From the time we are capable of thinking coherently, each one of us starts building our dream home – inside our head, at any rate. It could be triggered by a visit to a friend’s house, or something we saw somewhere—all of it comes together over the years, to give us that vision of our very own home. Often, reality intrudes and we end up settling for a nice enough home, but that dream home always lives in our psyche.
I am no exception. My childhood home was large, with a red floor that was also my canvas. Can you picture me crouched, one hand full of chalk pieces, the other drawing and the piece of cloth which was my eraser scrunched under one knee?
When I was 9, we moved away from that city and until I was 18, lived in rented homes. Finally, when we managed to buy our own apartment, it wasn’t what we dreamed about, but it belonged to us. We didn’t live there very long. At 24, we moved again, renting it out, and went through another stint of rented houses, until 1999, when we bought the apartment we now live in. It is large, it is in a nice area and we love it.
Yet, I still have a “dream home” fantasy
. . . and I’ll tell you why.
I love to look at houses. One of the first houses I fell in love with was my best friend’s home. Designed by her Dad, it was just perfect with the right amount of privacy, spacious, airy, bright, large picture windows with space to cuddle up against a cushion with a book, a lawn in front and a pretty backyard with wild flowers and some vegetables growing as they pleased. He would always assure me that he’d design an even better house for me, may his loving, generous soul rest in happiness. I’ve spent many happy days in their house and have some wonderful memories.
Strangely over time, I realized that while I would really love an independent house with a big garden, etc., I’d rather really live in an apartment. I love the idea of a friendly community around me, and moreover, any problems are common issues and dealt with far quicker than when one’s on her own.
My present day idea of a dream home would include the following essentials:
- Good neighbors
- A great neighbourhood
- Proximity to good schools (because who wants a stressful commute!)
- Good shopping area nearby
- Well connected by local transport (totally environmentally conscious. Why, I even prefer to carpool when I book a cab)
- Easy accessibility to a railway station and the airport (yes we are 38 km away, but there are good transport facilities)
- Hospital access (I am a type 2 diabetic and neither of us is getting younger)
As far as the apartment itself is concerned,
- Good construction
- Airy and well ventilated
- Large rooms
- Easy to maintain
- Quality fittings
- Space for plants
- Parking space
- Power backup
- Well maintained lifts
- A management committee to address and resolve issues when they crop up
Inside, I’d love an open plan kitchen, a large library that doubles up as a study, a big balcony where I can sit and enjoy my coffee and perhaps watch trees swaying in the breeze, with the occasional birdsong. A garden on the terrace, if not around the house where I can spend early mornings, tending to the plants. A swing, yes, definitely a swing to jog my thoughts and set them in rhythm. Large windows with seats, like my childhood home.
Sometimes I fantasize about a Mediterranean villa or a traditional Kerala style house.
And then, one of my friends bought a Casa Grande row house in OMR, and she just couldn’t stop showing off about it, and I really don’t blame her. It is everything a dream house should be: beautiful, spacious, the neighbourhood is great, there are schools and hospitals nearby and offers easy access to where she works.
Okay, let me confess, from the photos she showed me of the property, it looks more like a weekend getaway, except she’ll be living there. I secretly wondered whether it must have cost her an arm and a leg, and quietly checked it out online. I was surprised to find that row houses are priced at Rs.55.61 lakhs onwards. That’s an achievable dream by today’s standards! Now I am wishing I could move there. Take a look at these pics and you’ll know what I mean:
It is so serene.
And let me tell you, it isn’t only her lawns that are green! I am, too!
So yes, they have all the expected amenities such as a club house with gym/aerobics/indoor games room/laundromat/barbeque facility/ sauna/Jacuzzi/swimming pool with a toddler’s pool/party hall/children’s’ indoor play area etc.
But what grabbed my coveting-genes (yes just made that up) was the meditation room, the yoga room, the Zen garden, the lily pond, flower bed, walking and jogging tracks and amphitheatre, and landscaped area with seating arrangements. Wow. There’s also a senior citizens’ park, which is thoughtful, especially since my friend has her in-laws living with her.
She also did the smart thing by investing in the pre-launch stage after doing her research on picking the right builder. For one thing, there’s a big price benefit and she got to choose the apartment she wanted. She also gets more time to make her payments and of course, better return on investment since the property will appreciate quickly especially with an established builder like Casa Grande who are reputed for their commitment to deadlines.
I am very much looking forward to visiting my friend when she moves in—she’s extracted a promise from me—and since I have family there, I am looking forward to good times.
What is your idea of your dream home?
I’d love to hear it in the comments!