Would You Rather: House Addition

@kimrossie I live in house A in this scenario and have two kids. I’ve tried staying in an Airbnb somewhere “bigger” in a quiet neighborhood and for me personally, walkability outweighs the space. I now no longer want to move to a different neighborhood. Their school is 3 minutes away so are shops, museums, beaches, etc. Also, with the space we have, we have more than enough stuff. Less is more! If anything, it reinforces us to not buy too much unnecessarily.
I’m done at two kids though. Maybe if possible, you could “try out” the other neighborhood for a few weeks?
@kimrossie I’d go with house B just for the land. I almost moved to a nearby city (that I grew up in) to be close to friends with the same age kids. She just got a major promotion and their family is moving to a different nearby city, so I’m really glad we didn’t make that move to be closer.
@lmr This is a consideration for me as well. We have two very good couple friends in neighborhood A, but they are also in the position of add on to the current house or sell due to expanding families. Both are choosing to expand, but who knows about the future? If they were to move, it would so sad, and make the area slightly less appealing I’ll admit. You never want to make a decision based on others, but friends who are essentially family are important to us!
@kimrossie Absolutely option B.

Back in 2018 when we were buying our first house, we had zero kids but we’re hoping to have 3-4 kids asap. My husband and I each did about 50-50 WFH and working in an office, so we knew we’d need an office space. We looked at two different houses - one that was VERY turn key, nicer finishes (granite, tile) but was a 3 bed and 1500 sqft. Perfect for a starter home but we knew we’d be getting the itch to move after 1-2 kids. The second how need to be painted everywhere (it was VERY yellow), not as nice of finishes, and slightly further away from everything compared to option one. BUT it was 2100 sqft and it had an office in addition to the 3 bedrooms.

i pushed for option 2. It was WAY too much house for us when we bought it. But now, 3 kids and a pandemic later, I am so glad we went with option 2. I am so glad we weren’t forced to move to a different house so quickly. I am so glad that we have all the extra space, because now it’s starting to feel a little small.

My point being, if you do option a you will be pressured to move or add on as you have more kids. Don’t back yourself into a corner!

Also the extra yard space is 1000000% worth it. That’s one of our main issues right now.
@kimrossie I would go option b, but checking ordinance codes to make sure I can utilize that big property for the things I want, such as chickens. Our small home and lack of a yard is a big reason why we're sticking to one. Sad.
@kimrossie I live in a house A, and I wish I could have something more like a house B. I do love our neighborhood, but I hate coming home to a house that’s tight and cramped and everything is in disrepair, and thinking “Ugh, this sucks.” You want your house to feel like a home, not a place where all you do is look around and think about all the things you wish you could fix/change.
@looneygal91 This is good insight. We’ve lived in a fixer upper before, and I felt like the projects never stopped. I like House A fine, but more for the potential of what we could make it. I’d hate to look around all day and think of House B lol BUT I’d hate to feel trapped in House B and wish I had the neighborhood of house A. Such a hard decision
@kimrossie Given that your goal is to expand your family, I would say house B is probably your better option.

I grew up with one sibling in house about the size of house A, and it was a tight fit. We also didn't have much of a yard to run around (we had a pool, which took up most of the space). Buying a fixer upper home is a big gamble. It can take years longer or a lot more expense than you think to complete the work, or you may have trouble finding competent and reliable contractors.

The house we live in is somewhere between the two homes you described. My husband would love to have a little more property, and at the same time I'd love to be in a walkable town. We have neither. A 6 minute drive to town seems like a small price to pay for all the space your family needs and a new home that doesn't need a ton of work.
@kimrossie In my experience, walkability is nice but we would switch for more space without hesitation. Especially for the ability to have chickens and more yard space. Mine is getting old enough to start enjoying the yard more and “gardening” - that outside space would be ideal, and a 6 minute drive is barely anything.
@kimrossie House B. Driving isn’t a huge deal, honestly, and it sounds like your friends aren’t far anyway. Plus, you’ll make new friends in the new neighborhood and where you live isn’t the end all be all of who you can be friends with. Real friends will make the effort to drive, especially if it’s under 10 minutes. I grew up in a kid-friendly walkable neighborhood (less than a mile from the library and community pool). I rarely walked to those places and despite having many same aged kids on my street, none of us were more than loose acquaintances.

The larger house is going to be cheaper in the long run and large enough for your family plans.
@tyke29 We so would- but it’s a hard neighborhood to get into, and the lots are notoriously small. You either get a small house that’s a guy job and still half a million dollars, or a million dollar new build. In my area, that’s expensive and you don’t get much bang for your buck. Unfortunately neighborhood A is one that you jump at any chance you get
@kimrossie We are about to majorly renovate our home in our dream neighborhood and we are literally moving out and renting a place to do so. We’re basically gutting it too. I wish we’d have found something already up to date where we wanted to be instead. We do love our house, its layout and our neighborhood, it’s just going to be a real pain in the ass. Just some food for thought!!
@kimrossie House B without question. Husband & I are looking at homes now and our thought process includes the fact that we spend 95% of our time at home. Look for something you’re happy spending that much time in
@kimrossie B! Sounds like you’ll have a beautiful house to host all the neighborhood kids and everyone will love playing. Also, more children = less time for house projects!
@kimrossie I’m you… almost exactly lol! SAHP with husband who works from home.. but I live 20-25 minutes drive from town on 7 acres. I absolutely LOVE it. We plan to home school, at least for a few years, so schools weren’t hugely on my radar. But there’s so so many benefits, and we don’t even have chickens or a big garden YET.

The cons for me are honestly only things to do and lack of people nearby.

To drive to a playground for me is 25 minutes there, play for a bit, 25 minutes home. So it’s a thing every time we want to go. BUT I am fixing this problem - at the moment I’m taking a break from building a birthday play structure.

There’s mom groups nearby, but again it’s 20-25 minutes there and it’s a thing. We’re lucky and have a neighbor with a little guy a few months older than my daughter (2 last week!) but we don’t see them as much as I’d like.

And then it’s a day trip to any museums or malls because they’re 60-80 minutes one way. We still make time to do them, but I don’t like driving the highways to get there solo so it ends up falling only on days my husband is off.
@kimrossie Absolutely house B. You can spend lots of time running around the big property, have friends over for great fun on the land, AND see them by traveling just a short distance. Without a doubt house B is what I’d choose!
@kimrossie I'd rather have the.big yard, gardens, chickens, night skies and fresh air. . There are 4 of us in a 1300 sq foot and it's good enough for 3 people as my oldest is 21 and will move out sooner than later but this house would.be very uncomfortable for 4 little kids. Having to drive for ice cream and friends is a good trade for a comfortable space you don't have to renovate. Most people do have to drive to get to these things anyway.