Do not for a second be mistaken, a home is not where your mortgage is -although that is totally normal if those two cross paths. Home is where life blooms and it is where you are eager to show off the local haunts. Maybe it is where you got your first speeding ticket, better yet, it is where the barista knows precisely how hot you like your coffee. Whatever ‘home’ means to you we can agree that it is personal and it is an emotional commitment to find a new one.
For my inaugural post I figured it would be best to introduce you to my home: Odenton, MD. My home has moved seven times since 2001; I’m an expert at packing and labeling, but even more than that, I get stoked to find the local scoop. How did we get here? Well, my husband was training across the country for a few months so I jumped ahead to begin working and finding our next home. I was 6 months pregnant and had to make this huge decision all on my own. I drove through countless neighborhoods close to Ft. Meade, and neighborhood after neighborhood just didn’t feel right to me.
I finally made it to Piney Orchard in February. The sun was just about to set and there were people everywhere. They obeyed the speed limits (relatively) and they were dogs being walked, toddlers dotting around in big green spaces and someone even waved to me as I passed. This was very different from my initial experiences in Maryland to be entirely truthful. I found home. I found the place where I felt safe and excited to be- I didn’t even care about the structure or if it was more expensive than a few miles over; it was an internal sync with what we needed in this time of our lives.
In this place, we clock hours on the playgrounds and miles on the double stroller all while keeping the locally owned Parcel Solution store in business (those late night Amazon purchases aren’t going to return themselves). I’ve had the fortune of living in a neighborhood with super wide sidewalks for running and a delicious Italian restaurant Mama Roma’s (that’s why we run, right?); even more than that, it has its own nature preserve where our family specializes in skipping rocks at the pond on humid Summer days. Our home isn’t just the four walls, the lush Piney Orchard Nature Preserve is part of it as well. Market trends show that homes located near nature preserves or green spaces have a resale 8%-20% higher than their structural competitors, why is that? We crave fresh air and freedom; we are meant to roam.
When I showed property in Odenton for the first time, I asked the listing agent where I could get a nice cup of coffee in town the instant response was: The Brown Box Eatery. Now I pay it forward and recommend my clients to visit, to which they always thank me after they visit (it’s that good). Just this week alone a couple I was working with told me they hadn’t had breakfast; without a second thought we sped off to this establishment. We were able to have a casual ‘meeting of the minds’ for their house search in between showings and the sugar certainly put us all in a great moods.
Best thing to get: hand-dipped baked goods and coffee, coffee, COFFEE! I have the misfortune of often forgetting my lunch and I just-so-happen to pass The Brown Box on my way to the office so I take it as a sign that I need to stop in. You cannot visit without getting a fried egg sandwich (with turkey bacon, chill out!) and just ask anyone behind the counter for a doughnut recommendation, because honestly, it is the hardest decision of your life to pick just one.
A place to roam, to get good coffee and to have big sidewalks- the requirements for our home in Maryland. Introspectively, it is because I wanted to live where I felt grounded knowing that we uproot so often and I wanted to know my neighbors and a to have that feeling of safety when we brought our babies home from the hospital for the very first time.
I found my home in Maryland.