As everyone knows by now if you have been following this blog, I live in what used to be a hotel in a small town, across from what seems like an even smaller lake. What I hadn’t thought about when telling you what my home used to be is that there are, in fact, many re-purposed hotels/motels being used for living quarters. So how is mine different?
Options to revamped hotels
Open any local newspaper and scan the classifieds, you will find rooms for rent by the week. These are usually older hotels/motels that are no longer doing enough tourist business for the owners to make a living. When you rent by the week, it’s great for a transient worker, or someone suddenly without a home. The problem with this situation is that these are not homes, these are temporary living spaces. A sense of community and belonging is rare.
What I was able to find was different. Our leases vary from one to two years in duration. This gives a sense of belonging to the residents along with a feeling of security that comes from knowing who your neighbors are. Because each of us has chosen to live here – in a small space, year round – we have similar values in how we want to live making this a cohesive group of neighbors.
Old versus New
In our area of the country, due to the changing economic times, many buildings are sitting empty, while many more are being re-purposed. Old industrial shops are being divided into loft-like apartments (many with shops in the lower levels), school houses and older department stores too are being converted into apartments. My last apartment was previously a small rural grocery store divided into four apartments of 450 sq feet each.
Not all these re-purposed living spaces are small, but they have one thing in common; they found a new way to re-use something which had lost its originally intended use, saving precious natural resources in the process.
We now have more options than ever to choose from when looking for a home. When looking at re-purposed buildings, whether that be temporary, longer term rentals (like mine), or even owning a condo or loft our choices can seem unlimited. I know I’m not the only one who has chosen not to build, what choice did you make?