagine the isolation of not being involved in some sort of "office hustle bustle" type setting.

On paper, everything is better, but I can't help but feel isolated and lonely. I work from home 3-4 days of the week and that doesn't help.

Anyways, I feel like something is wrong but I can't place it.It could be my job/career.  It could be that I just turned 40.  It could be that
I've been fighting with the crows for the last week. They just sit outside cawing and cawing flying from tree to tree.  So aggravating! We moved for some more quiet and now we have these bastards to contend with!

So I don't believe it's the house that's causing me to feel less happy. I'm trying to figure out what it is. I struggle with where my unhappiness is stemming from and I don't know how to isolate it?

I WANT to love my new home.  I WANT to be happier.  I WANT to appreciate all of our blessings.  But there's something preventing me from seeing those wonderful things.  Instead, I'm focusing on the Crows and the isolation (and whatever else is contributing to the negative emotion I can't seem to place).

Anyways, just wanted to share to get my thoughts "on paper" somehow.

For those thinking a new house will make them happier. It won't. Not that the new house made me less happy, but there's something in the mix here.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2019, 08:52:47 AM by kork »

Philociraptor

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Re: I bought a new home and it didn't make me any happier.
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2019, 09:02:00 AM »
Just want to say thanks for posting. I've been trolling Zillow in my area quite a bit lately, as I have lots of minor annoyances with the house we currently own. However, many of those annoyances would in-fact persist in any of the homes that I am looking at, a fact that I have been in denial about. Humans perceive almost any change as negative, so let's see how you feel in a year or so.

sol

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Re: I bought a new home and it didn't make me any happier.
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2019, 09:17:42 AM »
I think that happiness is a choice, in every moment.  It's something you make, not something you find.  For anyone who thinks that their next purchase or promotion or relationship or achievement will finally make you happy, I have bad news for you.  Happy people are happy and unhappy people are not, and you don't switch from one to the other by changing anything at all about your life situation.  You have to change yourself.

Sociologists have spent 100 years reporting to us that the happiest people on Earth are often the poorest.  People who have watched their own children wither and die of starvation in third world countries typically self-report higher happiness levels than successful businessmen and bankers from London or NY.  They have a stronger sense of community and belonging, they live closer to nature, they find meaning in their music and spirituality.  They have no illusions that their life situation is about to change for the better, and so they can accept what they have right now as enough.  The bankers, by contrast, live in a constant state of suffering, striving for something better, dissatisfied with their current life no matter how prestigious it is.

So I'm never surprised when an unhappy person reports that they bought something and it didn't make them happy.  Well of course it didn't!  Happiness doesn't come from the things you buy, it comes from you.  I might suggest trying to cultivate gratitude in your life, as a start.  I've found that taking the occasional moment to consciously appreciate the things about my life that I love goes a long way towards improving my happiness levels.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2019, 09:19:18 AM by sol »

Just Joe

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Re: I bought a new home and it didn't make me any happier.
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2019, 09:19:34 AM »
I feel your pain. We are considering a larger home with a larger patch of land - things we have dreamed of since forever. Now I'm considering that the house we like the most isn't located in a place where I can bike to work safely - something I've grown to enjoy although its less safe now as the town has grown and my path has become more crowded. The cell service there is sketchy. And as much as we crave a little more outside space, we won't be in a neighborhood, we'll be in the country albeit among well to do neighbors. Still only 15 mins to work but 15 mins of country driving rather than 15-20 mins of traffic.

Everything is better except the cost. Larger house = larger mortgage. However no city taxes. Commute time will be same or shorter. More house. More land. More space for what we like to do. We could finally host family events because more space. I expect we'll need to be the holiday destination from here on out b/c our parents are getting older and less able to host, our kids won't be able to afford any real space anytime sooner.

Still, not as feverishly excited as we were about buying our next house as I was when we were younger. Prob the higher costs - which won't derail our retirement plans at all. Prob the thought of dragging out a decade's worth of "junk" aka "good stuff" from old house to move it across the county to the newer place - if we follow through.

I suggest you give it six months and see how you feel. You might make all sorts of discoveries - places you like to visit, a new friend or two, you might see how happy your spouse and kids are now, etc. You're there, do an extended test drive. If after a few years you and your's still aren't happy then re-evaluate.

honeybbq

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Re: I bought a new home and it didn't make me any happier.
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2019, 09:27:39 AM »
Maybe it just doesn't "feel" like home yet.
Maybe in the spring plant a garden or something that makes you have sweat equity in your homestead?
You'll get memories from your kids living there with time...that should help too.
What about painting the interior or minor upgrades to make it your own?

kork

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Re: I bought a new home and it didn't make me any happier.
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2019, 09:33:31 AM »
I think that happiness is a choice, in every moment.  It's something you make, not something you find.  For anyone who thinks that their next purchase or promotion or relationship or achievement will finally make you happy, I have bad news for you.  Happy people are happy and unhappy people are not, and you don't switch from one to the other by changing anything at all about your life situation.  You have to change yourself.

Sociologists have spent 100 years reporting to us that the happiest people on Earth are often the poorest.  People who have watched their own children wither and die of starvation in third world countries typically self-report higher happiness levels than successful businessmen and bankers from London or NY.  They have a stronger sense of community and belonging, they live closer to nature, they find meaning in their music and spirituality.  They have no illusions that their life situation is about to change for the better, and so they can accept what they have right now as enough.  The bankers, by contrast, live in a constant state of suffering, striving for something better, dissatisfied with their current life no matter how prestigious it is.

So I'm never surprised when an unhappy person reports that they bought something and it didn't make them happy.  Well of course it didn't!  Happiness doesn't come from the things you buy, it comes from you.  I might suggest trying to cultivate gratitude in your life, as a start.  I've found that taking the occasional moment to consciously appreciate the things about my life that I love goes a long way towards improving my happiness levels.

See, that's the thing.  We didn't purchase the new home thinking that the "new home" would make us happier.  It was more that purchasing the new home would help solve the problems that we were experiencing which were unpleasant and as a result, lending to the unhappy moments. Sortof like "getting punched in the face doesn't make me happy, so let's eliminate the face punching..."  I may be wrong.  But the new home solved some/most of those issues.  It just happens to be shining light on new ones that I haven't grown into yet.

This is our 4th home. Our first home was plagued by backup beepers (we lived behind a school so the beepers would go for hours on a snowy night).  It made every night with more than an inch of snow a terror. Second home was pretty quiet except for neighbourhood dogs that would bark and bark and bark.  Third house was backup beepers again and now this home, just outside the city is plagued by crows. Even with the windows closed, caw, caw, caw, caw....

Capsu78

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Re: I bought a new home and it didn't make me any happier.
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2019, 09:37:50 AM »
We closed on a new home in November and have been preparing the old home for sale and it just hit the market.  Lots of cash flowing out maintaining 2 properties etc.  That has detracted from our new house happiness meter.  Fortunately, we mapped this out financially and won't be back sliding the nest egg for a while anyway, but I anticipate that when the old house closes we will be happier than right now.
That being said, my "new found" happiness is having purged much much clutter, some dating back to childhood- ours and our adult childrens!  Oh, the things we have tossed/ donated / sold or given away.  The little Japanese women on Netflix is smiling down upon us. I would never have had the motivation to declutter without the hard stop deadlines we faced in getting our home of 30 years ready for market.  So while I looked away from our investment dashboard since November, my immediate ROI has been knowing that we won't be decluttering in our 70's or worse, during the first passing of one of us. We have much less storage and I am determined to keep both vehicles garaged at the new house.
 I have also befriended a young union carpenter who I met at a lunch hangout who happens to be unemployed for the first time in his working life. I hired him out by the hour to help me with some "2 man" tasks- furniture moving, attic clear out etc.  Wasn't certain about his reliability, until he actually showed up at our meeting spot- 5 minutes early.  Gets a lot of phone calls and texts while he is on my dime- he takes none of them.  He doesn't stop moving when we are on my clock, doesn't wait for instruction on every task, knows how to do/fix/problem solve well beyond his years.  I've heard some of his life story, wild child growing up, knew early on he was not college material and makes up for it by showing up, being talented, interested and working his butt off. He worked in the pouring rain to dig a trench around my daughters front porch after a skunk moved in under it.  Skunk got trapped by an animal control professional but it had dug 3 entry points. This kid knew exactly the type of metal wire barrier that needed to be installed to send critters looking for an easier target!  I said "sorry to work you on such a crappy day.  He said This ain't nothing! ... and I appreciate the work.
I have worked him 4 times now and in "happiness hindsight", he came into my life at just the right time for him and me.  I was getting overwhelmed on my "ToDo" list and he helped me out when I needed it.  Yesterday, while downsizing my garage stuff, gifted him numerous fasteners and power tools that I realized hadn't really been used more than once or twice in a decade or more.
Sorry to ramble a bit, but getting back to OP, I have found a lot of unexpected happiness that I did not anticipate when we first looked at our new home last summer.  Sometimes you have to Forrest Gump it a bit and look at all the chocolates in the box!
One other observation- I noticed that the Internet didn't miss my presence one little bit!!!
« Last Edit: March 14, 2019, 09:56:26 AM by Capsu78 »

BlueHouse

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Re: I bought a new home and it didn't make me any happier.
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2019, 09:41:32 AM »
I really want to suggest that you start to build a relationship with these crows. 

http://thewildlife.wbur.org/2015/03/12/the-secrets-of-gift-giving-crows/





SheWhoWalksAtLunch

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Re: I bought a new home and it didn't make me any happier.
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2019, 09:52:36 AM »

This is our 4th home. Our first home was plagued by backup beepers (we lived behind a school so the beepers would go for hours on a snowy night).  It made every night with more than an inch of snow a terror. Second home was pretty quiet except for neighbourhood dogs that would bark and bark and bark.  Third house was backup beepers again and now this home, just outside the city is plagued by crows. Even with the windows closed, caw, caw, caw, caw....

All the complaints you list here are sound/noise related.  May I suggest you read up on misphonia?  No matter where you go, there you are....

LifeHappens

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Re: I bought a new home and it didn't make me any happier.
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2019, 10:07:00 AM »
This is our 4th home. Our first home was plagued by backup beepers (we lived behind a school so the beepers would go for hours on a snowy night).  It made every night with more than an inch of snow a terror. Second home was pretty quiet except for neighbourhood dogs that would bark and bark and bark.  Third house was backup beepers again and now this home, just outside the city is plagued by crows. Even with the windows closed, caw, caw, caw, caw....
Is it possible you are extra sensitive to noise? Some noise canceling headphones might give you a significant boost in happiness.

The other thing that sticks out to me is your feeling of isolation. You moved to the suburbs in the middle of a northern winter, so maybe you just need to wait for nicer weather to meet your neighbors, but maybe you need to make more of an effort to socialize.

sol

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Re: I bought a new home and it didn't make me any happier.
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2019, 10:10:12 AM »
See, that's the thing.  We didn't purchase the new home thinking that the "new home" would make us happier.  It was more that purchasing the new home would help solve the problems that we were experiencing which were unpleasant and as a result, lending to the unhappy moments. Sortof like "getting punched in the face doesn't make me happy, so let's eliminate the face punching..."

I don't think I was clear enough.  If you're unhappy because of some problems in your life, you're always going to be unhappy.  Solving them won't help.  Changing your life situation won't help, because you'll just find something else to be unhappy about.  The secret to happiness is choosing it, despite whatever reasons you think you have to be unhappy.  Happy people are happy regardless of their situation.

Desire is the root of all suffering.  It's the wanting that causes the problems, and having won't change the wanting.  You'll just want something else.  This is basis of all happiness research (also some faiths like Buddhism), and the basis for the MMM philosophy of embracing stoicism and voluntary hardship.  The key is to find contentment in your current situation, in your current moment, and marvel at your good fortune in finding it right now, and then to let it go freely so you can move on to the next good thing in the next moment.  You create a never-ending cascade of gratitude and wonder by focusing on the good things.

If you're the type of person who is pissed off every day by birds making bird noises in the morning, then moving somewhere without birds seems unlikely to magically transform you into a person-sized island of tranquility.  Change comes from within. 

Assetup

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Re: I bought a new home and it didn't make me any happier.
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2019, 10:11:19 AM »
Reminds me of my favorite quote/saying I saw on this forum "money doesn't by happiness, it buys freedom". I may be paraphrasing a bit but I think the same holds true for material objects.  Invest your happiness in your life not your house.

Parizade

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Re: I bought a new home and it didn't make me any happier.
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2019, 10:12:38 AM »

This is our 4th home. Our first home was plagued by backup beepers (we lived behind a school so the beepers would go for hours on a snowy night).  It made every night with more than an inch of snow a terror. Second home was pretty quiet except for neighbourhood dogs that would bark and bark and bark.  Third house was backup beepers again and now this home, just outside the city is plagued by crows. Even with the windows closed, caw, caw, caw, caw....

All the complaints you list here are sound/noise related.  May I suggest you read up on misphonia?  No matter where you go, there you are....

I was thinking the same thing! Misphonia is a condition unto itself, but it can also be a symptom of anxiety or depression. Definitely worth investigating.

Just Joe

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Re: I bought a new home and it didn't make me any happier.
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2019, 10:41:26 AM »
We lived in our town many years doing our own little things until we started having kids. The way into building a social life here was to be born here, grow up here, have family here or belong to one of the many big churches here.

We were none of those things.

Then we started having kids. Our kids through school and after school activities were another way to developing a social life here. It was alot of fun and really improved our feelings about the town where we lived and worked. After that we LIVED there. It was home. And continues to be.

There are transient imperfections to this place. You have to learn to adapt. We had noise problems with teenagers that finally grew up and left home. Passing hobbies of neighbors - like backyard target shooting.

Also when scouting for a new property we often will drive through the neighborhood or park and go for a walk to see what it is like during several different times of the day and night. 

Laserjet3051

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Re: I bought a new home and it didn't make me any happier.
« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2019, 10:51:30 AM »
I would urge you to take sol's advice to heart. It really is the only path forward. Good luck. (BTW, I HATE early morning bird song; I've just adjusted my sleep schedule so that when they crow/sing, it's time to get up!)

undercover

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Re: I bought a new home and it didn't make me any happier.
« Reply #15 on: March 14, 2019, 11:29:26 AM »
There's plenty of research on people being more depressed in affluent neighborhoods. I think this has more to do with the perceived disconnection with the "ordinary man" and perhaps even with your neighbors if everyone is surrounded by big yards and gates.

I also have problems with noise and have terrible misophonia. People chewing or slurping loudly triggers me the worst. I can tell you there is no escaping dogs or birds unless you want to become a hermit. I have two places and there are dogs barking everywhere no matter where I go. Cats make so much more sense as pets overall but who am I to judge.

Happiness is not a choice. Life is full of ups and downs and the downs are inevitable. If it was a choice, you'd just be happy all the time but that's not possible. The goal should not be to chase happiness or even worry about whether you're happy at all. Life is constant suffering. The only thing you can do is lessen that suffering, but there's still suffering. There is no human on earth that is constantly happy, buddhist monks included.

That said, there are ways to lessen your suffering of course and increase the chances of you at least not being miserable. Sounds like the theater and hot tub are going to be a great way to unwind. Hot water (or hot environments in general) definitely has a soothing and anxiety-reducing property about it. I love hot baths. Exercise for me also just lets me forget about every single thing in the world.

See, that's the thing.  We didn't purchase the new home thinking that the "new home" would make us happier. 

I mean you did to an extent or happiness wouldn't be in the subject line of this thread. People obviously assume that solving their problems will make them happier. But of course it doesn't. It just makes you less miserable. But even then, that's impossible to gauge since people crave some level of struggle. You'd be the most miserable person on earth if every problem was solved. I think the process of solving a problem is what gives people temporary hope/happiness but once the problem is solved you go back right to where you were mentally.

Obviously there are no easy answers. All that is certain is that change is guaranteed and there will be ups and downs. You will never feel complete and like you have accomplished everything there is to do. You will feel brief moments of satisfaction but inevitably go back to being unsatisfied. Enjoy the ride is all I can say.

Much Fishing to Do

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Re: I bought a new home and it didn't make me any happier.
« Reply #16 on: March 14, 2019, 11:37:31 AM »
So just my guess given what I know about myself now.....

So you left a place you describe as one that you think almost/may have eventually led to your child contracting a deadly disease from used needles and are complaining about a loud bird.  I don't think that makes you petty or someone who can't be happy, I think you just have what many of us living in the north have this time a year (I definitely notice it in myself Feb & March).  Just recognize that and that It'll be better soon.  If you still feel the same way in the Fall maybe I'm wrong I'd seek more professional help or consider that the needles really weren't that bad.

fuzzy math

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Re: I bought a new home and it didn't make me any happier.
« Reply #17 on: March 14, 2019, 11:39:07 AM »
I second the noise cancelling headphones, or finding a second source of noise to help you feel more at ease.

I sleep with a noise machine or air purifier on high because little noises amidst the silence activate my brain. During the day I listen to music when I'm home and able to. I have a very active mind, a fair amount of anxiety, I'm always multitasking etc. You may just be a person who requires some sensory input to help quiet your mind.

kork

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Re: I bought a new home and it didn't make me any happier.
« Reply #18 on: March 14, 2019, 12:15:25 PM »

See, that's the thing.  We didn't purchase the new home thinking that the "new home" would make us happier. 

I mean you did to an extent or happiness wouldn't be in the subject line of this thread.

I wrote the heading before I wrote my original post.  I figured that the thread title encapsulated the sentiment better than a complex title that took me multiple paragraphs to convey.

Regarding Misphonia...  Interesting.  Sounds like chewing or breathing doesn't bother me at all. It's loud sounds I can't control or seemingly get away from.   I  was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety a couple decades ago though so anxiety and depression does run through my veins. I work hard to keep it at bay and control it, but some things (like the goddam crows) screaming first thing in the morning really shake me from a sound sleep.

I have special earplugs for sleeping that I don't like using because it sounds like an anechoic chamber. Like you're sleeping under water. I also have a white noise generator (which also has other sounds like jungle, forest, storms, etc) but it usually runs while I'm going to sleep... Not all night long.  I'm a restless sleeper (and avid sleep walker) and any sounds will wake me from a sound sleep.

I was never this way though. I could sleep out in the forest camping, or with the windows open. No problem. But I seem to have become sensitive to sounds when I lived in a basement apartment for 3 years with a heavy family above.  Saturday mornings were started with stomping and banging and yelling with two annoying kids who's rooms were right above us. We could even hear the bed "squeek squeek squeek later in the evening." Nothing like 600lbs rocking on a bed to break a sleep pattern! 

Laura33

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Re: I bought a new home and it didn't make me any happier.
« Reply #19 on: March 14, 2019, 12:48:44 PM »
I think your expectations are too high.  Specifically, you seem to think that there is some perfect home out there, that is in a bustling neighborhood but quiet and safe, in nature but without loud birds, etc.  When in the reality, you are usually trading one set of problems for another.  So if you make decisions looking only at the problems you are getting rid of, you are always going to be unhappy with your choices, because you will always be surprised by the new problems you weren't looking for before.  The grass is always greener over the septic tank, you know.  Or to put it more succinctly:

Happiness:  Reality - Expectations > 0
Misery:       Expectations - Reality > 0

Everything comes with a tradeoff.  The only way to try to make a good decision is to consider and rank all of your priorities, look as hard and objectively as you can at the pros and cons of each decision, and then make the decision that gives you the most of what you want -- without expecting that decision to be trouble-free.  And even then you get it wrong sometimes, because human beings are ridiculously bad at identifying what actually makes them happy.

And along those lines, I think your search for quiet and safety led you to ignore a real source of happiness that you already had:  a community.  What tends to make people happy is social connections -- a feeling of belonging.  You said it yourself:  you liked feeling the hustle and bustle, feeling in the middle of a community, even if you didn't always like what came along with it.  Now you feel isolated.  That is misery-inducing -- especially since you work from home!!  You need to make yourself a new community, stat, so you can start feeling like you belong where you are now.

Finally, keep in mind that change itself can be stressful, even if you like the end result.  Any time you move, you have to take a lot more time and mental energy re-learning things that used to be routine -- what's the fastest way to/from school, when do you really want to avoid the main drag because of traffic, what's the best grocery store and how do they organize their aisles, where's the stupid drug store/gas station, etc. etc. etc.  It's easy to take for granted how easy these things can be when they're on autopilot and require zero brain cells, so when you have to start over from scratch, it feels like a huge burden.  And then of course you quickly move past the honeymoon phase and stop noticing all of the things that are better, and start noticing all of the new problems that you weren't aware of, so now the mental burden feels even bigger.  And if you suffer from anxiety and depression, that burden is magnified even more, because life just feels so overwhelming for a while (and so easy before, in retrospect, because you didn't have to deal with any of this stuff!). 

So give yourself time to settle in.  And if the change or the birds or whatever are exacerbating your anxiety, go to the doctor, now, and get some meds/new meds.  Things will settle in to a new routine sooner or later, but you might need some help getting over the hump.

Parizade

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Re: I bought a new home and it didn't make me any happier.
« Reply #20 on: March 14, 2019, 01:11:16 PM »
I  was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety a couple decades ago though so anxiety and depression does run through my veins. I work hard to keep it at bay and control it, but some things (like the goddam crows) screaming first thing in the morning really shake me from a sound sleep.

It could be that the stress of moving stirred up some of your previous issues. That's not uncommon, moving is a huge life stress. It sounds like your new place supports good self care practices (exercise room, hot tub, safe places to ride your bike, etc) maybe you just need to focus on that a little more for awhile.

Regarding noise pollution, I've often thought that there could be a market for a sound-proof bed. I would design it like a classic 4-poster bed with soundproof panels and drapes and a built in white noise generator. I don't need one where I live now but I've had some really noisy neighbors in the past too.

undercover

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Re: I bought a new home and it didn't make me any happier.
« Reply #21 on: March 14, 2019, 01:26:08 PM »

See, that's the thing.  We didn't purchase the new home thinking that the "new home" would make us happier. 

I mean you did to an extent or happiness wouldn't be in the subject line of this thread.

I wrote the heading before I wrote my original post.  I figured that the thread title encapsulated the sentiment better than a complex title that took me multiple paragraphs to convey.

?? You literally said you moved to become happier:

I was fully expecting/hoping that my happiness would skyrocket by solving some of the issues.

...

I WANT to love my new home.  I WANT to be happier.

So you've mentioned "happiness" along with the purchase of your home multiple times and still deny you bought the home to be more happy. I feel like we're speaking different languages I guess.

I'm not trying to troll/argue with you, I just don't understand why you're denying that you didn't literally move houses to try to become happier. I mean you didn't just move to a different location, you bought a bigger house with more stuff to use and maintain.

It sounds to me like you did move and buy the house thinking it would make you happier and because it didn't you are starting to regret the decision possibly. I've never heard the term "executive neighborhood", but if it's truly an upscale place than I can guarantee that is having a negative affect on your psyche as well since you seemed to have lived in very modest places all your life.

This whole podcast is great but here's some resonating info about mental health and affluent neighborhoods (maybe ignore his dating advice :P):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anyq9jn2uTw

You can be happy where you're at but it may give you some perspective into how you're feeling.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2019, 01:46:04 PM by undercover »

TVRodriguez

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Re: I bought a new home and it didn't make me any happier.
« Reply #22 on: March 14, 2019, 01:26:38 PM »
I can't help but feel isolated and lonely. I work from home 3-4 days of the week and that doesn't help.


I think that you need to get out more.  Literally.  Go into your office.  Meet up for lunch with a colleague.  Get out and be with people whose company you enjoy (other than your family).

CheapScholar

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Re: I bought a new home and it didn't make me any happier.
« Reply #23 on: March 14, 2019, 01:37:09 PM »
I think that happiness is a choice, in every moment.  It's something you make, not something you find.  For anyone who thinks that their next purchase or promotion or relationship or achievement will finally make you happy, I have bad news for you.  Happy people are happy and unhappy people are not, and you don't switch from one to the other by changing anything at all about your life situation.  You have to change yourself.

Sociologists have spent 100 years reporting to us that the happiest people on Earth are often the poorest.  People who have watched their own children wither and die of starvation in third world countries typically self-report higher happiness levels than successful businessmen and bankers from London or NY.  They have a stronger sense of community and belonging, they live closer to nature, they find meaning in their music and spirituality.  They have no illusions that their life situation is about to change for the better, and so they can accept what they have right now as enough.  The bankers, by contrast, live in a constant state of suffering, striving for something better, dissatisfied with their current life no matter how prestigious it is.

So I'm never surprised when an unhappy person reports that they bought something and it didn't make them happy.  Well of course it didn't!  Happiness doesn't come from the things you buy, it comes from you.  I might suggest trying to cultivate gratitude in your life, as a start.  I've found that taking the occasional moment to consciously appreciate the things about my life that I love goes a long way towards improving my happiness levels.

Inject this post into my veins.

kork

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Re: I bought a new home and it didn't make me any happier.
« Reply #24 on: March 14, 2019, 02:07:59 PM »

See, that's the thing.  We didn't purchase the new home thinking that the "new home" would make us happier. 

I mean you did to an extent or happiness wouldn't be in the subject line of this thread.

I wrote the heading before I wrote my original post.  I figured that the thread title encapsulated the sentiment better than a complex title that took me multiple paragraphs to convey.

?? You literally addressed a desire to be happier in your post as well:

I was fully expecting/hoping that my happiness would skyrocket by solving some of the issues.

...

I WANT to love my new home.  I WANT to be happier.

So you've mentioned "happiness" along with the purchase of your home multiple times and still deny you bought the home to be more happy. I feel like we're speaking different languages I guess.

I'm not trying to troll/argue with you, I just don't understand why you're denying that you didn't literally move houses to try to become happier. I mean you didn't just move to a different location, you bought a bigger house with more stuff.

We're looking at the same thing, but from different perspectives I suspect. As I try to describe my thoughts and feelings in words the best I can, some of the intent may be lost. Please don't hold me accountable for specific words.  Allow me to clarify and pivot to further define  what I'm trying to convey. We didn't move to a new home in an attempt to make us happier.  We thought we'd become happier/relieved/joyful/renewed/challenged if we were eliminating the things that triggered opposite set of emotions (anxious/sad/upset/helpless). Finding needles in our yard (and down the street on the bike path), backup beepers, property taxes that soared more than 10% each year we lived there, watching people throw cigarette butts into our backyard, no privacy for my daughters playing outside...  All of these things caused negative emotion, understandably.

The effort was made to get out of a declining neighbourhood. This was the same neighbourhood we moved back to to raise our children.  I grew up there. I have fond memories as a child. My childhood home was the only place that ever felt like "home" and it was right around the corner.

My point about moving to a larger, what we felt was a more suitable home is that it hasn't made me happier, but rather, my happiness has decreased. It could be for a variety of reasons as noted by other members.

I was expecting/hoping that my happiness/relief/joy/excitement for something new would skyrocket for getting my children out of an environment where they were finding used needles. I felt let down by what the neighbourhood was becoming. This was the same neighbourhood I grew up in and it was always a great part of town. But it's been declining. It's like watching the health decline of a parent. Sure, I could be happy about my continued good health, but I feel empathy and sadness for the loved one. There's a bond with the neighbourhood and when we moved, that bond was lost.

Material possessions won't make you happier. I know that. I know of the fulfillment curve and have been a member here for years (mostly as a lurker learning).  I'm nearly FIRE myself. But my happiness hit a solid decline as soon as we signed the ink to buy the new house. I just don't know why? Before the purchase, I thought there would be more the find joy in and to be happy about, but the opposite seems to be true.

We didn't buy to be happier. We were already happy (but with some struggles called life).  Now, 3 months into the new home and I'd consider myself somewhat "unhappy." Maybe it's SAD,  it could be anxiety of a new home,  it could be the new noises or issues I'm not yet aware of. It could be the feeling of loss of control or it could be that this is something most people experience when they leave the home they raised their family in for almost 10 years and it takes time to move on. I may be mourning???  I don't know?
« Last Edit: March 14, 2019, 02:10:51 PM by kork »

noplaceliketheroad

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Re: I bought a new home and it didn't make me any happier.
« Reply #25 on: March 14, 2019, 02:18:10 PM »
I also work from home the majority of the days, and I think this might be your problem?

It's so easy to start nitpicking everything when you work from home. My issue isn't usually birds, it's guys with their leaf blowers. Our last apartment had leaf blowers going in the neighborhood for hours throughout the day and twice a week for 2 hours around midnight (why dear god does anyone need to leaf blow a rite aid parking lot at midnight?!?). Current apt has neighbors' leaf blowers going M-F for most of the morning/afternoon. It sounds like my leaf blowers are your back up beepers/birds.

What has helped the most is a stand up desk. Seriously. (Note: I live in a tiny 1 bedroom, so no separate office space, which would help immensely. It's just set up along a wall in the dining room turned office).

When I'm at my stand up desk, it's work time. I ignore the noises, ignore the dishes in the sink, ignore the other chores that are piling up. I pretend I'm at an office where people are talking/walking around/million other distractions. This is work time. If I'm trying to work from other parts of the apt, like the couch, then the noises/chores start to get to me. So maybe having a super serious 'this is my work zone' might help with tuning out all the noises/distractions?

Good luck!

Edited to add: Didn't connect the dots all the way here, what I'm getting at is people who work from home spend SO. MUCH. DAMN. TIME. IN. THE. HOUSE. that everything starts to feel overwhelming. Having a specific work zone in the apt has helped me immensely.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2019, 02:21:38 PM by noplaceliketheroad »

partgypsy

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Re: I bought a new home and it didn't make me any happier.
« Reply #26 on: March 14, 2019, 02:31:53 PM »
Well it would suck to spend 150K more on something, and not feel -happier. I am going to assume your spouse and your kids are enjoying the house with more space, bigger bedrooms, nicer backyard, hot tub. And that can be a source of happiness for you- that you are creating a nice growing environment for them.
Suggestions:
a) Your sense of loneliness/lack of community create a schedule either walking, biking or driving to get OUT of the house say 3x a week. Find a place like a coffeehouse where you go just to get out and feel part of something else. Join a bowling league. A bigger house also can mean everyone just hangs out in separate parts of the house, which can be- lonely (everyone on devices). Set "family time" whether it is breakfasts, dinners, movie nights, where family does things together. Create traditions.

b) Personally I think crows are cool and you may get used to hearing them. The reason I think that is I used to live in an city and never thought I would get used to the el rumbling past the windows it was so loud. But I ended up not paying attention after awhile.  So time may make it less annoying. There are also things to make your backyard less attractive to crows.
https://home.howstuffworks.com/how-to-get-rid-of-crows.htm

c) If a year from now not from your attitude but from how they feel (individually without prompting) everyone is not happy, have a family meeting. See if there is something that can be done to improve living conditions, and if not, whether it is worth moving again.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2019, 02:39:51 PM by partgypsy »

kork

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Re: I bought a new home and it didn't make me any happier.
« Reply #27 on: March 14, 2019, 02:33:18 PM »
I also work from home the majority of the days, and I think this might be your problem?

It's so easy to start nitpicking everything when you work from home. My issue isn't usually birds, it's guys with their leaf blowers. Our last apartment had leaf blowers going in the neighborhood for hours throughout the day and twice a week for 2 hours around midnight (why dear god does anyone need to leaf blow a rite aid parking lot at midnight?!?). Current apt has neighbors' leaf blowers going M-F for most of the morning/afternoon. It sounds like my leaf blowers are your back up beepers/birds.

What has helped the most is a stand up desk. Seriously. (Note: I live in a tiny 1 bedroom, so no separate office space, which would help immensely. It's just set up along a wall in the dining room turned office).

When I'm at my stand up desk, it's work time. I ignore the noises, ignore the dishes in the sink, ignore the other chores that are piling up. I pretend I'm at an office where people are talking/walking around/million other distractions. This is work time. If I'm trying to work from other parts of the apt, like the couch, then the noises/chores start to get to me. So maybe having a super serious 'this is my work zone' might help with tuning out all the noises/distractions?

Good luck!

Edited to add: Didn't connect the dots all the way here, what I'm getting at is people who work from home spend SO. MUCH. DAMN. TIME. IN. THE. HOUSE. that everything starts to feel overwhelming. Having a specific work zone in the apt has helped me immensely.

There's a lot of truth to this. I've worked from home for nearly a decade. I do go to the office every week but it's 100km away though it's for one or two days. I have a buddy of mine out to the house 3 days of the week and we lift weights. But I'm social. I like to be in the middle of busy (But I want everyone to QUIET when I'm ready to get serious...) An unrealistic expectation, I know.

Regarding the leaf blowers... I'm aware enough that our neighbour used to bother me with the grass cutting. Every day one a since day I'd go outside with my laptop to work in the "open to everyone" backyard.  Then he'd start up the riding mower.  2 hours of wrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr........

Glad to know I'm not the only one who's developed a craziness sensitivity to disruptive sounds.

Interesting, I put on Twit.tv and tech news just rambling and talking in the background to try to feel like I'm in a busy environment.

undercover

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Re: I bought a new home and it didn't make me any happier.
« Reply #28 on: March 14, 2019, 02:36:39 PM »
I feel like you're just splitting hairs over semantics, but regardless, your reality did not meet your expectations. Maybe change your expectations.

Parizade

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Re: I bought a new home and it didn't make me any happier.
« Reply #29 on: March 14, 2019, 02:38:28 PM »
I was expecting/hoping that my happiness/relief/joy/excitement for something new would skyrocket for getting my children out of an environment where they were finding used needles. I felt let down by what the neighbourhood was becoming. This was the same neighbourhood I grew up in and it was always a great part of town. But it's been declining. It's like watching the health decline of a parent. Sure, I could be happy about my continued good health, but I feel empathy and sadness for the loved one. There's a bond with the neighbourhood and when we moved, that bond was lost.

This is starting to sound like a perfectly normal response to a difficult move, but it could be "relocation depression." Here's a good article that might help:

[Overcoming Relocation Depression]

kork

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Re: I bought a new home and it didn't make me any happier.
« Reply #30 on: March 14, 2019, 02:39:54 PM »
Well it would suck to spend 150K more on something, and not feel -happier. I am going to assuming your spouse and your kids are happier or at least not unhappy, with more space, bigger bedrooms, nicer backyard, hot tub. So, my suggestion is that you create a schedule either walking, biking or driving to get out of the house say 3x a week. Find a place like a coffeehouse where you go just to get out and feel part of something else. Also while a bigger house is nicer, sometimes those nicer bedrooms means everyone just hangs out in separate parts of the house. That's fine in general, but I do believe in "family time" whether it is breakfasts, dinners, movie nights, etc.

If a year from now you find out that individually and separately everyone else in your family is also less happy, then maybe there is something, like a lack of community, or stress of high house payments. But I would wait a year and keep adapting to the situation and see if your feeling changes.
Personally I think crows are cool and you may get used to hearing them. But there are things to make your backyard less attractive.
https://home.howstuffworks.com/how-to-get-rid-of-crows.htm

The rest of the family is happier. Kids are happier and love their new school and friends. Wife is always happy almost no matter what. She's wired to be happy which is actually good for me. It takes a lot of get her down.

House payments are actually lower. We were always doubling up our mortgage payments and now we just don't double them up.  However, we can pay it off at any time and not touch our retirement accounts. So the finances aren't really the threat.

There's also more kids in our neighbourhood (a lot of old money in our last neighbourhood and elderly people who lived in homes for decades) and we're on snow mobile trails.  We're 7 minutes away from a ski hill. All things that

And the house doesn't have more rooms.  It's almost a bigger version of what we had with a smarter layout. We're not really segregated at all. We eat nearly every dinner as a family.

I'm looking forward to spring when I can get back on my bike.  This winter has been exhausting.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2019, 03:30:34 PM by kork »

noplaceliketheroad

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Re: I bought a new home and it didn't make me any happier.
« Reply #31 on: March 14, 2019, 02:51:05 PM »
I also work from home the majority of the days, and I think this might be your problem?

It's so easy to start nitpicking everything when you work from home. My issue isn't usually birds, it's guys with their leaf blowers. Our last apartment had leaf blowers going in the neighborhood for hours throughout the day and twice a week for 2 hours around midnight (why dear god does anyone need to leaf blow a rite aid parking lot at midnight?!?). Current apt has neighbors' leaf blowers going M-F for most of the morning/afternoon. It sounds like my leaf blowers are your back up beepers/birds.

What has helped the most is a stand up desk. Seriously. (Note: I live in a tiny 1 bedroom, so no separate office space, which would help immensely. It's just set up along a wall in the dining room turned office).

When I'm at my stand up desk, it's work time. I ignore the noises, ignore the dishes in the sink, ignore the other chores that are piling up. I pretend I'm at an office where people are talking/walking around/million other distractions. This is work time. If I'm trying to work from other parts of the apt, like the couch, then the noises/chores start to get to me. So maybe having a super serious 'this is my work zone' might help with tuning out all the noises/distractions?

Good luck!

Edited to add: Didn't connect the dots all the way here, what I'm getting at is people who work from home spend SO. MUCH. DAMN. TIME. IN. THE. HOUSE. that everything starts to feel overwhelming. Having a specific work zone in the apt has helped me immensely.

There's a lot of truth to this. I've worked from home for nearly a decade. I do go to the office every week but it's 100km away though it's for one or two days. I have a buddy of mine out to the house 3 days of the week and we lift weights. But I'm social. I like to be in the middle of busy (But I want everyone to QUIET when I'm ready to get serious...) An unrealistic expectation, I know.

Regarding the leaf blowers... I'm aware enough that our neighbour used to bother me with the grass cutting. Every day one a since day I'd go outside with my laptop to work in the "open to everyone" backyard.  Then he'd start up the riding mower.  2 hours of wrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr........


I totally feel you on this! I love being in the action and can get work done when there's a ton of activity/commotion going on around me. And I can work when it's dead quiet. What I can't do is work when there's just one noise or a mild bit of commotion around me. Hence my hatred of leaf blowers. Same if I ever hear crows. Have you tried working from a coffee shop at all? I love doing that... until I have to pee and have to pack up my laptop/bag and then my spot has been taken...

kork

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Re: I bought a new home and it didn't make me any happier.
« Reply #32 on: March 14, 2019, 03:04:24 PM »
I also work from home the majority of the days, and I think this might be your problem?

It's so easy to start nitpicking everything when you work from home. My issue isn't usually birds, it's guys with their leaf blowers. Our last apartment had leaf blowers going in the neighborhood for hours throughout the day and twice a week for 2 hours around midnight (why dear god does anyone need to leaf blow a rite aid parking lot at midnight?!?). Current apt has neighbors' leaf blowers going M-F for most of the morning/afternoon. It sounds like my leaf blowers are your back up beepers/birds.

What has helped the most is a stand up desk. Seriously. (Note: I live in a tiny 1 bedroom, so no separate office space, which would help immensely. It's just set up along a wall in the dining room turned office).

When I'm at my stand up desk, it's work time. I ignore the noises, ignore the dishes in the sink, ignore the other chores that are piling up. I pretend I'm at an office where people are talking/walking around/million other distractions. This is work time. If I'm trying to work from other parts of the apt, like the couch, then the noises/chores start to get to me. So maybe having a super serious 'this is my work zone' might help with tuning out all the noises/distractions?

Good luck!

Edited to add: Didn't connect the dots all the way here, what I'm getting at is people who work from home spend SO. MUCH. DAMN. TIME. IN. THE. HOUSE. that everything starts to feel overwhelming. Having a specific work zone in the apt has helped me immensely.

There's a lot of truth to this. I've worked from home for nearly a decade. I do go to the office every week but it's 100km away though it's for one or two days. I have a buddy of mine out to the house 3 days of the week and we lift weights. But I'm social. I like to be in the middle of busy (But I want everyone to QUIET when I'm ready to get serious...) An unrealistic expectation, I know.

Regarding the leaf blowers... I'm aware enough that our neighbour used to bother me with the grass cutting. Every day one a since day I'd go outside with my laptop to work in the "open to everyone" backyard.  Then he'd start up the riding mower.  2 hours of wrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr........


I totally feel you on this! I love being in the action and can get work done when there's a ton of activity/commotion going on around me. And I can work when it's dead quiet. What I can't do is work when there's just one noise or a mild bit of commotion around me. Hence my hatred of leaf blowers. Same if I ever hear crows. Have you tried working from a coffee shop at all? I love doing that... until I have to pee and have to pack up my laptop/bag and then my spot has been taken...

Exactly. Lots of action and hustle bustle is great.  But you get one person in the audience screaming and my attention is fixed entirely on that. Nice and quiet in the house and concentrating and then... CAW, CAW, CAW with the crow perched on the roof... Grrrr.....

I don't like coffee/tea and daily doses of muffins would not do me well.  I'd have no clue what to order on the "low calorie" side of things though I suppose I could give it a shot.  That's why the library is appealing. It's busy, but no sudden spikes of noise...  It's like there's an auto gain control to limit the spikes.

kork

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Re: I bought a new home and it didn't make me any happier.
« Reply #33 on: March 14, 2019, 03:15:27 PM »
Just asked the family on a scale from 1-10 individually.

Happiness when comparing school/house/neighbourhood/friends from now to the old place.

Wife - Last neighbourhood/school/home was a 7/10. New neighbourhood/school/home is a 9.5/10.
Oldest daughter(12 years old, pretty much a teenager).  Last neighbourhood/school/home was a 8/10. New neighbourhood/school/home is a 9.5/10 to a 10/10.
Youngest Daughter (10 years old): Last neighbourhood/school/home was a  8/10. New neighbourhood/school/home is a 9.5/10.

Chances are, my daughters would have answered a 9/10 six months ago because they didn't know any better. But regardless, the family members are very happy. I seem to carry the unhappiness burden for everyone (although I don't make it public or known).



« Last Edit: March 14, 2019, 03:29:46 PM by kork »

kork

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Re: I bought a new home and it didn't make me any happier.
« Reply #34 on: March 14, 2019, 04:10:44 PM »

It sounds to me like you did move and buy the house thinking it would make you happier and because it didn't you are starting to regret the decision possibly. I've never heard the term "executive neighborhood", but if it's truly an upscale place than I can guarantee that is having a negative affect on your psyche as well since you seemed to have lived in very modest places all your life.

This whole podcast is great but here's some resonating info about mental health and affluent neighborhoods (maybe ignore his dating advice :P):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=anyq9jn2uTw

You can be happy where you're at but it may give you some perspective into how you're feeling.

It is upscale, but not ridiculous. Around the corner, there are multi million dollar homes and some of the homes are gated.  However, there are those of us who are not.  Our property is about the same size as our last home and we've met some of our neighbours.  Very nice people.  Younger families.  Nobody is "snobbish" but additionally, there's a barrier of entry. You're not going to find druggies walking up and down the street shooting up and throwing their needles. There's nothing for them in the neighbourhood. There's no rental units and no back alleys. The neighbourhood is an average of $200k / year family income. It's healthy, but not too much that people are resorting to cocaine and wild parties.  Our last neighbourhood was making a hard push to get more affordable housing built up and put in more apartments. There were those of us saying "Noooo..." and we were losing.  So we opted to leave.

Interesting video. Hard part is knowing "how."

I work 100km away from work but I'm going to make an effort tomorrow and find a coffee shop or go to the library. Maybe part of the issue (or even much of it) is being in this box a lot of the time. These are things I suspect, but not sure how to fix it. One step at a time I suppose. I'll try something new tomorrow!

Radagast

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Re: I bought a new home and it didn't make me any happier.
« Reply #35 on: March 14, 2019, 05:43:07 PM »
I was expecting/hoping that my happiness/relief/joy/excitement for something new would skyrocket for getting my children out of an environment where they were finding used needles. I felt let down by what the neighbourhood was becoming. This was the same neighbourhood I grew up in and it was always a great part of town. But it's been declining. It's like watching the health decline of a parent. Sure, I could be happy about my continued good health, but I feel empathy and sadness for the loved one. There's a bond with the neighbourhood and when we moved, that bond was lost.

This is starting to sound like a perfectly normal response to a difficult move, but it could be "relocation depression." Here's a good article that might help:

[Overcoming Relocation Depression]
I think this is the correct response. I was going to say you are experiencing a variety of "culture shock" because I am not up on the terminology. This is a general feeling of isolation and loneliness that commonly results from moving (especially to a foreign land). It is usually worst 2-4 months after the move, which is where you are right now, but can apply to any time from 2 weeks to 2 years. I experienced it myself after I moved in November, I was pretty glum throughout February and just this week have been noticing myself perk up.

This would apply to any change material circumstances. Even if you were Tom Hanks in Castaway you would still find yourself feeling lonely and isolated at this time after seven years alone, despite the fact that your circumstances objectively changed to the exact opposite of that.

In that case, you can probably expect to start feeling better over the next months.

HBFIRE

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Re: I bought a new home and it didn't make me any happier.
« Reply #36 on: March 14, 2019, 06:17:52 PM »
Hedonistic adaptation.  Look inward.

PDXTabs

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Re: I bought a new home and it didn't make me any happier.
« Reply #37 on: March 14, 2019, 06:45:52 PM »
I think that happiness is a choice, in every moment.

I agree, right up until your kid sticks themself with a used needle.

Zikoris

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Re: I bought a new home and it didn't make me any happier.
« Reply #38 on: March 14, 2019, 08:31:50 PM »
See, that's the thing.  We didn't purchase the new home thinking that the "new home" would make us happier.  It was more that purchasing the new home would help solve the problems that we were experiencing which were unpleasant and as a result, lending to the unhappy moments. Sortof like "getting punched in the face doesn't make me happy, so let's eliminate the face punching..."

I don't think I was clear enough.  If you're unhappy because of some problems in your life, you're always going to be unhappy.  Solving them won't help.  Changing your life situation won't help, because you'll just find something else to be unhappy about.  The secret to happiness is choosing it, despite whatever reasons you think you have to be unhappy.  Happy people are happy regardless of their situation.

Desire is the root of all suffering.  It's the wanting that causes the problems, and having won't change the wanting.  You'll just want something else.  This is basis of all happiness research (also some faiths like Buddhism), and the basis for the MMM philosophy of embracing stoicism and voluntary hardship.  The key is to find contentment in your current situation, in your current moment, and marvel at your good fortune in finding it right now, and then to let it go freely so you can move on to the next good thing in the next moment.  You create a never-ending cascade of gratitude and wonder by focusing on the good things.

If you're the type of person who is pissed off every day by birds making bird noises in the morning, then moving somewhere without birds seems unlikely to magically transform you into a person-sized island of tranquility.  Change comes from within.

See, I don't know that I agree with this. It does seem like in general people are either happy or unhappy, and that doesn't change too much regardless of what else happens. But I can definitely think of a few things I've done that dramatically increased my happiness, especially starting to travel and see the world, starting to pursue FIRE and know there's an end date to my working career that's not in my 60s, and quitting a toxic job a number of years ago. Both me and my boyfriend became massively happier after moving out of our parents homes. I've known a number of people who have become substantially happier by cutting toxic people out of their lives. One of my parents ended up way happier after they divorced (the other one seems about the same).

So I get the concept, but there certainly seem to be a lot of exceptions in my experience.

sol

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Re: I bought a new home and it didn't make me any happier.
« Reply #39 on: March 14, 2019, 09:40:26 PM »
I can definitely think of a few things I've done that dramatically increased my happiness

I agree that it is very possible for an innately happy person to be temporarily unhappy due to circumstance.  The OP here just didn't strike me as one of those.

Steeze

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Re: I bought a new home and it didn't make me any happier.
« Reply #40 on: March 15, 2019, 05:15:49 AM »
I feel you on the noise.... Iíve always lived in rural places. Quiet dark nights are normal to me. Since living in NYC, Iíve had some adjustments to make. I am a very light sleeper and now wake up many times a night.

Apartment 1 had a pit bull farm next to it.
Apartment 2 - cat sex den in the empty lot
Apartment 3 - right next to the elevated subway
Apartment 4 - non stop garbage trucks
Apartment 5 - air planes and recently more cats
Apartment 6 - will know soon. Likely airplanes and fire trucks.

I dream of living in the forest again.

« Last Edit: March 15, 2019, 05:17:33 AM by Steeze »

kork

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Re: I bought a new home and it didn't make me any happier.
« Reply #41 on: March 15, 2019, 07:24:22 AM »
Last summer I was quite happy.  I struggled like many do, but on a happiness scale I was around an 8/10. I'm not one to be unhappy, but I do have anxiety and when it becomes over the top, depression can kick in. But through regular exercise, sleeping well and eating properly I can usually keep things at bay.

Sleeping well is affected by the crows now because my mind does it subconsciously, almost like it's on alert. I'm now looking at installing a new triple pane soundproof window and doubling up the drywall with green glue for soundproofing.

I'm an incredibly light sleeper. I'd love to know how how to change that...  to embrace the shrill caw of a large bird sitting on my roof, only to return every 10 minutes to do it all over again. Not cool.

I'm not normally an unhappy person.  I just notice that my happiness has declined in the last 4-6 months.  It could be the new house.  It could be the job. It could be turning 40. It could also be the realization that as I get closer to FIRE, I find that since I already work from home that the isolation may be even worse, especially now that I'm not "walk out of the house and be surrounding by stuff going on."
« Last Edit: March 15, 2019, 09:01:08 AM by kork »

kork

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Re: I bought a new home and it didn't make me any happier.
« Reply #42 on: March 15, 2019, 09:01:21 AM »
Okay,  so just hung a finch bird feeder outside my window.  Hopefully will see some activity and wildlife (human or not) at some point. The thinking is that Birds may help me feel less isolated? Perhaps not much.  But a little.

Ironic how I'm trying to attract birds when part of my issue are crows.

Glenstache

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Re: I bought a new home and it didn't make me any happier.
« Reply #43 on: March 15, 2019, 09:51:54 AM »
 Your original post mentioned isolation quite a few times. Has your day to day contact with people changed much with the new house? As a person with baseline depression issues, a move from isolating burbs into a more social environment with more interactions per day has been good. Even though many are strangers, it is much more of a feeling of living in a community. Is it worth trying working at a coffee shop for a few days, and coming home when family will be back? Or find other ways to be more interpersonally connected in your living situation?

kork

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Re: I bought a new home and it didn't make me any happier.
« Reply #44 on: March 15, 2019, 10:07:35 AM »
Your original post mentioned isolation quite a few times. Has your day to day contact with people changed much with the new house? As a person with baseline depression issues, a move from isolating burbs into a more social environment with more interactions per day has been good. Even though many are strangers, it is much more of a feeling of living in a community. Is it worth trying working at a coffee shop for a few days, and coming home when family will be back? Or find other ways to be more interpersonally connected in your living situation?

In our last home, we lived across from a park and a community centre. We were also on a busy road. 

This created lots of noise, but it also created a lot of activity.  I could work from home, sit in my chair and I could simply look outside and see people bustling about.

I could also pick up and be at the grocery store in 90 second from getting into the car. So even though I worked from home, I felt like I was connected.

This was a concern before we moved that I'd feel isolated.

The kids have been home from March Break this week, and I still feel isolated. Even though there's noise and hustle/bustle in the house,  there's still a feeling of seclusion.

If we were in the exact same neighbourhood, but if it were in the middle of the city I'd have a much different feeling. Just knowing I'n surrounded by people helps.  Out here, I'm not surrounded...  I'm part of the surrounding. And don't get me wrong. It's not like our neighbours are a mile down the road.  There's houses across from us,  beside us, behind us...  It's just not a subdivision of cookie cutter homes. We're not on a busy street so while my wish was granted of lack of road noise, there's also no traffic and no hustle bustle. Again, I expected this, but I didn't know how I'd respond to it.

I'm going to make a point to go to a library on Monday coming up or a coffee shop to give it a try.

I wish there was co-working space nearby. Unfortunately, the nearest co-working space doesn't have parking available unless I want to feed the meter every hour.

LifeHappens

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Re: I bought a new home and it didn't make me any happier.
« Reply #45 on: March 15, 2019, 11:46:14 AM »
I'm going to make a point to go to a library on Monday coming up or a coffee shop to give it a try.

I wish there was co-working space nearby. Unfortunately, the nearest co-working space doesn't have parking available unless I want to feed the meter every hour.
Do all of this. Work at the library. Go to the co-working space for a couple hours and feed the meter. Look for WAH meetup groups. You need more human contact. Find ways to get it.

Glenstache

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Re: I bought a new home and it didn't make me any happier.
« Reply #46 on: March 15, 2019, 12:04:26 PM »
I'll also say that if this unease persists, it is absolutely worth talking to a professional about it. Therapy and/or drugs are not a panacea, but they can help tremendously. Talking with a professional may help just to get at the kernel of effective things that you can do to manage isolation/anxiety without additional interventions.

meandmyfamily

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Re: I bought a new home and it didn't make me any happier.
« Reply #47 on: March 15, 2019, 01:45:35 PM »
I completely agree with Sol.  I do find some people are naturally more optimistic than others and I am glad I am one of those. 


lukebuz

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Re: I bought a new home and it didn't make me any happier.
« Reply #48 on: March 16, 2019, 05:40:13 AM »

Regarding the leaf blowers... I'm aware enough that our neighbour used to bother me with the grass cutting. Every day one a since day I'd go outside with my laptop to work in the "open to everyone" backyard.  Then he'd start up the riding mower.  2 hours of wrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr........

Glad to know I'm not the only one who's developed a craziness sensitivity to disruptive sounds.


Man, you aren't the only one.  That's the story of my life - any free second I'd have to go outside, the moment I cracked the door, someone would start up a mower.  Then, 60 seconds after they were done...another.  Didn't matter if it was noon on a day off, or 8PM at night for a camp fire.   WRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR...........   
So, I moved to 30 acres with a 1/4 mile long driveway cutting to my property. 
PURE BLISS.
I know i'm super sound sensitive, but my happiness skyrocketed when I moved out.  Even with an extra 9 mins tacked on to my commute...

Cranky

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Re: I bought a new home and it didn't make me any happier.
« Reply #49 on: March 16, 2019, 05:49:27 AM »
I'm boggled at the idea that a 1600 sq. foot house is "too small" for 4 people, but getting past that, I don't think a new neighborhood is ever going to change your basic happiness level unless you are moving out of an actual war zone. Plenty of people like in actually *bad* neighborhoods and have happy lives. I myself live in a pretty scruffy neighborhood and am quite happy. I hear the snow plows scraping by, and think "Great! The snow plow is doing its job!" LOL

However, if moving has actually made you *less* happy, there is something deeper going on. (I also think that the OP's family will settle back to their original happiness levels in a year, as the new place becomes just normal.)

I also think that if you don't think there is drug use and dirty needles in rich people neighborhoods, you are going to have some surprises ahead.