My Man Cave Story
I was born and raised in South Queens, New York and attended college not too far away in Rockland County, New York.
In the summer between my junior and senior year of college (1997) I met my girlfriend, now wife. We married in 2002 and moved into a rented small one bedroom apartment on the 2nd floor of a two family house.
My wife and I were trying to conceive (2003) and knew that the apartment was too small so we started apartment shopping for a larger apartment in the same neighborhood.
We found a place that we both liked when my older brother, who lived (still does) in a condominium not too far away told me that there was a unit that was being foreclosed on. I knocked on the guys door, talked to him and cut a deal to purchase the unit at fair market value.
The place was an absolute and complete dump that needed a complete gut renovation but being in the mortgage industry at the time I knew it was an investment that would pay off. The first time I brought my wife to the condo unit she cried. I’m not joking she really cried and the tears weren’t of joy.
Although she didn’t want to buy the unit I convinced her by saying, “It’s a great investment and it won’t be forever. I know it needs work but we’ll fix it, live here for a few years and sell it.”
She reluctantly agreed, we purchased the unit and began to renovate it. We stopped attempting to conceive as our housing expense was about to double and we were spending a large portion of our savings on the renovations.
Funny how things work out. Although we stopped attempting to conceive we did. A few years turned out to be over 13 years.
Her job was only a ten minute commute and my job was only a twenty minute commute from our condominium. Over the years I attempted to make a move out to the suburbs of Long Island. My wife had no intention of moving even though she allowed us to list the condominium for sale twice.
With my son only a two years away from attending high school I had a heart to heart discussion with my wife. Between our real estate taxes and home owners association dues we were close to paying Long Island taxes. Neither of us wanted our son to attend public school in the area we lived and there was no way I was going to pay for private school.
“I know you don’t want to move but this isn’t about us” I said to her. I was stunned when she looked at me and replied, “I know…we need to start looking.”
I went from stunned to complete and utter excitement. I wasn’t 100% sure that we were going through with it until we listed the unit for sale and we began to prep it for sale.
I wanted enough space for a pool, a garage and most important a basement. I was beyond frustrated with house shopping and just wanted to buy a house.
I’ll give my wife all the credit in the world, she wouldn’t let me settle. “When the house feels like home to the both of us that will be the house” she told me over and again.
The house we finally purchased felt like home to the both of us but I’ll admit she settled. She wasn’t thrilled with the location of the amount of traffic passing by but the house did check all other boxes.
Garage? Two car garage = CHECK!
Comfortable outside area? = CHECK!
Guest bedroom? = CHECK!
If you would like to share the your story of how you decided on your man cave space, feel free to comment on this post.