House hunting with kids = stress for all involved - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 06-22-2014, 04:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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House hunting with kids = stress for all involved

I am stressed about house hunting and am worried that our ideal home may not exist where we want to be.

Currently we live on the South side of town. We want to move to the North side because the schools are better -- esp. the high school.

In addition, the North side is a little pricier but in this market there are deals to be had. Selling our home would be a piece of cake after all the homes I have checked out with our realtor and it would also give us some extra cash for renovations of a future home.

Yesterday we visited a home that was nice -- but from the 80s. It would require a complete interior and exterior repaint and some landscaping. Yes, it would also need a complete kitchen redo, new carpeting, refinishing of floors, 2 bathrooms and the tearing out of nasty built-ins. We could get this done for sure and the house would be up to date. The roof, fireplaces, furnace and windows were all good. The garage doors would probably be replaced because....yuck.

What tears me up though is that one of our other missions for moving would be to downsize. This home would be bigger than our current home. It has a formal dining room (which I deem useless) and a formal living room with fireplace that I am sure the dog would love -- or as a parent haven from noisy kids/teenagers.

The front yard is tiny. Awesome. Easy to maintain. The backyard is a huge deck with a tiny side yard area...that would definitely be torn out and just wood chipped for the dog. So, there would be no grass back there. We currently live on 1/2 an acre. It has lots of grass. But, the only one that uses it is the dog. The rest of us just look at it and the rest of the landscaping. We do have a trampoline and that wouldn't work at this possible new home. No place for it. Our water bill would be slashed in half. Yay!

We also would have access to a swim park -- and that is kind of attractive and pretty.

I mostly like my current home but the neighbors, the neighborhood and the schools bother me a lot. My immediate neighbors have become slobs. Absolutely. Stuff spilling out from their garages; outdoor projects going unfinished; landscaping going to ruin -- it's like they have no pride of home ownership. I am baffled because we live in a pretty nice area. The surrounding neighborhood outside of my street is also hurting. Lots of vacant homes that are falling apart; neglect of landscaping; homes falling into disrepair; litter and dog poop. It's just sad. There is a park near our home and the city hardly pays attention to it. Everything is so overgrown. It's kind of an eyesore.

We also have a sociopath across the way. The sociopath has really made living where we are hell. I do whatever I can to avoid her. She's just not nice.

Anyway, I understand that no home is ideal. Even the one we live in is not ideal. But, when we moved into it, we made it work because their were no other options. Now, we have the flexibility and the time but are actually getting desperate to find something so we can just get out! We don't want to make mistakes.

Should we just take the fixer upper or wait for more homes to come on the market? Do we really need grass in the backyard when it is gloomy and rainy here so much where we live? Does it matter that we won't use the dining room that much -- or maybe we will? Will I be able to help my daughters understand the difference between responsible teenagers and spoiled bratty ones that we might encounter?

This is exciting and terrifying at the same time.

Last edited by pepin; 06-27-2014 at 09:06 PM.
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#2 of 8 Old 06-22-2014, 05:11 PM
 
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I can't really speak to your other questions but I do have an idea about your dining room. You don't have to make it a dining room if you don't want to. It can be a rec room, office, or another living room. You could put up bookcases and make it a library. Lots of possibilities there.
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#3 of 8 Old 06-22-2014, 05:45 PM
 
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So your current neighbors are scummy and the other neighborhood has rich, spoiled children? I think you need to do some soul searching about what you want in a neighborhood because you kinda come across like some one who won't be happy anywhere.

I love having a dining room for projects. It's great for sewing, school projects, etc. I love having a big table that doesn't need to be cleaned off for meals, and we have a lovely sideboard that is full of school and office supplies. So convenient. I also like having multiple living spaces since we have teens. It's nice for them to have friends over and have their own space that isn't a bedroom.

We've moved a lot for DH's job, and I suggest spending more time getting clear on what you really want and what would be nice if you can get it, too. If you want to downsize, don't buy a bigger house. That doesn't make sense.
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but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#4 of 8 Old 06-22-2014, 07:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yes, I guess a dining room isn't so bad. We don't use our current one....so I was thinking it would be best to find a home that just had a large eating area off the kitchen that could be casual or dressed up for Holidays and fun dinners.

My kids agree that having a little more room would be nice for spreading out.

I would like a smaller house but where we live it doesn't exist. That would be a duplex, condo or cottage....and unless the layout is functional, it won't cut it.

And....you are right.

I most likely won't be happy anywhere.

Do I like my town? No.
Do I like the State we live in? No.
Do I have the choice to move out of State by not being the breadwinner? No.
Do I have aging parents to look after? No.

Everything in my life at the moment is a compromise....and this is what I am trying to work through.

Our current home wasn't the one I wanted. DH wanted it. I wanted one in the next town over but he said no because of the schools....even though they are just as good as ours. The home I wanted had a phenomenal and functional layout. The yard was cost effective and easy to maintain. That being said, I was forced to make what we have work....and it took a lot of time. So, am I stressed about moving? Absolutely. Because this time, I want it to be better than what we have and easier to take care of. Going from half an acre with a vegetable garden to a large patio with a little grass on the side is actually pretty daunting. I love my vegetable garden -- and I could make it work on the patio with large tubs or containers -- but the rest of our current yard I would gladly give up. It's too much work and very time consuming. Messy trees that require constant pruning as they block out our sun.

BTW, DH has only seen the house online since he's out of town. He likes it.....but really needs to walk through it.
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#5 of 8 Old 06-23-2014, 09:52 AM
 
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It doesn't sound like there's a pressing reason to move quickly and settle for something you're not happy with. I would keep looking until you find the right house, or in a few years you could be in this position again.
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#6 of 8 Old 06-27-2014, 06:33 PM
 
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I can't imagine moving into a home having only seen one... and it doesn't seem like you have a pressing need to move right away. You should take the time to find the right fit. Also, it sounds like you and your partner need to have some discussions about the kind of home and lifestyle you want, and where you're both willing to compromise to meet in the middle.

And I would caution you - judging those boys that you saw once on the street as a rich-kid spoiled brats is kind of narrow minded. It's summer and school just let out... it might serve you better to try to view neighborhoods and the people in them (including your current one) a little more objectively, and judge them on the criteria that is important - safety, education and access to the services that would benefit your family.

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#7 of 8 Old 06-27-2014, 09:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for all the replies. We have looked at many homes already, not just the one I mentioned. The main reason I brought it up was that it is quite different from what we have now. If we are not satisfied with our current home and neighborhood, then why not try something that is different? No sense in looking for something that is similar to what we have! I am intrigued...

If it doesn't work out then we will keep looking until we are satisfied.
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#8 of 8 Old 07-03-2014, 02:29 PM
 
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Hang in there! House hunting is definitely stressful (even if it is also inspiring and exciting!). I found it really important to go spend time walking the neighborhood and visiting the nearest park when making a final decision to move. We did this for rentals as well as purchasing. If we didn't have time to walk at different times throughout the week and weekend, we would at least drive through with car windows down. That way we could get a sense of the neighborhood. (neighbors arguing, friendly kids nearby, drug deals going down at the park or a haven for play groups, etc) Often we would meet a neighbor and chat, getting even more inside info.

I agree that a formal dining room could be a great project room - or even turned into a nook for kids or parents to get away from the rest of the house.

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