Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What Would You Do?

This is somewhat hypothetical but I would love your thoughts...

What would you do if you had to choose from one of the two and if you were me?  Yeah, see, hypothetical, right?

1. Small house needs some updating with small rooms some updating on small lot- 1/4 acre.  Tons of neighborhood amenities and activities for kids and even a community pool.  More accessibility to standard stores and grocery stores, in a nice lake community environment.  Some storage space in garage and a 20 x 20 workspace for me.

2. Larger house on 1 3/4 acres of gorgeous land set on a big rolling hill.  Tons of room for the kids to play outside, run around, and more space in each of their bedrooms for play.  A studio space and lots of storage.  Not close to amenities and a bit more of a hike to get to in general.  Beautiful country setting, but probably not a neighborhood type of feel.

We don't really have any houses that we are seriously considering at the moment, but I have been spinning wheels and I can't seem to get myself out of confusion!  Help!

65 comments:

wildrose said...

Hi Cassie,

It's definitely number one! Moving to a new town it's going to be important to feel like you're a part of the community, to connect with other people, and the kids will want to be closer to their new friends and you'll love having "the village people" close by when you need them!

See, all you had to do was ask - decision made!

Gail
(Oops just realized I'm signed in on the Wild Rose blog!)

driftwoodesign said...

#2 all the way. When we decided to move out to the country, (only a 10 minute drive to a grocery store)everyone thought we would hate it. ALAS 3.5 yrs later we are as happy as can be, no kids mind you.
Kristy @ 4 the love of WOOD

Ali Richardson said...

Tough one! Seriously! Is option 2 hypothetically that one house with the sledding hill?? Seriously tough!! Like you, I can see the positives and negatives in both scenarios. My gut is telling me......hmmmm....not sure really. My gut is confused too. I would say that you will be "connected" in the community no matter where you live. This means that your home must be as ideal as possible. I love a lot of space on one hand, but I also love the neighborhoody vibe. Friend. I am no help really I guess. I'll think on it a bit more :)

Remodelaholic said...

#2 all the way! If you want to feel welcome in the community just make sure you join a church group that you feel welcome in... The space and atmosphere sounds like where I grew up!

But you will probably have to buy your kids their own car when they get older so they can get where they need to without you always having to take them! Just a (very random) thought!

Rene said...

We are more of the option one. My kids are older and it has been good for us. Riding bikes to school, neighborhood pool, community feel, etc. As much as I love the country and space and privacy I would vote for small & convenient for raising kids. I like that my husband and I can hear what goes on in the other room and think our smallish house has brought us close as a family in some ways. Soon they will be gone, boo-hoo.

Artsy VaVa said...

#2!!! We moved 5 years ago from an in town neighborhood to a larger house on 7 acres in the country. No regrets! We love it. You get used to the hike into town and plan accordingly. And the previous comment was right about meeting friends through church and kids activities. Plus, they'll call before they visit to make sure they don't make the drive for nothing!

Tara said...

Hey Cassie,
funny you post this today, as I was thinking about neighborhoods in general and overall happiness after reading this article:
http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/08/does-money-make-you-unhappy/
So, with that said, I vote #1.
Maybe not because you have to "commute" but because the neighborhood feel will be so much better. Having a pool near by, the community feel, knowing your neighbors (and their teenage kids who can babysit) would be lovely. Although convincing Chris that he doesn't need a man cave with 4 TVs might be hard :)

GOOD LUCK!

-Tara

Mossy Rock Interiors said...

#2 no question. sounds like heaven. i've lived in the city and the country and everywhere in between and the country wins hands down. nothing feels better than a quite evening outside with a nice view...in your very own peaceful piece of the world. yes, a bit inconvenient, but worth it. and all the "city" kids will probably want to come play at your place anyway! good luck!

Jannet ~ Simple Matters said...

Cassie,
I live in the equivalent of your option #1 and I sooooo wish I could have something more like option #2. I don't have enough room for all of my furniture here, you know... store unfinished pieces, work space, finishing-up space, display... you name it. You can always drive to the grocery store but you can't add more room/space to your house or land.

Mossy Rock Interiors said...

*quiet oops! :)

and i can't wait to see what you do with the place whichever you choose! xo leanne

Loving Leelah Lou said...

I live in the city with just about everything a couple minutes away. But I really miss living out in the country. I guess I didn't like being 15miles from the closest town but on summer nights it was great being able to camp out side and have a bon fire. My two cents would be more land/space. When my husband and I are ready for a house I would pick country setting over city/neighborhood setting. But again its hypothetical... :)

Sommer said...

Here is what I've found in the past. Your home is where you live. It's where you will spend most of your time. You should choose the home that suits your family best. The decision should not primarily be based on distance to amenities.
When you move into a new home you almost always find yourself needing new furniture to fit your new space. I can tell you right now if the rooms and the house in general feel small now you will grow out of it quickly. Sooner rather than later you will feel like the walls are closing in on you and despite being close to town, going to the pool, park and grocery store will not make your house feel bigger when you get home.
For this reason I vote for house number two. I have lived outside of town about 20mi. The drive starts to feel less and less the more you travel it and before long it doesn't seem like your that far out at all.
Now days I'm back in town and granted I love being close to everything but I miss the simple life of living in an outskirts community.

Wunkie's Mommy said...

:) Hi Cassie! QUICK CHOOSE #2! I just did this actually, in Aug of last year...last week made one full year that we are here on our big lot, in the beautiful country with LESS TAXES! ;) It was a BIG change, and though I still complain about not having all the wonderful things I was used to 5min away (STARBUCKS!-_-) I know I did the right thing when I see what my kids get here, TONS OF SPACE to run around in, A PUPPY!! We are close to many farms, so our organic/all natural lifestyle is actually cheaper here, and the school system is way better, since there is no city influence. All of that said, you can only do what is right for YOU! ;) I weighed out pro's and con's, wrote them all out, even the silly ones like no Starbucks! (You'd be surprised how much money I've saved not buying that Chai Latte every day!) Good luck on your decision!

Sue said...

When we moved in our current home, we thought it's better to be in a busier area with 3 teenagers (now 21, 19 and 15), 3 years later we wish we had chosen to go with our dream to live "spacier" (aka rural). The house is a very good size, but property just under .5 acre with neighbors on all sides. The kids all still live here, next year the last one will have his license. Even with everything closer, we still need to drive him to work, sports etc... Go with your heart and what fits best for your overall family live!

Maryann @ Domestically-Speaking said...

I guess for me it would depend on what you mean by "a hike." For me if I could get to a grocery store, gas station and a target or walmart within 20 minutes I'd be good.

Tres Chere said...

#2...it sounds peaceful with plenty of space for the kids plus a studio space to work on your projects. It would be a dream come true,for me anyway, just to have the studio space. As bloggers we are juggling a million things and to have a peaceful, relaxing sanctuary with tons of space is my vote! :-)

Suzy www.savedbysuzy.blogspot.com said...

I vote for #1. I love living in a neighborhood where my kids run back and forth to each other's houses. I like going outside and talking to neighbors and seeing people at the community pool. I also don't like to spend a lot of time driving. Just my 2 cents, you know what is right for you!

Ann Marie @ Twice Lovely said...

Since we generally spend the most time in our homes, I would vote for #2. More space in the home and more land to roam! It's my dream to get a little more rural with some room to spread out. :)

Ann Marie @ Twice Lovely said...

P.S. - We live 30 minutes away from "town" right now, so I'm used to a little "hike" to get anywhere too. :)

Never Enough Thyme Creations said...

#2 without question!! I grew up in the country and came back to the same town to raise my daughter. We are 20 minutes from a major grocery store, but the kids LOVE to come out here, run, romp, and play because they can not do it in their yard/subdivision! You really could not give your kids a better option than room to grown, run, explore, and be a kid!! They will curse you from time to time, but when they have their own, they will thank you for a wonderful childhood!! Maybe their grandkids can go down the sled hill as well!

stephaniegiese said...

#2!!!! Having lived in a nice, fancy neighborhood in our previous house, I can tell you that they usually come with Homeowner's Associations & those are AWFUL. Unless you like getting letters telling you to power wash your mailbox or you will be fined a ridiculous amount of money. (True story) #2 sounds like someplace you's like to have your grand kids visit one day.

Anna See said...

Are these comments confusing you even more? I wish I had an answer. We have a #1 scenario, and when neighborhood dealings get messy, and I want more privacy, I want #2, but other days I'm grateful for number 1. Ugh.

Dawn, said...

We had #1, twice... and have now moved to a #2 and are kicking ourselves for not doing it sooner. We have the social aspects of church, family, and friends... and love the privacy, nature, and feeling of ROOM at home too... best of both worlds. And the pool is in our 5 year plan, snicker.

Korrie@RedHenHome said...

#2! I didn't read all of the previous comments, so here's my 'unbiased' opinion. Living close to people does not guarantee a 'neighborhood'-type experience. You don't know that there will be kids for your kids to play with, or that their will be other mothers you will be friends with. Convenience is great, but I'd choose space any day. I would love to have room to roam and spread out. Your friends will likely come from school and/or church, anyway, and you can make one or two days "running around" or "play date" days, and enjoy your own home on the others! Good luck!

Laura said...

I would love option 2! All that land is wonderful for kids!

Cathy @ The Far Fifty said...

Hmmm, we live in a house like #2 which we love but a 20x20 workspace? That sounds fantastic! I think I'd make the decision based on schools.

Melissa at HOUSEography said...

Definitely #1!!! Just picture yourself driving to EVERY play date for the next 10 years and the decision gets a lot easier :) We have already made this decision which basically is that a smaller house on less land, close to amenities (and relatively close to jobs) means that we get to spend more time with our family. Kids won't miss the land if you have lots of amenities nearby and they don't need a ton of land. And a 1/4 acre is HUGE if you live in Arlington!

Kate@TwentySixToLife said...

I'd take #2 easy. I'd love to have land like that.

Starr @ The Kiefer Cottage said...

We just made this decision and chose city life. We're minutes from everything and have enough of a yard for the kids to play around in. We thought about getting a few acres, but it was just too far from a restaurant that wasn't Subway.

Renee @ where the grass is greener said...

I'm a number 2 kind of person, however, when you have young kids, it's very nice to be part of a neighborhood. WE had that option a while ago, I'm so glad I chose a neighborhood. The kids can run down to a neighbor's house, etc. and you don't have to spend an eternity driving everywhere. If you choose number two, it's nice, but you will be in the car A LOT...driving them to friends, practices, etc.
Fortunately, I have the best of both worlds...big lot, kind of away from things (so, yes still driving), but still in a neighborhood -- if I need an egg, I just knock on a neighbor's door.

Katie said...

Hands down I'd take the house with more acres and privacy - I know the little ones would keep themselves busy exploring! Its just nice having room to breath, both indoors and outdoors! But ultimately, you'll end up where you should be! I'm hoping something turns up quickly for you! I know you and the family are ready to have a home again! :)

Allison said...

That's a tough choice and there are positives in both. I would tend to lean towards option #1 for the neighborhood feel sicne your kids are young and maybe more of a country setting further out when they're older, if you decided to move again years down the road. Schools are an important factor, too. But, I think you will know when you are in each house and if it's right for you and your family. Home is where ever your family is, so you will make the right choice!

Jeannine said...

The second one all the way! We live in a tract home area and are tired of neighbors practically in our backyard and porch lights staring us in the eye all night long and dogs barking, etc. We are wanting to move to the country

Kara said...

We bought a new house just over a year ago. We didn't have to compromise space in terms of square footage of the house, but we don't have lots of outdoor space. But a neighborhood was most important to us. Transitioning to a new school has been so easy for the kids because they already know others from the neighborhood playground. Our yard might be smaller, but it's always full of kids.

Andi @ Jane of all crafts said...

Well when you put it that way i am all for #2...because that sounds like my dream house. Secluded but close enough to the essentials. I think no matter where you are you will be apart of the community. You just have that personality and magnetism that people want to be part of your world...lol...sorry been watching The Little Mermaid A LOT around here. But on the flip side I understand the appeal of the neighborhood. I think once you see the second house your gut will decide for you. And I don't think you can make a bad choice in this situation.

Sharon @ Elizabeth & Co. said...

I know this won't help much, but I think that's a really hard question that only you can answer based on what works for your family. There are pros and cons to both options. The perfect house and location is the one that meets the most needs of your family.

Lisa said...

#2 sounds beautiful and spacious but #1 for your kiddos all the way. I can't tell you how much I have enjoyed living on a street where neighborhood kids come knocking at the front door and play baseball in the yard. It's so awesome and I never have to plan playdates or drive my kids to friend's houses. Plus you and your husband will make connections that will make living in a smaller house worth it! Oh choices, choices!

jandjhome said...

I would say option 2. I love the idea of having your own space. Good luck.

DecorandtheDog said...

I think it depends on what is more important to you and your family.


As for location, my husband and I, space and privacy are more important than being close to amenities. Nate's brother and his wife on the other hand prefer to be close to neighbors and shopping.

As for house size, I rarely hear people complain because their house is too big.

Twice Nice said...

When I am faced with decisions like this I find that the picture becomes clearer when I literally sit down and make a list of pros and cons for both homes. Seeing it on paper somehow helps me see what really is important for us. I think you can find lots of good things either way you go, but it just has to fit with your families dynamics. Good luck!

Julia @ 551Eastdesign said...

We just went through this while apartment hunting. Not quite the same as buying a house, but still. :) I would obviously go with your gut but I think number 1. You can always change your home, but it's harder to build a community around you. Good luck!

Traci said...

Oh that sounds like a hard choice. I have always wanted to live on property with a country feel. On the other hand I love talking with my neighbors. I would pick larger property because my kids would never forgive me if I didn't.
Traci

Kim @ A Brush of Whimsy said...

Jeepers! Boy, that is a hard one! We live in a subdivision right now and I would so love to live in the country with some space. :)

Amy ~ "A Perfect Tin" said...

I see your dilemma. Personally if it was me, I would choose #2. We have an acre and a third and I LOVE it! We are a little far down in Pasadena and it takes us a while to get where we need to, but at the end of the day, I love to come home and have privacy. We have wonderful neighbors who we see, but they are not all up in our business, well except the nosy lady across the street, but we are the same age as her kids so she "looks out" for us. We see lots of wildlife and it's nice to sit on the deck, with a glass of wine and relax w/o looking in someone else's backyard. The one thing that makes me say #1 for you is that you are a very social person, so if having things to do close by is important, then you will survive in a smaller house. You also have to decide if this is a long term or short term decision. Don't settle, wait for the right place and you will know when you find it! Good luck!

Nelly said...

2nd choice is what id go with 100%

Andrea said...

That is a tough one. I grew up on a farm and loved having lots of space to roam and play, but I was also envious of my friends that could get together with their neighbors and play. If you plan to be there for a long time, I would consider option 2. Our kids grow up so fast and before long, they will be so busy they won't have time to play with the neighbors (as sad as that is).

Andrea said...

That is a tough one. I grew up on a farm and loved having lots of space to roam and play, but I was also envious of my friends that could get together with their neighbors and play. If you plan to be there for a long time, I would consider option 2. Our kids grow up so fast and before long, they will be so busy they won't have time to play with the neighbors (as sad as that is).

vintageshabbychicks said...

Hey Cassie...definately #2. we moved out in the "boondocks" 3 years ago...LOVE IT! the jaunt into town is no big deal at all. Julie

pxilated said...

Based on the way you presented the options, it sounds like you're leaning towards number 2. Go with your gut.

Richmond Thrifter said...

Oh my! They both sounds amazing! Don't thing there is a wrong choice :)

Anne said...

I would lean toward number 2 - but at the end of the day, it has to be the right fit for you and your family! I hope you guys find something perfect!

Rita said...

not gonna say one or two but it's the one where when you close your eyes it pops up in your mind over and over and you see it not for what it looks like now or the amenities around it...but how you imagine it will look and how you'll make those amenities work.

:)

Prudently Painted Vintage said...

I'm with number 2. You can make friends through other venues. It sounds like a dream house!

Jenny said...

Number 1 because we love being part of a neighborhood so much.

Nicole said...

Number 2 for sure!

lynn said...

#2~! it sounds wonderful:)

Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal said...

Tough one! I'd look at a number of things. School district and resale value are important for me. The extra space does sound nice but I can understand you wanting to be closer to things.

Teresa said...

#2! We had both! If I had to choose again, it would be the same. In the country!

Karen said...

My vote goes for #2 too! Lots of space for the kids, fresh air, lots of nature around. What else can you wish for?

Revi said...

Good morning Cassie,
If it were me, now, without little ones, I'd go for #2 because space is always a good thing. But with little ones, a neighborhood could be just the ticket. I don't know what to say, so I'm going to add to the prayer for Cora and Andrew a prayer that God makes it abundantly clear which choice is right for your family. He always knows best!
Praying now,
-Revi

CAS said...

I think I would probably vote for #2, feeling that outdoor spaces are a better option for children. I'm of the "old school" belief that children don't need constant people stimulation or supervision, but need more freedom to use their own imagination.
:) CAS

Katie @ On the Banks of Squaw Creek said...

#2. fo sho

Yanet @ 3 Sun Kissed Boys said...

Space (inside and out) is important so I'd definately go with option #2. You can always build a sense of community by befriending people from the kids' school, work, church, etc. and build a sense of community that way.

Serendipity Chic Design said...

number 2 for sure! I live in the middle of no where, but not a big deal to get in the car and drive where I have to be. I love having privacy when I am here. But, whatever you decide, I am sure will be in the best interest of your family and work out perfectly!

Take care,
Lisa

Lesley said...

Okay. I realize that I am late weighing in on this, but I am just catching up on my reading and I have a STRONG REACTION to this one!!!

I picked #1 6 years ago when my kids were in elementary school and I have REGRETTED the decision in a HUGE way. The house is just too small and we are busting out of it. My kids are now teens (it happens quickly) and it is like 4 adults living in this house. None of us have anough space to find much peace. Yes, we are close to parks (that my teens don't care about anymore) and the grocery is close by. Life changes and we have moved them out of the local public school system into private and we drive a distance to their schools. My vote is MORE SPACE in your house and drive a little more to those activities. Your home is so much more important. You need room to grow. Good luck!