You may have noticed that the DIY projects have been a little light this month on the blog. You see, we have been in a bit of a holding pattern, straddling between our real estate agent and our contractor.
I need a little of your help, because I am pretty sure I don’t know what I don’t know when it comes to home ownership. Here’s our dilemma, and any advice would be great.
It all starts with a miniature bathroom.
When my husband and I bought our house, we bought something that was very easy for us financially to settle into. We had been renting a 110 year old home nearby, and between the 1940’s furnace, the slanted floors, and the fact that my sister was 100% convinced it was haunted, we needed to move on.
We teach at a local university and wanted to live a “townies” lifestyle – you know, the feeling of being totally immersed in our own little “Small Town, America” town.
With a 3 minute commute to work and rush hour consisting of seeing another car at the stop sign on the way into campus, we barely spend anything on gas. There has been a time or two that it was so long between the times I needed to pump gas, that I actually had to THINK about how to pop the door on top of the gas cap off.
We live on a park-like property in a vibrant, friendly neighborhood. When we talk about good neighbors, we totally hit the jackpot.
And our yard – 1.3 acres of green, with a large, private backyard, a beautiful patio, and plenty of room for me to grow anything that catches my fancy.
The house is nice. Nothing extraordinary – a typical Colonial with clean lines and decent square footage. We are definitely misusing space in the house – like the dining room we have used twice in our five years in our house. Or the “fireplace room” which right now is a main-level playroom, but most of our neighbors seem to use as a den/sitting room.
The only thing in the house that we “can’t live with” is the master bath. The shower is miniature and I am pretty sure it was made for elves. If two people try to get ready in the morning, someone is destined to get a black eye. I mean, honestly – it could be considered a hazard. (Unless we are selling. Then it is quaint, practical, and more than adequate).
So we’ve run the numbers, got our pre approvals and now are trying to determine – does it make more sense to put money into our house, which has good bones and is in a neighborhood we love, or does it make sense to buy the house with the features we’d want in a dream home?
PROS FOR STAYING IN OUR HOME
- Great neighborhood
- Great schools
- Amazing, park-like backyard on over an acre of land
- Good neighbors with low turn over
- Close to work
- We know what demons we are dealing with in the house
CONS FOR STAYING IN OUR HOME
- Snakes (or potential for snakes)
- It will never have an airy, open layout
- We probably won’t get out all the money we put in to it should we resell
- With a 40 year old home, some things will need to be replaced sooner, than later (siding, roof, AC)
- Unless we make changes to how we use the space in our home, with 3 boys we will likely get cramped
PROS FOR MOVING
- Updated kitchen and bath
- 9 ft ceilings
- Open floor plan
- Great schools
- More space (which we don’t really need, but we wouldn’t complain)
- Newer home
CONS FOR MOVING
- Many homes made of stucco…which apparently does not work well in PA humidity and can result in major replacement costs
- Very few private lots – I don’t want my neighbors in my business all the time
- It requires work. And moving costs. And work.
- I don’t know the demons in the new house. Mice? Bad plumbing? Ghosts?
- I also don’t know the new neighbors…
- Farther drive to work
So those of you who have the features in my dream house, are they worth the move? Or if you have done renovations, are you glad you invested the money? Please help!