Reason #6 to Live in the Riverhood: McMansion-Free

Sep 5, 2013 by

In law school, I lived in a farm house for a year.  I loved that house.  My “landlord” had inherited the house from his parents, and used the land that accompanied it to build a subdivision of McMansions.  They backed up to our farm property, and I hated those things.  Besides the fact that all the houses looked the same, there were no sidewalks, no trees, and worst of all, they were the ones with the brick on the front and three-sides siding.

The farm house was a ranch style home.  There was a fence.  A wall of windows facing the woods.  A little galley kitchen. A dining room with built in indoor-grill.  A two-sided fire place.  For these reasons and so many more, it felt like a “home.”  Like in a previous life, this could have been my grandma’s house.  And I loved it.

When I looked for my first home in JCMO, I thought I wanted new. Granite. Open floor plans. Walk-in closets. Stainless Steel Appliances. I am so glad that my budget (and my husband) pushed me in a different direction.  Now, as you probably know, I love my house…and my neighborhood.

I was recently reading the book, Crunchy Cons.  (Regardless of your political persuasion, it’s an interesting read).  There is a whole chapter on “Home” and the author articulates more clearly why those McMansions left a bad taste in my mouth.  He says, “[T]here is a certain sameness, an inhuman quality that makes them seem like houses, not homes.”  He also explains, it is that they are inauthentic.  “[It] has to do with accepting prepackaged, off-the-rack lifestyle instead of working to make something your own.”  And while the closet I have now is half the size of the one I had in my last two apartments, I wouldn’t trade it.

The Riverhood | Hayselton | West Main | Jefferson City | JCMO

Dreher, the author of Crunchy Cons, describes his own neighborhood in a way that I think also perfectly describes the Riverhood:

I was beginning to understand now why the humble [home]…struck me as so beautiful and charming, far more so than much larger modern houses that we had considered.  I could see raising a family there, and being proud and happy to live in that house.  Moreover, I had taken to driving through the neighborhood, and I was delighted to discover this entire gentrified district was filled with rehabbed [homes] in a variety of styles.  No wonder residents walked around a lot here; the neighborhood was cheerful and inspiring.  These were houses worth caring about.  This was a neighborhood worth coming home to, and worth fighting for.

The Riverhood | Hayselton | West Main | Jefferson City | JCMO

This is why I was drawn to the Riverhood. Sometimes, I take the “scenic” route through the neighborhood.  Just because.  The homes are different.  Some are very different. Each tells a story about the owner(s).  It feels like at some point in that home’s life (if not now) — it was somebody’s forever home.  It is not a stepping stone to something better.  It is not a home to be lived in, used, and discarded.  It is a home that was and is loved.  A home that someone dreamed about.  A home that someone made their own.  A home where someone learned to ride a bike, where board games were played around the dining room table, where neighbors shared a cup of coffee or wine on the porch.  A home with a story worth sharing.  These are the homes of the Riverhood.

The Riverhood | Hayselton | West Main | Jefferson City | JCMO


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1 Comment

  1. Heidi NL

    One of the best part of living in the Riverhood is knowing the people who live in the houses that you posted. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else!

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