House Shopping: Community or Country?

Yesterday afternoon I sat outside on our back patio soaking in some rays before the rainy days ahead and watched Aislyn play at the water table.  From the back patio in our house I can see down the rolling near full acre of land to the property line of trees, and through the leaf fallen trees the outline of the mountain that our house sits on.

I thought to myself, in this next house I want:

-this majestic of a view from our next house, none of this looking into your neighbors yard or fence business.

– I also want closet space, so we aren’t having to continue to live out of suitcases,

-a decent master bath that actually has a decent sized tub for soaking.

-Josh wants a pool, he is a private person and would like to be able to exercise daily in a pool.

-Josh wants a media room/man cave

-I want a Craft Room for my at home business of crafting aromatherapy and spa products.

-I don’t want to be on top of my neighbors where I can hear them rev up their midlife crisis on the way to work each morning outside my bedroom window.

We looked at our two favorite houses on our list yesterday:

House 1: In the Country (only 10 minute drive from town)

Pros

Country Estate; very grand in appearance (price easy on the pocket)

– Beautiful three acres of land, with an upper pool deck and three separate balconies that over look the pool, rolling three acres, stocked pond, and then on up to the other side of the mountain which we would live on.

-Huge family area that would be perfect for play dates and entertaining.

-Completely separate huge formal living that is beautiful.

Master suite is to die for with its own private balcony, two huge closets (one actually fits a vanity under the window), and a decent bath with a skylight shining down over the tub.

-Did I mention how amazing the backyard is?! I picture pool parties, I picture taking B, Aislyn and Keely down to the dock at the end of our land and fishing, I picture a play ground and the kids growing up playing and exploring in the massive backyard.

-On the third floor there is a honest to goodness pub.  It has the clay walls, and the beams criss crossing like one would see in a tavern on TV.  A huge wet bar with roof and is a large enough space for Josh to have a media area and a pool/boardgame table.

Would have to work on:

-All bedrooms are upstairs while the (large) laundry room is downstairs, it terrifies me each time I”m having to carry a huge heavy hamper up and down the stairs, but there is a large open chute where there were once stairs before they added the family living area, its a direct shot up and down with a door upstairs and door downstairs, perfect to install a lift.  Looking at prices that would probably be a two year wait.

-We are short one bedroom on my list and there is no space for a craft room, but the detached garage has already been walled and carpeted, there is strangely no door, and the plumbing has not been installed yet.  There is a workshop in the back (perfect for a crafting area) with two sliding french doors, and a closet that is perfect for a bathroom.  That would probably be a 3 year down the line project after the lift.

-The yard needs pampering, the house has sat empty for over three years now as they started out asking somewhere in the millions for it, and over the years have dropped the price dramatically.  The trees need to be trimmed, the land needs to be cleared of a sea of leaves and debris, we need a fresh start.

The kitchen is beautiful, state of the art, but somehow is incredibly lacking in storage.  I did find a closet up the hall next to the formal dining that we could repurpose as a pantry or dish closet (I collect dishes, this is a big deal).

We left the house, thinking “this is the one!”  We didn’t expect the inside to be in such great shape, we didn’t expect their to be so much space.  We didn’t expect the backyard to blow our socks off as well as it did.

House 2: In the next town (5 mins away), but in a golf club community

Pros:

-The details in the design of the house were very well thought out, and this house is a bit cheaper than the country home.

-The perks of the house are pretty cool.  There is a Sauna, Exercise room, and 1200 bottle wine cellar in the basement.  I don’t think I could ever own that much wine but it’s a neat thing to have.  Nor do I think I would ever be able to stand to sit in a sauna for any length of time.

-The master suite is perfect and huge, it even attaches to an office area through sliding double doors, that sits on the opposite side of the fireplace in the living area.  We would turn this office into a library for the entire family.

-The media room is amazing, it has automatic dimming lights, and a huge screen for a projector.  The back part of it is nice sized for the kids to play in, with a chalk board, and even a small little crawl space alcove that has been painted pink and with a mirror to look like a little ballet dance studio.

-It is in a community that our friends would more likely visit, or we could make friends in the community.  There is a golf club for a communal hub.

-The Kitchen has all the perks, and island gas top cooker, two drawer washing machine, huge stainless steel fridge, two pantries, more storage than I could know what to do with.

-It is close to the school I would like to send the kiddos to.

What we would have to work on.

-The backyard looks directly into our neighbors house.  A privacy fence would have to be applied only on that side.

-The view is if you stand at just the right angle and right height you can see the top of a mountain in the distance over a sea of rooftops of suburbia.

-There is no pool. There is a tiny space for a little pool that we could use, and we would if we purchase the house.  In the meantime there is a hot tub on the balcony.

-There is no space for a craft room (Josh has claimed both the study and the exercise room, one for video gaming, the other for work.  There is a space on the side of the house where the tankless water heaters are and the huge air ducts hang everywhere that can be built into a long and short hall (creativity +cramped spaces do not work well for me).  This can all be walled in almost immediately…but really I’m concerned with the space after it’s walled in.  But I would have my own private entrance from the outside to my craft room, a space separate from the house.

-Again the house is now two bedrooms short, but there is a windowed area just off the breakfast room that would make a nice tiny bedroom for guests with a private entrance if we just place a wall.  That leaves us only one bedroom short in the future when we have our fourth.

-The club house has an annual membership fee of 3500 dollars and doesn’t even have a real community outreach.  We were a member of the yacht club in Houston, our dues were 1500 dollars annually, plus a monthly dining minimum of 50 dollars, this club house doesn’t even have dining.  When I looked up the events all they have coming up is a community rummage sale.  Come on it’s spring, absolutely no picnics or gatherings?  Our club had a monthly mixer every first friday, and a monthly new member dinner that followed.  We were allowed guests, and at this one we are not without having to pay additional admission per person?!  We had a restaurant where members gathered on their particular nights a week and you became familiar, it became like family, this club house doesn’t even have a dining area.  Our club had a Sunday brunch every Sunday where you looked out over the harbor and again the members mixed tables talking to one another, because it was such an encouraging community with its events.  Our club had a moms with tots club that met on the fourth wednesday of every month.  Every weekend we had events, like the first weekend of May was Keels and Wheels where the members volunteered all together to work the event where we showed and auctioned antique cars and boats every year.     Sorry for the rant but after sleeping on it I just don’t see where the perks are to this membership, because it’s not a club it’s just a facility.  A pool and playground you can’t take your own guests to, and a golf course ( we are already a member of the golf course across town.)

But again we left the house thinking for the family this may be the better choice.  More conducive to community and ability for the kids to reach out to friends.

It’s such a hard decision for me.  My heart is in the first house, but I feel my family deserves the second.  I’m really at a loss.  We are looking at two more houses tonight…both in the same neighborhood with the ridiculous facilities fee.

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. whitneymaeve says:

    Sounds like both houses are a good option! In my experience, while you’re thinking about those, it’s also good to keep looking 🙂 Good luck with the process!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. April says:

    Good luck on your house search! it is so hard to decide!

    Like

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