Tuesday, October 20, 2015

House Hunting

For a while now, we have been searching for the perfect home. We have lived in our current home for 8 years (has it really been that long?!?). We've enjoyed our time here and it is a good starter home, but we need more space. There are so many pros and cons to weigh out with our options.

We have a few options to choose from:

a) We could get a house in the country. (We have yet to find this perfect country home or land to build our house.) It would be a longer commute for my husband each day and a longer drive to church and extracurricular activities for me and the kids than what we're used to. But we'd have space for the kids to play. We'd also have ticks and wild animals (including snakes) to keep us company. It'd be a lot more for my husband (and the boys as they get older) to mow and maintain. It would be quiet and peaceful. Someone could also move in next door with their pack of hunting dogs and kids on 4-wheelers making a muddy mess of things. I could read a good book on the porch swing while listening to the birds chirp, or go back inside after 5 minutes because the bugs are just too much (this is eastern North Carolina, after all).

b) We could move into an established neighborhood and renovate an older home. It could be fun and rewarding. There is a charming house I've found in a great neighborhood on .5 acres right in the middle of town. It has 5 bedrooms and 3 baths but has not been redecorated/renovated since it was built in 1971. It is way overpriced considering the amount of work that would need to be put into it. But it is also in a neighborhood that will not be going down in value any time soon. I love the house, but for the money... oh my goodness.

c) We could start fresh by custom building our own home. No renovations or remodeling necessary. We've narrowed it down to one particular neighborhood. The lot sizes are smaller than I would like, but it's a new neighborhood, about a 15 minute commute for my husband, and seems to be pretty safe. We've toured a few of the existing homes and have picked out a floor plan. The floor plan does need to be modified to fit our needs (I need a large kitchen and houses these days seem to be built with tiny kitchens). My husband wants the family room to be larger, so an outer wall would need to be bumped out. He also wants the stairs widened. Like, each step. I guess he wants his entire foot to fit on each step rather than having to tip-toe. With two boys that will probably grow to be as big as he is, I can see that the stairs may need to be modified. With these adjustments, we may be redoing the majority of the floor plan. Fortunately, the builder has a design center that can help us build the perfect home.

We are also in somewhat of a pickle with purchasing a new home. While our banker has said we can afford a home that costs x amount of dollars, we know we cannot afford our new home + our current home. That's the downside of already owning a home. We either need to sell this house first (which would be great to get the equity out of it to add to our down payment), or rent it out. If we rent it out, we'd prefer for it to be to someone we know. Hopefully they'd have more respect for our property than the average renter. If we sell our current home first, we'd need to find a place to live for about 6 months (the amount of time the builder told us it would take to build our home). There is so much to think about with buying/building a new home. What I do know is that I would like to stay in our new home at least until the kids have graduated and moved out on their own. So... twenty or so years from now.

Something that we are mostly sure of is that we will be moving next summer, give or take a couple of months. I am not looking forward to being poor after spending so much money on a new home for our family, but I know it needs to happen.

Decision, decisions.


  1. We were in practically the same situation as you guys, with almost identical options. We just put a down payment on a new home to be built :) Good luck making your decision!!

    1. That's what I heard (the husbands like to talk)! Congratulations! That's the same neighborhood we have in mind for our future home, if we go that route.

  2. Totally feeling you on the being poor after putting down a payment on a house. It's what has pushed us back on our timeline for buying a house, trying to save up more money to get ready for that broke feeling. Ugh! Good luck on your search and decision!

    1. I didn't know you were saving up! I hope it's for something here in town or at least close by.

    2. Looking like the east side of Raleigh. A good chunk is saved, just not as much as we want. Doesn't help that our tastes gravitate toward the higher end of our budget.


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