From Seattle to Lafayette, Ohio

LAFAYETTE — In recent years, many people have left the West Coast states to settle in other parts of the country. In fact, it’s a changing demographic that seems pretty constant lately.

These people are moving because home prices on the west coast, on a continuum, are getting practically astronomical. They are moving because crime rates on the West Coast, especially in metropolitan areas, also seem to be increasing exponentially as of late. And still others, in the countryside, move to get out in front of the next forest fire.

Aeriel and Steve Eyerly lived in the greater Seattle area. And Aeriel said, candidly, “Seattle isn’t all it takes to be.”

In addition, Steve does remote computer programming. So, like so many others these days, he could work from anywhere in the country.

Given this, the couple started looking elsewhere a few years ago.

Elsewhere, first, it was Idaho. Then it was, like, further east to states like South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa… And then it was: Toledo, Ohio – “Mud Hens,” and everything.

But just before they closed on a house in Toledo, another house (of sorts) popped up on the couple’s internet radar. Destination: Lafayette, Ohio.

To say the place in Lafayette was some sort of BIG structure would be a decided understatement. The two-story brick building had originally been Lafayette’s former Masonic Lodge. Then it was a grocery store, circa 1939. Then it was a thrift store/auction house.

And now it’s, well, just a house. A house that spans 3,600 square feet, over two floors. More than enough, in fact, for the couple’s eight children.

In true HGTV fashion, over the past two years they’ve been steadily fixing the place. Aeriel described the interior motif as “gothic/eclectic”. She said the paint was made up of lots of grays, blacks, purples… and skulls. She added that the theme of the place can be described as “Halloween all year round”.

When the Aeriels and Steve aren’t working on redecorating, they go to Allen East children’s sporting events, school band events, and a plethora of other kid-friendly events.

Aeriel and Steve said the village (pop. 387) has been very welcoming to them and they have gotten to know a number of neighbors over the past two years. While, okay, getting to know many of greater Seattle’s 4,102,400 neighbors might have been, oh, a little harder.

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