When you move to a new area, you get to spend time discovering everything that town has to offer, and it’s all very exciting. But we’ve lived in Stamford well over a year now, and I’m bored. So I’ve been considering places where we might move to next.
In this blog, I’ve looked into places like Kepler-22b, which had a number of nice features but included the overwhelming disadvantage of being approximately 600 light years away from the nearest Chinese take-out. Then there was the entire town of Buford, Wyoming, which could be had for only $100,000 and which, unlike Kepler-22b, was technically on the planet Earth, but at an elevation of 8,000 feet, only barely so.
After that, I decided that I’d really like to live closer to sea level, but I went too far and plunged into the water, which is where I found H2OME. Allow me to quote from the website of U.S. Submarine Structures, LLC.:
"The H2OME represents the world’s first undersea residence – a structure that you can purchase today. You can choose your own sea-floor site, or we can set you up with a remarkable undersea location. Remember, the entire undersea structure is at surface pressure, so there is no diving or de-compression necessary to inhabit this wondrous luxury sea floor residence."
The website goes on to describe this residence just like a regular real estate listing in the newspaper, only without the incomprehensible abbreviations.
"Now you can enjoy the amazing pleasures of dining in the company of the denizens of the deep in your fabulous H2OME underwater dining room. This beautiful undersea dining area features a curved wall of crystal clear acrylic with panoramic views that literally put you inside of a coral reef teaming with life.
"From the moment you step into the H2OME’s spectacular undersea dining room, you are transported to another world. You and your dining guests will enjoy underwater dining in luxury and climate controlled comfort. The large dining area is surrounded on either side by underwater lounge areas where guests can relax and enjoy undersea cocktails. The curved clear walls surround you, giving you the feeling of unparalleled undersea living and underwater dining."
Get it? It’s underwater!
They say that the structure is pronounced like H2O with an "m" at the end; however it can just as easily, and perhaps more appropriately, be pronounced "H-tomb."
But I always look on the bright side of things,* so I’ll first list some of the advantages of underwater living, although, frankly, I had an easier time listing the advantages of living on Kepler-22b.
- There is no diving or de-compression necessary. This is, indeed, the second thing I look for in a residence, right after the availability of natural air.
- No need for ADT. I don’t believe a burglar alarm would be necessary, nor would I be too worried about the house burning down. A leaky roof, on the other hand…
- Privacy. Well you certainly don’t have to worry about the neighbors seeing you naked, but it’s not like you can enjoy some nude sunbathing on your deck. And I, for one, would get really freaked out by having a billion fish staring at me all the time.
- The view: I’m sure being able to look out at all that marine life can be interesting and calming ("Honey, why does that hammerhead shark keep banging into the window?") On the other hand, my brother-in-law gets the same calming effect from his salt-water aquarium, and he can also go outside to smoke a cigar. As for me, well if I want to look at fish all the time, I’ll change my screensaver.
- At some point, I’d be likely to see James Cameron drive by in his submarine.
- No landscaping or snow shoveling.
I think that’s just about it for the advantages. Now for the down-side:
- If my father taught me anything, it’s never buy the first one of anything. And this is something you definitely want them to work the bugs out of.
- U.S. Submarine Structures, LLC would not be my first choice for the name of a company to build my next house.
- How exactly does one go about selecting "your own sea-floor site?" Are there real estate agents for that? Does HGTV have a show called "Sea Floor Site Hunters?" ("I like the fact that there aren’t any shipwrecks in the back yard. We’ll take #3, with the pretty octopus’ garden.") What if you choose the perfect place and then they decide to build an underwater, low-security lunatic asylum next door?
- Where would I walk the dog?
- I could be wrong, but I’m thinking not too many bars on the cell phones.
- Try getting flood insurance for that place!
- The USPS already seems to deliver my issues of Entertainment Weekly on a monthly basis. How am I going to get snail mail down there? Via actual snail?
- I care about the environment enough to ask "Where would my poop go?"
- This would be a home that is truly convenient to nothing. I mean, I can’t get a repairman to come now. And who the hell is going to deliver a pizza, The Little Mermaid?
- All those dining guests I’m going to have: where are they coming from? Our friends aren’t even that thrilled to come to Connecticut! ("Hey, let’s go have dinner at The Hallens’. I’ll book the flights, you charter the boat.")
In fairness, I might have the solution to numbers 9 and 10: choose a sea-floor site in the Hudson River, with an elevator right up to a west side pier. True, you’d be giving up some of the view ("Oh, look dear, another body!"), but at least you could go see a movie occasionally and, oh, I don’t know, perhaps have a job to pay the $10 million price tag (plus the cost of your sea-floor site). After all, even if you have a job, I don’t think banks are going to be lining up to give you a mortgage for this house.
If I had the money, though, I think I’d opt for a home with a view of the top of the ocean and a real estate listing that doesn’t have to include the fact that "no diving is necessary."
For more on our adventures as first-time homeowners at age 57, and moving to Stamford, visit http://theupsizers.wordpress.com/