A major plus of the 4 hours in the car on Monday was time to chat some important topics: surgery timing and need for help with the kids, vacations for this year and next, how/when do we get out of this house. The last has the potential for a serious smackdown pitting Vinson vs. Vinson.
The back story is we bought our house (3 B, 2.5 Bath with (small) bonus) in 2002. At the time we had been living in an apartment, paying off two cars and 2 sets of private college loans, my then grad school loans. We had decided that until we could have 20% saved we would stay put.
Enter my dad followed by my grandmother's death within 3 months. Suddenly I had a downpayment plus the remaining 20% thanks to a small inheritance. We never, ever planned to be in the house more than 5 years and maybe, just maybe adding one kid. We opted for something midway between our then 45 min commutes in opposite directions.
We settled on a small town 25 mins away from where we had been living. It was a great starter house and I was sold with I saw the screened in porch. We didn't really consider schools because at that time we 1. thought we would be out before we had to be concerned 2. there was only one elementary school in the entire town (as well as one grocery store and one gas station).
A decade later we are still here. In our 1,400 square paradise. I do still like this house and if it was 1,500 ft bigger AND in a closer location AND with better schools I wouldn't think twice about staying.
We now have a very active almost one year old. We have a dog that HAS to be walked everyday because she is part Jack Russel and part crazy. We also have hit the noise tolerance of what we can deal with on a daily basis. You cannot go anywhere in this house when everyone is awake and not hear unending noise. Even if I lock myself in the master bath with the exhaust fan on high I hear Ben's antics, Ian's shrieking, Bill's video games, and my NPR that seems to always be on in the kitchen.
We have hit the threshold about when I expected, when Ian was transitioning into a full fledged into everything baby to toddler.
Our plan is to spend most of this year getting everything done to this house needed to put it on the market by next spring. Albeit we have already: replaced the HVAC unit, water heater, installed hardwood floors, part of the roof, stripped and painted the master bath.
We still have several large projects to do and seeing that I will PAY any day over risking going back to counseling, I'll farm DYI out to a professional.
So in the car we both made our dream lists of import aspects in a new house. I'll go first with my top 5
1. A solid base school with chances of redistricting slim.
2. Location that is within a 10/15 min drive to Target/shopping/everywhere I currently go in 30 mins.
3. A fenced in yard
4. A mudroom or other daily collection point off the kitchen (and not on my kitchen counter)
5. A family/child oriented neighborhood with kids in the age range of the boys
Bill's (I am not making this up)
1. A theater room
2. A theater room
3. A theater room
4. A theater room
5. A stone patio (because he already spends ***So*** much time outside).
Actually overhead in the car. "I didn't get the one thing I really wanted in our current house, and I WILL be getting it in a 2nd." After 17 years together I can tell you if he wants something, he will at some point get it.
Yes, I agree that since most homes in our neighborhood are considered "swanky" if they have hardwoods, a theater room was most definitely not this side of town when I bought our current home.
I can tell you that a theater room is most likely only to be found in the nicest parts of town. Parts that we most definitely do not have the money to move into unless we both sell a kidney and maybe also a lung.
So bring it ultimate negotiation. I'm willing to take on stadium seating for a fenced in yard to exile all things that smell and pee standing up.