We will have been in our house 5 years this July. That is the longest I have ever lived in the same place and it feels odd not to be thinking about moving. So my husband and I decided to think about moving.
We like our house but there are some things we would love to change if we could:
1. Our neighborhood is okay, but there are a lot of rentals. So far we have been pretty lucky with our neighbors but who knows what the future holds. And with the houses right next door and directly across the street both being rentals it is a very real concern. When we bought our house we had no idea how many rentals were on our street (and didn’t think to ask) and several more have changed from owner occupied to rentals since we moved in. I think this is because they bought when the market was high and can’t afford to sell or just don’t want to take the loss.
2. My husband’s truck is too long to fit in our garage and barely fits in the driveway. There is also no good place to park the trailer when we load and unload it for trips.
3. There is no storage other than the garage. This is typical for homes here. I miss having a basement.
4. My son’s bedroom is small so we have turned what should be the formal living room into a play area. I am okay with that except it is right by the front door and open to the rest of the first floor. We have created a contained space with storage furniture and manage to keep most of the mess in that one area. But it is not ideal.
So I decided to take a look and see what was available if we upped our price range $100,000 or maybe even a little more. What I found:
We could get a much bigger yard, decent driveway and a 3 car garage providing a lot more storage. There would still be a few rentals but not as many as in our current neighborhood. With a larger lot creating more privacy and space between houses it is a little less of a concern. I don’t think the rentals are hurting property values too much in the areas we are looking.
But the houses themselves seem a step back for the most part. Most had a little more square footage but still had small bedrooms or only three bedrooms instead of the four we currently have. I didn’t find a kitchen/family room combo that I liked nearly as well as our current layout. There wasn’t a single kitchen that wow’d me. Many of the houses were quite dated. Are we the only one’s to replace those brass wall sconces and foyer lights?
By looking around it really gave us many things to think about. We would much rather use our money for travel and retirement savings than increase our mortgage payment. There are some things we can do to improve our storage and we know the play area situation won’t last forever. But we can’t change the make-up of our neighborhood and even without rentals you never know when your neighbor will change and if it will be for the better or not. We also can’t do anything about the driveway but we have lived with it for five years and survived okay. My son’s bedroom will continue to be small but the overall house size is good. (And I really don’t want to clean more anyway.)
I doubt we will move but it may be a good thing to look into every now and then. It has certainly helped me look at all we have as opposed to what we don’t have. I am feeling more appreciative of our home these days and looking forward to making more changes to really make it ours.
This is actually our side yard but still, pretty green!